Preventing Relapse in Traumatized Families: The Troubleshooting Technique

Relapse occurs when our clients initially get worse before they get better. It is like stretching a rubber band that will snap back as soon as we let go. Over time, a child’s problem symptoms (i.e., self-harm, aggression, anxiety, extreme disrespect, etc.) that are caused by a traumatic event often become the new normal in […]

Healing Family Trauma: Two Families, One Tragedy

On July 19, 2018, an amphibious vehicle, known as a duck boat, encountered a thunderstorm during a sightseeing tour on Table Rock Lake, near Branson Missouri. The boat sank, killing 31 passengers. For many of us, the event was only a blip on our radar. However, the families involved are left with ongoing emotional and […]

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 […]

Rethink Child Trauma Using Feedback Loops

Unhealed child trauma impacts not only the child but the family as well. I often see family members with trauma symptoms when they are dealing with an out-of-control, traumatized child. One father told me: “As the dad, I am supposed to protect my child from hurt and pain. When my daughter started cutting on her […]

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 Too many teenage boys and their parents are trapped in an outdated model of masculinity.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 […]

What Can We Learn From the Santa Fe Shooting: The Mindset Must Change

In the wake of the Santa Fe Shooting, we are likely to respond with the same blame focus as with the Parkland school shooting (more gun control, a broken mental health system, bad parenting, bad President, etc.) instead of looking at how our mindset needs to change. On May 18, 2018, 10 people were fatally […]

Trauma and Nutrition: Why Nutrition is Not Typically Part of Trauma Treatment and What to Do About It

Despite the advances of nutritional therapy over the last 30 years, there is often limited to no inclusion of nutrition as part of the trauma treatment for children and families with PTSD. Diet and nutrition can be a powerful tool to influence change in both the body and brain of a child and/or family member […]

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 […]

The iFamily and its Link to Rising Teen Suicides: Causes and Solutions

For the first time in more than two decades, suicide is killing more teenagers than homicide. Teen suicide is on the rise. Time Magazine reports that anxiety and depression is skyrocketing with an estimated 30% of girls and 20% of boys (about 6.3 million teens) have reported anxiety disorders and three million teens ages 12 […]

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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