Failing Forward: Stabilization Before Trauma Playbooks

Trauma treatment is more challenging when the entire family is treated, not just the child. A central reason for this is based on our research on what we term as interactional trauma within Chapter 2 of Treating the Traumatized Child: A Step-by-Step Family Systems Approach. Interactional trauma takes place when there is constant bickering, yelling, […]

Kill the Spider: A Trauma Playbook for Strongholds of Shame

Kill the spider describes what can happen when our client’s minds believe the lies perpetuated by a traumatic event. The result can be the stronghold of shame and require shame therapy. Cobwebs are the metaphor for the child’s trauma symptoms (i.e., depression, aggression, addiction, anger, self-harm) that medicate the stronghold of shame – the spider. Trauma […]

A Hybrid Playbook – Safety First and Wound Work: When an Adolescent Boy is Both Aggressive and Emotionally Abandoned

Today, many adolescent boys feel emotionally abandoned. In Helping Young Boys Expand Their Emotional Language, Chris Lyford shares how we have redefined what it means to be female, but how we have left boys behind. Too many teenage boys and their parents are trapped in an outdated model of masculinity. Our boys cannot shed this […]

Get the Lights On: Basic Needs Before Psychological Needs

Therapy cases can get labeled as “stuck” or “impossible” with clients mistakenly seen as unmotivated or resistant. The implications of mislabeling can range from failure to engage parents in treatment, increased no show rates, premature terminations, unnecessary placement of children into foster care, and no relief for mental health symptoms. This month’s playbook will highlight […]

Restoring Attachments: “You Had Me at Hello!”: A Wild at Heart Weekend With Dad

Ever see the famous ending scene in the 1996 movie “Jerry McGuire”? . Jerry McGuire, played by Tom Cruise, tells his wife, “I love you. You complete me,” and keeps rambling… eventually, Dorothy Boyd, played by Renée Zellweger, shuts him up and tells him, “You had me at hello.” If you have not seen the […]

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