Do you ever feel that life with your adopted or foster child feels like a pantomime where you never know who is going to turn up on stage next? Your child may be playing contentedly and a moment later, he is a raging Hulk, or a spacey otherworldly creature, or a collapsed vagrant who "deserves" … Continue reading Fragmentation: A pantomime of parts
© Steve Rotman There is much talk in adoption and foster groups about the importance of attachment. But what exactly is it and why should it be on a caregiver's radar? According to the father of attachment theory, John Bowlby (1969), infants are born with a biological drive to seek proximity to a protective adult … Continue reading Attachment: Miss Chaotic AKA the disorganized
© The Trauma Initiative Often people who have had overwhelming experiences—from a car accident to years of physical abuse—are given the advice to “move on.” Or, if the trauma occurred when young, they are told: “you were too young to remember.” While these statements are well-intentioned, they lack an understanding of how trauma works. People … Continue reading Stuck! Unravelling the unconscious memory
© The Trauma Initiative Dr. Peter Levine was the first person to truly understand the stress response and its impact on humans. His exploration of predator-prey relationships in the animal kingdom gave rise to his recognition that humans share similar responses to threats. In the 1970’s, Levine asked the question, “Why do animals in the … Continue reading Stress: Look to the adrenals / kidneys for healing
Many adoptive and foster caregivers find themselves confronted with behaviours that impact daily life—not being able to get out of bed in the morning, throwing things, hoarding food, violence and abuse, sexually acting out, emotionally short-fused, or flat-lined. It is no surprise caregivers seek out mental health professionals to "fix" the behaviours. Psychotherapist and co-author … Continue reading Safety: The antidote to “bad” behaviour
© The Trauma Initiative Trauma is not about a story that happened a long time ago. Trauma is the impact of that event on you. It changes your brain and your sense of self. The treatment for trauma is finding a way in which you can own yourself and be restored to your maximum internal … Continue reading Bessel van der Kolk: What is Neurofeedback?
© The Trauma Initiative The word “trauma” is often misunderstood. Normally when we think about the victims of trauma, our minds jump to those who’ve been in affected by extremely negative events – such as terror or racial attacks, sexual and physical abuse, car accidents, natural catastrophes, or warfare. But Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and … Continue reading Untangling PTSD and Complex PTSD