A Connection Playbook Helps Heal Emotionally Abandoned Teen

“Contrary to popular belief, trauma can be healed… without long hours of therapy; without painful reliving of memories; and without a continuing reliance on medication.”

In their book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, Levine and Frederick (1997, p. 38) write: “Contrary to popular belief, trauma can be healed… without long hours of therapy; without painful reliving of memories; and without a continuing reliance on medication.

At the Family Trauma Institute (FTI), we provide tools, techniques and step-by-step training to help mental health professionals and wraparound specialists achieve this goal.

Our research has shown when therapists treat traumatized children and families through a systems framework, change can be far-reaching and permanent.

Whether through FREE monthly webinars, online digital training courses or our private, professional Facebook community, FTI offers experiential learning by teaching FST | Family Systems Trauma techniques with real case studies.

One of our fundamental 12 Techniques is the FST Playbook. In helping readers grasp the Playbook concept, we highlight the case of 17-year-old Steve and his family. (See the complete Playbook here.)

Upon reaching an impasse in working with Steve on abandonment issues, Steve’s therapist reached out to me for a consult.

Traditional Treatment

The therapist’s initial assessment was that Steve felt emotionally abandoned by his parents and used anger as self-protection.

During treatment, the therapist employed the following interventions to address the physical and verbal abuse Steve’s parents endured.

  • Nurturance strategies
  • Psychoeducation to address Steve’s fragile sense of self and ADHD diagnosis, and
  • Parenting strategies for Mom and Dad to become more consistent and structured.

While the parents love their son, they withdrew from him to avoid conflict and being hurt.

Connection Playbook

One of the techniques I recommended was the FST Playbook to jump-start emotional connectedness between Steve and his parents.

The Playbook gave the family clear directions in a who, what, where, when, and how format. By clarifying each person’s role, the family had a roadmap to begin healing. They had a framework within which to address Steve’s feelings of emotional abandonment and establish a safe place for forgiveness, security, and unconditional love among all members of the family.

In my next free webinar, Trauma Techniques We Learn Too Late, I will share more details about the FST Playbook. Register here.

Committed to helping mental health professionals become family trauma experts, I look forward to continuing to share FST Techniques and case studies as you grow confidence in working with traumatized children and their families.

Dr. Scott Sells

Dr. Scott Sells

Dr. Scott Sells is the founder of the Family Trauma Institute and developer of the FST | Family Systems Trauma model.
Read Dr. Sells’ bio.

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