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Why Structural-Strategic Theory is Critical to Your Family Trauma Practice

You’ve been taught how to work with individuals. You’re most likely familiar with Cognitive Behavior, Attachment Theory, and/or Psychodynamic Theory. But how do you integrate this knowledge to move from treating the traumatized child to treating the traumatized family? At the Family Trauma Institute, we believe the answer is Structural-Strategic Theory. Understanding Structural-Strategic theory helps […]

Helicopter Parenting Can Affect
Childhood Anxiety

In working with mental health professionals around the world, they often tell me they are seeing increased anxiety in their clients. And, they have found that the most anxious children live in households with adults who display over-the-top protecting behaviors. These adults swoop in and rescue their children at the slightest sign of disappointment or […]

What Makes Kids with Oppositional Defiance
So Defiant?

Children and adolescents with oppositional and defiant behavior (ODD) are often referred to treatment because of extreme emotional or behavior problems – aggression, disrespect, skipping school, self-harm, suicide, running away – and not the underlying trauma and unhealthy family dynamics that are the real cause of the problem. Parents will come into your treatment with […]

A Groundbreaking Intervention
to Change Stuck Cases

We’ve all been there. We make progress with traumatized clients and their families and then the forward momentum stops. Families get stuck. Often the traditional therapy method to change a stuck system is to guide clients into thinking their way into a new way of acting by offering them new insights. A less known way […]

One Simple Question Can Change the Direction and Outcome of Therapy

Mental health is a vast profession with hundreds of specializations and numerous types of clients. No matter our various approaches or client specialties, one constant thread throughout the profession: We want to improve the lives of those with whom we work. I have found that one simple question can bring positive outcomes for many. Whether […]

Engage Parents With Inspiration Before Treatment

We’ve all worked with difficult parents. Parents who: Maintain a “just fix my kid” mindset. Resist the solutions you offer. Do not show up for therapy sessions. When I first began my career, I blamed the parents. I thought they were unmotivated, or even untreatable. I soon found that frame-of-mind didn’t heal my clients; nor […]

A Connection Playbook Helps Heal Emotionally Abandoned Teen

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 […]

Engage Your Clients in Positive,
Praise-Saturated Talk

As mental health professionals, we know traumatized families often are stuck in negative thinking: It’s not me (parent or caregiver). Just fix my child. Critical, problem-focused accusations. Explosive, reactionary discipline. Our job is to disrupt the destructive behavior patterns and re-focus children and their caregivers on moving forward. At the Family Trauma Institute, we train […]

Healing Trauma from a Family Systems Lens

“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” First coined by the philosopher Aristotle, this idiom embodies the spirit of the FST | Family Systems Trauma approach. Trained to treat traumatized individuals, families and couples from a client-centered approach, mental health professionals employ cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy and developmental therapy models. All great approaches […]

Structuring Family Sessions for Success

You know family relationships are complicated. You know family therapy involves navigating unhealed wounds among multiple personalities and communication styles. With what you know, do you find yourself searching for session structure to begin resolving decades-old conflict? The Family Trauma Institute approach includes techniques and tools for mental health professionals to use in structuring family […]

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