Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home/attachpl/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-live-chat-support/functions.php on line 1811
Therapy for Attachment Disorder Children | The Attach Place

Archive for Therapy for Attachment Disorder Children

Hey Peeps: How Awesome Is This?

Dear Parents:

Click here for a wonderful surprise.  Yay, world, for recognizing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) as a reality!  It’s what we live with every day in the form of our beautiful traumatized children.  

COMING SOON…

Therapeutic ParentingAdoptive Parents

 

Complex Developmental Trauma, Complex Trauma, Be looking out for my upcoming THRIVE Parenting Mastermind Support Circle launch.  THRIVE Parenting is a monthly therapeutic parenting membership to get up-to-date treatment information, therapeutic parenting information, coaching, and community connection/support with other parents for raising your child(ren) from difficult beginnings.

All this for the price of one therapy session. What?  You can’t beat it. You know you are the best therapist for your child, and you also know how hard it is to get the support you need to be your most informed, regulated self. I am so excited to bring this experience to you online, so you don’t need a babysitter–Woot!

If you want to be sure to get registration news, you can send an email to ce@attachplace.com with the word “Mastermind” in the subject line and I will make sure you get THRIVE dates and specifics.  Looking forward to THRIVING together.

Love matters,

Ce

Holiday Childcare Opportunity in Sacramento

Good Cheer Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Andrea, our Special Services Coordinator, and a great adoptive parent, Abby, cooked up the idea that parents of children from difficult beginnings have trouble getting out without children in order to prepare for the holidays–that’s a duh to all of you, right?

To that end, in Sacramento, CA, The Attach Place will be providing a low-cost therapeutic childcare opportunity on December 16, 2017 from 2pm to 6pm. Kids will have structured activities (Andrea is calling this a Kids Holiday Party, but we are keeping that under wraps to manage regulation) and parents can have unstructured away time to do what you do (no one will ever know what you actually do).

Contact Andrea@attachplace.com to reserve a space, which, of course, is limited; so jump on this.

The cost is $20 for the whole time for each child.

Love matters,

Ce

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events in Sacramento…

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Pizza Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. December 15th, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Pizza and snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough pizza, right? 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 pizza 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.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–6-8 yrs group and 9 to 11 yrs group.  The groups will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin in January 2018.  Contact Jen@attachplace.com for more details.

If you haven’t responded to the Capital Adoptive Family Alliance (California residents only) survey about needs you have for your family while raising adopted children, here is the linkFill it out now!  That is my way of encouraging everyone to answer the survey questions to the best of your ability. You can skip anything that you don’t want to answer.  This is a way to get funding channeled to adoptive parents.  Super special opportunity for all of us adoptive families who need financing for services.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on December 13th, 2017! Open to all parents/caregivers 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

FOLLOW US:  Twitter @lovingradkids and @Attachmenthelp or Facebook.

If Your Traumatized Child Were A Dog…

Dear Parents,

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

I read this today on the I Heart Dogs blog:

If you believe you aren’t your dog’s favorite person, but you would like to be, there are some things you can do to improve your bond with them. The best thing to do is spend at least 30 minutes of focused, one-on-one time with your dog every day. This time should be spent doing something active such as playing fetch or tug, having a training session, or trying a new sport such as agility or flyball where you and your dog can work together as a team.

Now apply that to your attachment challenged, traumatized child.

Go play.

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming Events in Sacramento…

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Pizza Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. December 15th, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Pizza and snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough pizza, right? 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 pizza 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.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–6-8 yrs group and 9 to 11 yrs group.  The groups will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin in January 2018.  Contact Jen@attachplace.com for more details.

If you haven’t responded to the Capital Adoptive Family Alliance (California residents only) survey about needs you have for your family while raising adopted children, here is the linkFill it out now!  That is my way of encouraging everyone to answer the survey questions to the best of your ability. You can skip anything that you don’t want to answer.  This is a way to get funding channeled to adoptive parents.  Super special opportunity for all of us adoptive families who need financing for services.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on December 13th, 2017! Open to all parents/caregivers 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

FOLLOW US:  Twitter @lovingradkids and @Attachmenthelp or Facebook.

Never Underestimate Dysregulation

Dear Parents,

I had a therapy session today with an eleven-year-old boy whose dysregulated state looked just like paranoid schizophrenia.  If his parents were not there to tell me he is not always that way, hands down, I would have misdiagnosed him.  He was dysregulated by my miscalculation about his tolerance for role play.  Instead of getting my point (which I genuinely thought he would), he became humiliated and interpreted me as simply mimicking him.  I didn’t mean to humiliate him though, and he couldn’t recover despite my apology.

That is a bad feeling.  I don’t usually use that method to break through a child’s defense and now I remember why.  It sometimes backfires in a big way.  I hope I can gain his trust back.

If you are a parent who is prone to sarcasm, you may have found yourself resorting to mimicry to get your point across to your attachment challenged child. Take a lesson from me, they have tender underbellies and little tolerance for the gut-stabbing feeling of humiliation. The wound can be deep and long lasting.

Make yourself as safe as you possibly can to the tender parts of your defense-protected child. Our children need to trust we will not hurt them.  I will be making great effort to get this young boy’s trust back.  If you have hurt your child, on purpose or by accident, work very hard to re-establish trust and safety by making a sincere apology and taking the high road every chance you get.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
picture of cover

Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents

 

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Parenting 101

Our children do not cause our poor parenting behavior–yelling, demanding, demeaning, belittling, overpowering, physicality, threatening, arguing, meanness, etc.  Those behaviors belong to us and no amount of attachment challenged child behavior is responsible for our “low road” reactions.
 
Because this is true, I have mastered the art of the sincere apology.  I often owe that to both of my children.  Whenever I suggest that parents owe an apology to their children before expecting their children to sincerely apologize, I get push back like there is no tomorrow.  
 
“Absolutely not!” retorted one parent, when I asked if she had something to apologize for after she wrongly accused her daughter of something she had actually done herself.  “If she didn’t lie all the time, I wouldn’t have falsely accused her.”  Okay, but you did wrongly accuse her, and really you owe her a sincere apology for wronging her, right?  “No.”  Hmmmm.
 
If we expect our children to sincerely feel remorse and apologize for their wrongs, then we have to model it first.  Otherwise, we are blaming them for our behavior.  
 
Isn’t that what they often infuriatingly do to YOU?
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly, no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Next group is October 14th at a NEW time–5:30 pm.Join us.  Online RSVP each month required when you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates are October 10th and 24th.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up by calling 916-403-0588 x1 or email attachplace@yahoo.com.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Being the grown-up is so hard sometimes.

Evolution of a Disorder

Don’t forget to let your children emotionally evolve.  I wish there were a shorthand way of saying my formerly diagnosed reactive attachment disordered child (FDRAD has so many possibilities), so I can pay homage to the history without sticking my children firmly in the past.  
 
The history is important because there are residual effects of RAD long into adulthood.  Still, RAD is not the primary issue into adulthood.  The FDRAD issues usually revolve around attention, dysregulation, poor decision-making, lack of motivation, and delayed maturity.  While these are significant issues, they are not attachment issues, per se; they are executive function issues.   
 
Poor executive function is the result of regulation difficulties in early childhood due to attachment challenges and trauma on the brain. So, regulation is the ultimate goal of all treatment.  Be sure regulation is being addressed in your therapeutic model at every age.  
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly, no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Next group is October 14th at a NEW time–5:30 pm.Join us.  Online RSVP each month required when you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates are October 10th and 24th.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up by calling 916-403-0588 x1 or email attachplace@yahoo.com.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Take a look at The Zone’s of Regulation curriculum if your therapist hasn’t already implemented it.  Turns out it is effective for teaching regulation to any age child or adult (including yourself.)

Dysregulation Is An Human Condition

When I was in school, I learned that a becomes an when put in front of an h.  Is that a thing still?   Dysregulation Is An Human Condition (today’s title) just doesn’t sound right, but a or an aside, dysregulation in traumatized humans is still a thing.
 
I was working with an almost 18-year-old attachment challenged, formerly maltreated, boy yesterday and I realized that his very, very, nice demeanor was really a dysregulated state.  Shabam! Nearly got by me. 
 
He was here for one chronic misbehavior; otherwise, he wouldn’t be back here, as he graduated from my care nearly 6 years ago.  I did two sessions of cognitive behavioral conversation with him and assessed for deeper attachment challenged reasons for his misbehavior, when suddenly a revelation.  He sweetly (not oppositionally) says, “I don’t know” to nearly everything I ask, as though he knows nothing about himself.  After some serious digging, he was able to say that he is nice and smart, maybe.  
 
Turns out he has a dysregulation “tell.”  When he gets a rise in cortisol (stress hormone from dysregulation) his face does not change one tiny perceptible degree and his body stays relaxed looking and still; although, he does become even nicer and seemingly more empty saying, “I don’t know” to unpredictable questions.
 
Now that I know his “tell,” I can help him begin to notice how he is on the inside.  Before, it just seemed like there was no there there, which is never true. Once he begins to notice his own dysregulation, the odds quadruple for changing that one chronic misbehavior of his from the inside out.
 
Do you have a chronically nice child from difficult beginnings? Investigate her tell.  Explore her inner landscape for hidden dysregulation that is keeping your child’s personality from blossoming or holding a few negative behaviors frustratingly static. 
 
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Next group is September 9th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required only if you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  every other month.  Our next course begins August 22nd and August 29th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Our kids need help knowing what is happening to them emotionally on the inside, so they have a better chance of making thoughtful decisions and good choices on the outside. 

School Is About To Start

Oh, the dreaded morning routine drama…  Back to school brings this up full force.  Some of us have it every day, year-round, with no time off for summer.  YOU are not alone, but I know you feel like it when it is 7:45 am and you are going to be late for work because your darling child moves like cold molasses.  

 

First of all, check your own cortisol spike from fear and frustration: 

I am going to lose my job, my client, my reputation, my mind…I hate being late…my mom/dad would have killed me if I acted this way…he is never going to be able to get a job or survive with this behavior…  Look who is in survival mode now!

 

BREATHE long slow breaths until you get some perspective. Your child is not going to be an ax-murderer or skid-row dude because he is struggling to get with the socially acceptable morning routine.

 

If you are actually about to lose your job over this, hire someone to transition your child in the mornings or beg a neighbor or friend’s parent to do this for you.  Talk to your boss, schedule later appointments if you can, tag team with your partner, accept that this is your current lot in life so you can stop feeling like an atomic bomb is going off in your family every morning.

 

Face some realities.   YOU chose to adopt a child and that rarely comes without the challenge of special needs. I am not blaming YOU, only reminding that adoption is a choice and comes with certain hardships of which morning routine shenanigans are just drops in a big bucket. Maltreated kids were often abused in the morning because of the morning routines, so our kids fear, dislike, resist, and deeply avoid mornings.  YOU are such a good thing in your child’s life that morning feels INTENSELY SAFE, SNUG, COZY and DELICIOUS in ways that cannot be explained in words.  The feelings say: I need to stay here in bed forever because it feels better than any other thing and I need to feel this SAFE, ATTACHED feeling more than I need to brush my teeth, put my clothes on, or get you to work on time.  Sorry Mom/Dad. Sorry, I just can’t change right now. Please still love me, but I know you won’t. No one else has.

 

In no way am I intending to hit you right between the eyes.  I am, however, trying to have integrity and speak as truthfully and insightfully as I can, so you can find ways to accept, stay loving, and little by little move your baby into childhood, your child into adolescence, your adolescent into adulthood with hearts and minds intact.

 

Patience is a true virtue.  Personally, I was not blessed with much of it.  I have to work hard at it every single day of my parenting life. Sometimes I succeed.

Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Next group is August 12th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  every other month.  Our next course begins August 22nd and August 29th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Morning routines from Hell require virtues from Heaven. 

Split Off Parts

When children have been abandoned, neglected, abused or maltreated in early childhood, their brains physiologically hard wire their regulatory systems into fairly fixed and heightened states of neurochemical arousal. Essentially, they are perpetually geared-up and on their marks for a fight, a sprint, or an immediate shutdown in the face of real or even imagined hints of danger.  Not their fault.
 
Along with this biological imperative to survive at all cost, the child’s psyche is susceptible to shutting off parts of awareness in order to compartmentalize disturbing material into manageable emotional bodies we clinicians often refer to as “parts.”  When I talk about splitting off parts, I am talking about these emotional bodies of experience and reaction that can be in or out of a person’s conscious experience. Children usually have no awareness of these parts.  That is why they often don’t remember when they have done something awful to YOU or their sibling or their teacher.  It was a part of them, they do not yet know about, jumping into action, then just as quickly receding back into the psyche’s island of bad boys and girls until the next time.
 
I am not talking about complete splits, as in what we colloquially call multiple personalities with names and separate histories, though that is the result of similar severe circumstances.  I am talking about triggered moments of irrational meanness, viscousness, violence and vile verbal assaults.  I am talking about triggered moments of instant regression into a screaming 2-year-old, only the child is far from that actual age. I am talking about triggered impulsive acts of diving into pornographic darkness, sexual enactments, senseless stealing, attempts to kill an animal, or extreme expression of gory, bloody flashbacks.
 
These moments can scare us parents into survival modes of our own.  We become frightened of our children.  We start thinking in terms of good and evil. We pull back and self-protect. We start imagining the worst case scenarios and outcomes for the future. We lock our bedroom doors. We begin serious consideration of sending them to treatment.  Those are all normal responses to abnormal circumstances. 
 
While residential treatment may be necessary, it is not required to deal with most child “parts.” Trauma treatment is, however, necessary to help the child acknowledge and increase tolerance for the experience and intense emotions each part is literally holding for the child.  
 
In everyday life, we can begin to understand our children and become a trauma-informed parent.  We can begin to be therapeutic and healing with our children by being curious about what they thought happened just before they, for example, bit you, what they felt when biting you, and how they experienced the event afterward.  Identify their feelings to them if they cannot.  Ask them to feel their body sensations, so they can identify moments when they may be emotionally dysregulated.  Teach them about their own body responses and their actions.  Give them skills for managing these intense experiences. Be soothing, loving, empathic and informed about what is really going on and how YOU can be part of the solution.  Healing is possible.

Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Next group is August 12th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  every other month.  Our next course begins August 22nd and August 29th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Don’t let fear get in the way of being therapeutic.

The Effects of Emotional Abuses on Children

The aftereffects of emotional abuse and neglect on top of attachment challenge can be amazingly detrimental to our children.  The worst of which is not the behavior we see in the immediate years after our beautiful children come home to us, but rather what we see manifest years down the road when the development of our child’s self is so painfully distorted, disturbed and delayed.
Believe it or not, research shows that emotional abuse and emotional neglect are more harmful long term than sexual or physical abuse on children.  How in the world can that be? Well, it is much easier to pinpoint the cause of a child’s disturbance if we know what caused it (e.g. Your birth mom hit you…Your best friend’s father raped you…), so the treatment, while difficult, is specifically focused.
Emotional abuses of neglect, dark attunement, negativity, anger, rejection, control, absence, and hatefulness are like the water in the proverbial boiling pot that cooks the frog to death.  The frog just sees the water as pervasive in the same way we experience air; it is not experienced as a perpetrator of its demise, but rather the medium in which all life exists. Our children have the same vantage point.  Emotional abuse is the air in which they grow up.
Years down the road when our children begin to show up as significantly disturbed and relationally impaired, the environment of pervasive emotional abuse and neglect will be nearly impossible to pinpoint without guidance, and it must be identified and processed in order for your child to heal.
Yep, that’s it for today.  I am on vacation.  I have time to think.  It is a dangerously heady place for me to be.  YOU are on the receiving end of my pondering.  Apologies.
I am actually on my way to the beach.  Life is good.
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Next group is August 12th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
The Attach Place is offering a weekend workshop for couples on July 18th and 19th, 9am to 5pm each day, to help you create the loving relationship you want and deserve.   Jennifer Olden, MFT and Certified Emotionally Focused Therapy Supervisor, will conduct a two-day Hold Me Tight Couples Workshop.  For more information, call Jennifer at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships 916-403-0588, Ext 3.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  every other month.  Our next course begins August 22nd and August 29th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Life’s a beach.  Today anyway.