Mad As Hell

 Dear Parents: When your child is “mad as hell,” flashing eye-daggers, hating you out-loud and personal, you can know that she is dissociated.  What does that mean?  Well, there is a complicated, psychobabble explanation, but I will put it here as simply as I can:  She is split off from the part of herself that is monumentally overwhelmed at the…

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In Support of More Adoption Resources for Families in CA, Please Do This Survey

Dear Parents, If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know I rarely use this platform for third party reasons; however, this request can directly benefit adopted families in California if you answer the survey, so I’m thinking you won’t mind.  Thank you for supporting CAFA (Capital Adoptive Families Alliance) by completing this quick survey.  You can skip any…

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They Are Nothing If Not Spiky

Dear Parents: Sometimes when I explain the effects of Complex Developmental Trauma on the brain and therefore on the behavior of a child to a parent, I get a quick push back.  It sounds something like this, “Okay, but she isn’t always like that. Sometimes she is perfectly fine.”   What the parents are telling me without knowing it is…

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Control is a Survival Skill

Dear Parents: You can fight it if you must, but control is the medium through which your child from difficult beginnings feels safe.  Like sky for birds, your attachment challenged child needs the illusion of control lest s/he experience a feeling spiral akin to falling out of the sky and crashing headlong into sure death. The overarching therapeutic parenting goal…

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Attention Is A Real Need

Dear Parents: I have a number of children I work with 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…

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