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Author Archive for Ce Eshelman – Page 2

Recognizing and Addressing Separation Anxiety in Your Child

Recognizing and Addressing Separation Anxiety in Your Child

Being a parent is an incredibly rewarding, challenging, bewildering part of life. And you wouldn’t have it any other way. Even so, the first time you leave your child with a friend or drop him off at pre-school can be heart-wrenching. You’ve been together every single day and night since he was born and let’s face it; many parents are just as broken up as their three-year-old.

However, when a child exhibits more than the “normal” level of angst, there could be a concerning separation anxiety issue in the works. Let’s look closer at this common component of childhood and how to best address it in your family.

Separation Anxiety Explained

While it is quite normal for toddler-age children to be anxious when separated from their parents, if the behavior persists into school-age years the child has most likely developed separation anxiety disorder (SAD). Typical worries about being apart from their parents cling to the child long after the separation.

For example, many children develop fears that some kind of harm will come to their family; perhaps a car accident or a terrible injury. The child may think she will be hurt or if her parents are late picking her up, she could have a very real belief in her mind that they abandoned her.

Anxious children with cell phone access can make the situation far worse by calling or texting their parents multiple times a day just to receive that short moment of reunion, even if it is only through a device.

SAD Has Its Place in Childhood Development, if it stays in Place

Although it is very difficult to handle in the moment, separation anxiety is normal in traditional stages of development and it is not a bad, terrible thing that must be eliminated at all costs. A very young child has no idea how to navigate the great big world around them, much less understand and accept being parted from the people who have always been there, taking care of them.

As children grow and develop mentally, it ideally gets easier to handle these new situations. But for children with persistent anxiety challenges, it simply doesn’t get easier and invades many parts of their lives.

An especially difficult time saying goodbye at the bus stop might evolve into full-on panic attacks. Or, if a child manages to get through the initial physical separation, mental distress kicks in and presents a significant barrier to participating in everyday activities. The child might be petrified about starting school and being “alone” with all those other kids or if he crosses the threshold to school, he might shy away from traditional learning activities, playing sports, or even attending a classmate’s birthday party. 

Separation Anxiety in the Home

Of additional concern is the element of separation anxiety not being limited to outside locations. Anxiety and over attachment can also be present at home, where some children follow one or both parents everywhere they go in the house or are very afraid to be left alone in their rooms at night.

They have a hard time sleeping and often sneak into their parents’ bed because it is a comfortable and safe place. When visitors stop by, anxious children will often cling to a parent like a shield, hiding behind familiar safety, or they might flee and hide in another room altogether until the distress of being parted from their parents becomes too great.

How to Recognize Separation Anxiety

Several common behaviors are typically present in children with SAD and recognizing the signs as a parent is tremendously helpful in managing the issue.

  1. Consistently asking to be picked up from school instead of riding the bus. Skipping out on school or social activities.
  2. Difficulty falling asleep, afraid to sleep alone, or can’t sleep without a parent nearby.
  3. Struggles with goodbyes.
  4. Complains of health issues like headaches or stomachaches.

How to Handle It

With some determination and care, there are proven steps to take to ease separation anxiety and help your child gain confidence, including:

  • Practice separation in small doses.
  • Develop and practice brevity with goodbyes
  • Set up a routine and use it daily.
  • Praise your child regularly as she improves with separation.
  • Don’t stall during goodbyes. Keep it short and sweet.
  • Don’t give in with scenarios such as sleeping in your bed.
  • Try to make new surroundings familiar.

For more information on separation anxiety or to discuss your options, contact The Attach Place today at (916) 403-0588.

The Secret To A Happy Life With Traumatized Children

Dear Parents:

What Is Your Favorite Form of Suffering?

Yep, you read that right.  Every day, I spend quite a bit of time talking to suffering parents of children from difficult beginnings and working to support them to pull their chins up, stay in the parenting long game, and buoy out of the traditional parenting traps of power and punishment.  Personally, I rarely feel suffering in the face of the shenanigans my children can produce and despite the grief and pain I encounter in my work with parents and children.

Anti-Depressants Do Not Stop Suffering

Full disclosure, being genetically predisposed to large mood swings, I take medication to keep me out of suicidal major depression.  What medication does for me is it keeps me inside the normal range of emotion.  Medication, however, does not keep me from suffering the feelings of fear, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness.  I stay out of suffering those with a personal commitment to live my life fully every day.  When I lost my mother in a car accident as a teenager, I made a vow to live every day as though it were my last.  That was well before the pop songs were written. That vow shaped my adult life, so I have a fairly well-developed muscle for being happily alive.

Fear, Loss, Less, and Never

In my experience, most people have favorite forms of parental suffering that fall around four concepts: fear, loss, less, and never.

My child is going to prison in the future if I don’t get his/her behavior under controlFear  

I adopted a child that can’t be part of the family life I always wanted–Loss

Other people get to have reciprocal relationships with their children, and I don’t–Less

My children are never going to have normal lives–Never

I’m not saying don’t feel your feelings.  Do feel your feelings, even share them with yourself, a loved one, or therapist.  The sentences above are not feelings, they are thoughts that produce feelings. If you get stuck in that feedback loop, you will find suffering.

Here is the secret to a happy life with children from difficult beginnings:

  1. Feel your feelings for about 2 minutes tops, then bust the thoughts behind them for what they are (bad habits) and focus on some things you appreciate (good habits).
  2. Find gratitude for the very thing you are suffering over.
  3. Find your favorite form of suffering–fear, loss, less, never—and bust it, replace it, repeat the replacement, recycle.
  4. Vow to live your life with less suffering and more abundance of spirit for living.
  5. Realize that you are playing the parenting long game.  Parenting is right now for the future.

I know Buddha said, “Life is Suffering,” but I think he meant everything changes so don’t cling to any one thing.  To me, that is where the hope lies.  Accept, let go, live.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

SIGN UP HERE: 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): 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.

May 11th Therapeutic Parent Training

Dear Parents:

Mark your calendars for our upcoming Therapeutic Parenting Training.

Traditional parenting cannot heal the wounded hearts of traumatized children. Therapeutic parenting can.

This adoption and trauma-informed training will help you find your way with a comprehensive approach to parenting children from difficult beginnings.  The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Complex Developmental Trauma vs. Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Brain-based Parenting Strategies
  • Impact of Attachment Styles on Parenting Attachment-Challenged Children
  • Conquering Parental Reactivity
  • Zones of Regulation
  • Trust-based Relational Intervention (TBRI)–Empowering, Connecting, Correcting
  • Parenting with P.A.C.E.

Get support, information, coaching, and understanding of what you are experiencing as a parent.

Who Should Attend?

You, if you are a relative, caregiver, guardian, or adoptive parent of a child(ren) from difficult beginnings—maltreatment, neglect, trauma, attachment breach, drug exposure, difficult pregnancy, and/or birth trauma.  This is the help you have been looking for, especially if you have tried everything.

May 11th, 2019   10am to 4pm

Light lunch provided. Bring your own special diet lunch.

Registration required. Cost is $100 per person. No tickets will be issued, but a spot will be reserved for you. This training can be reimbursed by CALVCB.

THIS WORKSHOP IS PROVIDED BY CE ESHELMAN, LMFT, CERTIFIED TBRI PRACTITIONER.

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

SIGN UP HERE: 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): 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.

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.