Author Archive for Ce Eshelman

What is Neurofeedback Therapy Used For?

Neurofeedback therapy uses a computer program to assess your brainwave activity, providing immediate feedback.  It is related to biofeedback and has proven very effective for certain patients suffering from neurological disorders or injury.

Biofeedback

Some people know about biofeedback because they once owned a mood ring – a heat-sensitive metal ring that would supposedly respond to a person’s mood. Biofeedback measures things like body temperature, breathing, heart rate, brain waves, and other condition.

The aim of biofeedback is to leverage control over a person’s involuntary body functions. This process of gaining control over these body functions is called conditioning, operant conditioning, and relaxation.

In a general way, biofeedback is a catchall category like music, and neurofeedback is a specific type of music, like hip-hop or jazz. There are other types of biofeedback that doctors use in a variety of ways. These include heart rate variability, thermal, and muscular, as well as neurological feedback, which is another way of saying neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback

All biofeedback uses a monitoring system like a computer or a specific program to monitor whatever it’s trying to measure. Neurofeedback is specifically measuring brainwave activity. Scientists and doctors look at amplitude – the number of brainwaves spent in particular parts of the brain – and dysregulation – how well the brainwaves work together.

A good analogy for neurofeedback is your car’s yearly inspection. During an inspection, there are tons of computers and gauges hooked up to your car in order to see which elements are working well and which aren’t.

Just like when your mechanic will give you a run-down about what’s going on in your car, neurofeedback can tell you what parts of your brain are working efficiently, or how your brain’s activity looks compared to your peers of similar age and gender.

Some types of neurofeedback do not require experts to conduct them. Well-meaning people can buy the equipment needed to conduct neurofeedback, but they won’t necessarily have the skills to use it correctly. And when it’s your brain or the way you handle certain situations, you want to eliminate any room for error.

Alleviate symptoms

Neurofeedback has been known to alleviate symptoms from a variety of neurological afflictions, including PTSD, Parkinson’s, movement disorders, anxiety, sleep disorders, concussions, or repercussions from brain injury or surgery. 

What neurofeedback does really well is it shows which parts of a person’s brain are working and which aren’t. It can map the activity in a certain area, as in the situation of a stroke, or it can show dysregulation in neural hubs, like in PTSD or in a concussion.

When looking at patients with elevated amounts of anxiety, the neurofeedback is looking to map the cause of the anxiety. Anxiety is just the symptom, an important distinction to make. Once it has been determined what part of your brain is over- or under-activated, or which part is dysregulated, a whole slew of options are available for treatment.

What happens during a session?

An average of 20 sessions are used in neurofeedback therapy, although some patients need less and some need more. When you go to a session, you sit in a chair and a technician hooks some sensory pads to your scalp. You are then directed to watch a screen that will have graphics, play music, or have some sort of game. The way your brain interacts with the images on the screen tells the program which parts of your brain are doing what.

The neurofeedback program will assess your brainwave activity, and it will then direct your brainwaves to the areas of your brain that are over- or under-activated. It is a huge benefit of neurofeedback therapy that you get such immediate feedback from the program. In between sessions, you should notice a difference in your mental clarity, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and sleep quality.

Where to find neurofeedback therapy

It is important to find a technician with training and experience in neurofeedback therapy. It is also important to use that neurofeedback to suss out the causes of some of the patient’s issues.

Ask your doctor about neurofeedback therapy and if it’s right for you. Experts like those at The Attach Place can lead you down the path to a healthier mind, spirit, and body.

Trajectories Of Their Own

Hello Parents,

We work so hard to impact that early wiring in the brains of our children from difficult beginnings.  Maybe too hard sometimes, because our children have trajectories of their own.  We do our best.  They do their best.  The rest is up to the Universe.

We Are Not In Control

I do not say this lightly.  I say it honestly.  We cannot control the outcome of our children’s lives.  We just can not.  They have a trajectory of their own.  I respect that.  And I encourage you to have compassion for them, for you, for the journey.

Growth Happens

Every time I felt hopeless when raising my children; when all seemed fruitless and futile, in time there was growth.  There is always growth.  It was not always in the way I wished or in the way I thought would be the best, but growth did happen over time.

Sometimes we parents have to let go and let God or the Universe or the Light or life’s trajectory.  We are not really in control.  We never are.  We can only do our best with what we have at the time.  In retrospect, there is sadness for how little we once knew.  That’s okay.  That’s life.  You can’t know what you don’t know.

Be Compassionate

Be gentle with yourselves, dear parents; be compassionate for your efforts, for your child, for the trajectory that is their own.  It is bittersweet, I know.  My salvation has been in accepting my children’s journey and separating them from my own.  They are truly different from me and just perfect as they are.

Acceptance Is Healing

I love my kids.  Do they live the lives I would have them live?  Not really.  I wish much more for them, and I accept them as they are.  They both appreciate me for that, I think.  I see them becoming more and more comfortable being loved by me.  Maybe that is the first step for them in learning to love themselves.  I hope so.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

SIGN UP NOW: Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held May 11th, 2019  from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Stay tuned for the exact dates.

Girl’s Empowerment Group (ages 9-11): Sorry Registration Closed. Begins April 13th from 1:00pm to 2:30pm for four weeks–$30 per session.  Ce Eshelman, LMFT and Andrea Kersten, B.A./B.S. will be using art and improv to create relationship skills for making and keeping friends.

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public.  NEW DAY: Every third Monday from 5:30 to 7pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks. This is a  monthly social group for the youth; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. There will also be occasional fun field trips, like bowling, ice skating, roller skating, etc. A donation of $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  CLICK HERE to join our monthly  Adoptive Parent Support Group, May 8th, 2019.  Childcare provided at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Open to the public.

GIVE A BOOK OF SUPPORT TO A FELLOW PARENT ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  Buy from Amazon or order a discounted copy here.

 

One Wish

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

I woke up early ready for work, but even I have no clients at 1:30 in the morning. This has given me plenty of time floating around in the realm of “If wishes were horses…”.  I rather pride myself on living without regrets.  I try always to choose my path, even when the Universe deals me a different hand.  When that happens, I choose that one for lack of other options and by way of ensuring my motto–no regrets.  That is a legacy given to me by the Universe when my mother died in a car accident when I was a teen.  She was relatively young then, and I coped by thinking, “She was old and lived plenty life.”  Now, ten years older than my mother was at that time and, unlike my mother, I have the luxury of seeing my children from difficult beginnings through to adulthood. I do not regret the time I spent in this endeavor, though it proved harrowing for me, because adoption is clearly a choice and never an accident.  No regrets.

No Regrets. Regrets.

Well, shocker, it turns out I do have a regret, the regret that I didn’t know at the beginning of being a parent what I know now.  This is what I know:  nothing, nothing is more important than being loving and accepting.  No spilled juice on the white carpet, no chewed Easter sweater, no dirty f-word, no sneaking around the house for grandma’s special chocolates, no lying for no reason, no running off, no disrespect, no survival behavior or selfish act is more important than showing love and acceptance.  I mean that.

The Role of Approval and Disapproval In Parenting

I had a very hard time not using approval and disapproval to correct my children.  That’s how my mother parented and I had no idea that there was any other way.  Approval came with a dose of smiling, acknowledgment, and praise while disapproval came with a serious helping of furrowed brow, disappointment, and shame. Even though I was a hugely successful student, I failed in the “relationship with parents” department.  It seemed I fell on the furrowed brow side of things most of the time and no ribbon, award, or trophy outweighed the heavy burden of shame.

Sadly, I dished up the same bitter medicine for my children which caused them to be forever seeking my approval, fearing my disappointment, and feeling not good enough and shameful for it.  That was not the legacy I was hoping to pass on.

One Wish

This is my one wish: I wish you to be a healing parent who can give acceptance, understanding, and empathy to your children while applying limits, boundaries, and structure when they need it.  I think that is one definition of love.

The only way to be that parent is to separate yourself from the actions, reactions, and behavior of your children and see it all for what it is–survival brain, alive and well, in your harmed child.  Regulate your own fear, anger, frustration, and tiredness, so you can keep this perspective in mind as you navigate the choice of adopting a hurt and hurting child.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held May 11th, 2019  from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Stay tuned for the exact dates.

Girl’s Empowerment Group (ages 9-11): Sorry registration Closed. Begins April 13th from 1:00pm to 2:30pm for four weeks–$30 per session.  Ce Eshelman, LMFT and Andrea Kersten, B.A./B.S. will be using art and improv to create relationship skills for making and keeping friends.

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public.  NEW DAY: Every third Monday from 5:30 to 7pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks. This is a  monthly social group for the youth; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. There will also be occasional fun field trips, like bowling, ice skating, roller skating, etc. A donation of $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  CLICK HERE to join our monthly  Adoptive Parent Support Group, April 10th, 2019.  Childcare provided at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Open to the public.

GIVE A BOOK OF SUPPORT TO A FELLOW PARENT ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  Buy from Amazon or order a discounted copy here.

How to set healthy boundaries in your marriage

How to set healthy boundaries in your marriage

To have a healthy relationship with your spouse, you need to be able to set boundaries. Boundaries are personal demarcations that delineate one area of your physical or your emotional space from another.

The first step of setting boundaries is actually the most important, because in accomplishing this step, you must clearly define to yourself what your boundaries are. Once you’re able to firmly distinguish your boundaries, you will (hopefully) be able to communicate them to your partner, and he or she will (hopefully) honor them.

There are different types of boundaries. There are physical boundaries, which include your body, your privacy, and your personal space. Some violations of your physical boundaries would be touching someone inappropriately or going through your partner’s phone.

There are emotional boundaries as well, and these boundaries will work mostly with your feelings. Negative associations with emotional boundaries include blaming others, sacrificing your own needs for someone else’s, and taking responsibility for another person’s actions.

Regardless if your partner is well-equipped to handle your boundaries, it’s important to articulate them in your relationship. Even if your spouse is being resistant to communicating about boundaries, either theirs or yours, it will do you good to set them anyways. Places like the Attach Place offer couples therapy where a licensed therapist creates a safe space to set boundaries in your relationship.

Here are some more tips to strengthen your marriage and set healthy boundaries.

Communicate: For any sort of relationship to function well, there must be communication. Some people find it difficult to talk about feelings, but even the simplest communication about how you’re feeling can be enlightening to your partner, and also a relief.

If you need to take some time to collect your thoughts, that’s fine, but don’t let that extend into avoiding the conversation altogether. If you need some prompts, write them down and, if you feel overwhelmed, let them guide you.

Never assume: The best communication is often the bluntest. The reason that communication works so well is because we rarely actually know what’s going inside another’s person’s head, even if we know that person really well. Never assume you know what your partner is feeling or thinking unless they have told you.

Follow through: If you’ve been able to be clear with your spouse and have laid out a plan of action, follow through. For example, if you’ve decided as a couple that you might benefit from couples therapy, take the time to make an appointment and coordinate with your spouse. Although sometimes it’s the thought that counts, this is not so in emotional work. Carry out what you’ve promised.

Take responsibility: Own up to what you’ve done in order to make the most progress in establishing healthy boundaries in your relationship. If you’ve done or said something, the best course of action is to admit to it and move on. It makes people angry to be faced with outright denial, and it does nothing to support an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Apologize genuinely: If you need to apologize for something, don’t make an apology unless you’re really sorry. An insincere apology does no one any good. This goes both ways – when your partner reaches out to genuinely apologize for an action, see if you truly do forgive them, and grant them forgiveness.

Know when to let go: Relationships sometimes run a natural course. Two people come together, experience and grow together, and sometimes their paths diverge. The best thing to do in this scenario is to part ways in as loving a manner as you can muster. Break-ups are unpleasant, to put it mildly, but imagine looking back at the experience from years in the future. As angry or sad as you are in the moment, try and remember the whole arc of the relationship. And then let go.

Relationships change and mature over time, and your relationship with yourself will often determine the health and wellness of your other relationships. Defining your personal boundaries and articulating them to your spouse is difficult. Individual therapy at a place like the Attach Place can help you set healthy boundaries, leading to a stronger marriage. You and your spouse are worth it.

Throwing in the Towel

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships, LLC

Dear Parents, Sometimes I wonder where cliches come from.  Usually, I know what they mean, but I am not always sure from whence they sprang; hence the title.  Does throwing in the towel have something to do with surrendering in war?  Boxing maybe?  Mama Google says the latter, “When a boxer is too beat up to continue, his coach throws a towel into the ring to signal that the fight is over.”  Oh, apparently one cannot throw one’s own towel into the ring; someone else does it for said one.  Well, the title of this blog only kinda works then.

When Life Creates Movies

A day or so ago, I watched Instant Family and sadly resonated with the husband and wife scene in the bedroom just after the three kids come home as fosters.  I think they were effectively throwing in the towel and by the end of the tirade, they had grabbed it back again.  I certainly did that a zillion times over the two decades of raising my children.  As far as I know, there isn’t a cliche for grabbing the towel back again, but that’s the part I loved. The part where some deep commitment, I think core human attachment, kicked in and brought me back to reality. Yep, I signed up for this.

Then There Is Life

Sunday, I had breakfast with my 23-year-old daughter.  She had her partner and their almost two-year-old son, my grandson, with her.  The baby is from difficult beginnings.  His parents are both grown-ups with Complex Developmental Trauma.  The little guy was pitching a fight all over the place, not to mention flinging the hash browns and mac and cheese at everyone who walked by.  I was sucked into a time warp when my children were his age and twice as dysregulated.

The distress on my daughter’s face was palpable, while her partner had lost his temper repeatedly until he fell silent playing on his phone.  Personally, I was completely calm and empathic with all of them in a way I was never truly able to be 20 years ago.  Of course, I would be headed home in an hour to a quiet house filled only with dogs.  It’s easy to be regulated for a couple of hours.  Still, I was filled up with love right then when an old, familiar wish barged in–a bittersweet wish that I had known at the beginning of my parenting life what I know now.

Be as therapeutic as you can muster with your children today, my friends.  They will grow up, and they need all the empathy and understanding you have in your bones to get there.  That, of course, involves having empathy and understanding for yourselves, as well.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held in April 2019  from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Stay tuned for the exact dates.

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public.  NEW DAY: Every third Monday from 5:30 to 7pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks. This is a  monthly social group for the youth; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. There will also be occasional fun field trips, like bowling, ice skating, roller skating, etc. A donation of $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  CLICK HERE to join our monthly  Adoptive Parent Support Group, March 13, 2019.  Childcare provided at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Open to the public.

GIVE A BOOK OF SUPPORT TO A FELLOW PARENT ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  Buy from Amazon or order a discounted copy here.

Get Your Own Complex Developmental Trauma Symptom List

Hello Parents,

While many of you are well-versed in the symptoms of Complex Developmental Trama, I’ve been getting a number of calls lately from parents and therapists asking me questions like:

“Is this behavior normal?”

“Is this reactive attachment disorder?”

“What is this?  Part of normal development or something else?”

If you have questions about some of the things you find yourself coping with related to your child from difficult beginnings of attachment breach and abuse/neglect trauma; or if you have family or friends who need some help understanding the things you are working so hard to quiet with therapeutic parenting, you can download below or forward this post on to someone who might want to know.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held in April 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Stay tuned for the exact dates.

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public.  NEW DAY: Every third Monday from 5:30 to 7pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks. This is a  monthly social group for the youth; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. There will also be occasional fun field trips, like bowling, ice skating, roller skating, etc. A donation of $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  CLICK HERE to join our monthly  Adoptive Parent Support Group, March 13, 2019.  Childcare provided at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Open to the public.

GIVE A BOOK OF SUPPORT TO A FELLOW PARENT ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  Buy from Amazon or order a discounted copy here.

Despicable Me

Dear Parent:

Our traumatized kids do some despicable things.  If any one of us did them, we would be nothing short of mortified.  Yet, our children often angrily blame others for their actions or deny culpability or insist it didn’t happen at all.  The feeling of living in crazy town gets magnified for parents during these times.  Caution: dysregulation zone ahead.

I know our kids often seem like they are the best thing since ice cream. Really, they feel like they are evil to the core, so why not act like it. They don’t understand themselves or their behaviors.  They just do stuff.  They feel shameful. And they don’t care. They don’t care, because they can’t stand how terrible their feeling feel. It’s better to feel nothing.

Our kids are busy as bunnies trying to fill-up the cavernous holes they often feel inside their hearts.  If they just had that one thing, got to go to that one place, got to wear that one see-through dress, got that one girl, got someone to have sex with…the list goes on.  They are constantly doing things that they think will do the trick, ease their nagging emptiness.  When the first thing doesn’t fill it up, they try the next and the next and the next.  Rarely do they have the insight to stop and say, “Maybe I am chasing the wrong things.”  

It is our therapeutic parenting task to unfold with our children their fierce drives, their survival modes, their repetitive patterns. We must do that with intensely accepting empathy for their feelings, their behavior, and their true infantile needs.  Above all, we must not shame them for despicable behavior in a misguided attempt to make them change their behavior. They already feel ashamed and it hasn’t stopped them yet. Another dose of shame will not be the answer.

The answer is: “up the empathy.” Empathy is the antidote to shame. That is why therapeutic parenting is so hard and why you need more support than you are probably getting to have consistent, predictable empathy.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held in April 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Stay tuned for the exact dates.

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public.  NEW DAY: Every third Monday from 5:30 to 7pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks. This is a  monthly social group for the youth; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. There will also be occasional fun field trips, like bowling, ice skating, roller skating, etc. A donation of $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  CLICK HERE to join our monthly  Adoptive Parent Support Group, March 13, 2019.  Childcare provided at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Open to the public.

GIVE A BOOK OF SUPPORT TO A FELLOW PARENT ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  Buy from Amazon or order a discounted copy here.

The Little Things

Dear Parents,

Yesterday, my son–now 22 years old and living nearby in a supportive housing program for people with mental health issues–texted me this: “Mom can I git dentst?” 

I texted back, “Yes, call the dentist office on the corner near your house.” 

He responded, “K, wel, I thnking I go out for a walkng and jus goin, cus  I not good calling.”  

“Sounds good, here is your insurance ID # in case you need it.”

“K thky, by, lov ya,” he signs off.

Now this exchange may sound really disturbing to you, but to me it is lovely and I am so proud of him.  This is progress for a young man who has functioned at about half his age nearly his whole life due to extreme abuse, neglect, and abandonment before he was two years old. 

That abuse is impacting his entire life.  He went to a public school for only 1.5 years before he had to be placed in residential care for safety reasons– he stabbed his 1st grade teacher with a sharp pencil and later came at me with a very big butcher knife. He simulated raping his older sister every time he saw her.  He was a scary, pint-sized 6-year-old.

My son always attended a special day school.  He never worked at grade level, and he never went to a friend’s birthday party. He never attended a school dance, football game, or class trip to anywhere.  He didn’t graduate or even get a certificate for High School despite attending until he was 20 years old.  He lives on social security now, and will likely never work for a paycheck. 

Turns out he is very happy and pleased with himself for living on his own with just a little support.  He cooks for his housemates once a week, again with a little help with measuring from an older resident.  He is known as one of the smartest guys in his house because he can help everyone a little with their technology woes. Did I mention this? He is happy.

His text is evidence of prefrontal cortex development.  First, he recognizes he needs a dentist.  Secondly, he reached out for help and accepted my suggestion (a big deal) that he can handle it himself (also a big deal). Lastly, he understands his limitation with phone calls and finds an alternative solution instead of giving up (eventually being in great pain and maybe losing a tooth).  The cherry on top–he signs off with love to me (finally feeling connected to his mother which is a super big deal to both of us).

Watching him notice that the pain in his mouth is a toothache, ask for help, have insight about his limitations, and take initiative to find solutions–priceless.

Never give up parents.  Hope springs eternal.  No matter how deep your own sadness or disappointment about your child’s journey, your child will eventually unfold his/her own personal potential.  What else is there? 

Love matters,

Ce

NOTE: If you are planning to attend The Attach Place Therapeutic Parenting Class on February 2nd, 2019 from (10am to 4pm, be sure to sign up or drop an email (info@attachplace.com) to let us know you are planning to attend.  Or register here.  CALVCB accepted.

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held February 2nd, 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Register on our website!

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public.  NEW DAY: Monday from 5:30 to 7pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks. This is a  monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Click Here to join our monthly  Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group, February  13th, 2019.  Childcare provided at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

GIVE A BOOK OF SUPPORT TO A FELLOW PARENT ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  Buy from Amazon or get a discounted copy here.

 

 

 

 

 

Attention Is A Need

I work with a number of children who annoy for attention. Attention is attention to them regardless of whether it is positive or negative.  Some attachment challenged children have difficulty being vulnerable enough to seek attention in a pro-social way.  To do that would be to admit that s/he has emotional needs in the first place. And some are simply habituated to seeking negative attention.

My son has mastered the art of ridiculous questioning to get my attention. For example, “Mom, I’m wondering why it is that I really like to go to those swim parks? Why do you think I like them so much?”

Out of the blue from another child, “One time when I was visiting my grandmother’s farm the dog farted so loud the cats ran into the barn.”

Another child asks, “Can you see air?”

And another, “I noticed cats have big eyes.”

My son, “Mom, I didn’t know you were home.  Are you home now?”  

Again, my son, “Mom, why do I like cauliflower that way and not the other way? And, “The worst thing to call a teacher is Mrs. P.”

Really?

Instead of giving the “go away from me” look of annoyance or the ridicule that might easily roll off your tongue (like it wants to from mine), pull your child (big or small) in for a hug or a close-up of soft eyes with a “love bomb” smile.  This is all that is needed:  I love you–now run along, Sweetheart.  Anytime you want my attention, come ask for a hug.

Attention is a need. Nothing else. Resist the urge to be sarcastic, mean, ridiculing, or angry.  Honestly, our children need our attention.  Give it to them more when they need it, and the non-sensical crazy stuff will decrease.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held February 2nd, 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Register on our website!

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public.  NEW DAY: Monday from 5:30 to 7pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks. This is a  monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Click Here to join our monthly  Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group, January 9th, 2019.  Childcare provided at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

GIVE A BOOK OF SUPPORT TO A FELLOW PARENT ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  Buy from Amazon or get a discounted copy here.

Tis The Season

Dear Parents,

There seems to be very little predictable about the holiday season except how unpredictable they are when you are parenting a child who has trouble managing emotions.  The remedy is to keep your solid routines of everyday life and just say “no” to too much–too much fudge, too much out-of-town family, too much travel, too much stuff, and even too much fun.  Okay, it isn’t that easy to pull off, but it is well worth trying. 

I have a vivid memory of forewarning my extended family before bringing my easily dysregulated children to their first out-of-town Christmas with all my siblings.  Everyone was excited to meet their new little family members and my little ones were beside themselves to get to go on a long trip to meet these extravagant strangers at the end. 

The car trip itself was unbelievable. I really wasn’t prepared.  We stopped to pee every hour and ate more McDonald’s on that first leg than we had eaten all together from adoption to that date.  By the time we arrived, I had a migraine and needed a nap.  When I woke up, my sisters had indulged my children with chocolate everything.  No kidding.  They were amped so high I was awakened by the walls vibrating. By the end of the day, both kids were screaming they hated me; they wanted to live with their chocolate pusher Auntie; and ultimately every person in the house was standing with their mouths agape and looking like deer in headlights.  Fun times. 

It wasn’t my kids’ fault.  They genuinely could not regulate their emotions and other people did not know (no matter how much I tried to tell them) they could not indulge every whim of children who have weak attachments and only a limp grip on self-control. Every Christmas thereafter I took a minimalist approach.  We still had our wild moments, but nothing like that one where the wheels came completely off the car.

To that end, I am wishing you a very regulated, predictable, low-ley, minimalist and, therefore, delightful holiday wherever you are, wherever you go, wherever you find yourself.

Love matters,

Ce