One of the most common issues which parents who have had past trauma often have concerns about, is how they react towards their children during and after a trigger or emotional flashback. How they respond to the needs of their children during those overwhelming and often very belittling moments. These parents have experienced some form of life traumas, but I am specifically referring to parents who have had complex childhood trauma, or those who have survived domestic abuse. Some have a diagnosis of PTSD, or CPTSD.
Often their silent plea or direct question to me will come from the same place: Concerns around whether I can help them repair the attachment disruption that has happened between their child and themselves because of their own trauma. They want to break, or at least minimise, the generational trauma.
This is where specialist trauma-informed and attachment-based therapeutic interventions can be very transformative. I have had the honour of witnessing this when I work with clients who have experienced the most horrific relational traumas, including children and young people who had been abused or neglected by their own birth parents. The privilege to see the same clients take huge leaps, make positive changes and great progress before my eyes.
In this type of work, I usually integrate elements from the play therapy model called, Theraplay, and also elements from Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). These therapeutic models are very beneficial if you and your child have experienced trauma, which may or may not have led to attachment disruption. For example, you both may have experienced domestic abuse in the past, or your child may have witnessed the violence and abuse, or there may be a history of birth trauma. You could be a parent with a history of your own childhood trauma, which may have come in the way of your parenting and having a negative impact on your parent-child relationship. This work also includes Therapeutic Re-parenting sessions which will focus on not only reconnection, but also on the deeper repairing and rebuilding of your relationship with your child. In addition to this, there will also be trauma healing sessions for you, the parent. These will include EMDR and Somatic therapeutic approaches.
DDP is parent-child treatment model with its focus on creating emotional connection between your child and yourself, the primary caregiver(s). DDP involves educating parents/carers about the emotional needs of their child and teaching them a set of emotional attunement and limit setting skills to help the child form a more secure attachment. This would be done through the key therapeutic principles of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy. The aim will be on facilitating your child and you to have a better relationship with each other, to help you make more sense of what might be the underlying reasons behind your child’s behavior. This treatment approach is particularly helpful if there is a history of trauma or disruption in attachment. The aim will then be on facilitating your child (with you alongside) to make sense of their current feelings, thoughts and behaviours as well as the things that have happened in the past. The aim would also be to help you ( together with the child ) make sense of how these may be linked.
A large piece of my work with you would also involve supporting you to become more aware of your own trauma triggers and how they are interfering with your parenting, and for us to find ways together for you to navigate this in such way where you build reconnect and repair your relationship with each other.
My work with parents involves helping them to facilitate a secure attachment between them and their child and develop positive discipline strategies. I also support parents by helping them to apply empathic communication and listening skills into their parenting, and to use different strategies such as finding a solution to a conflict in a collaborative manner. This work is an integration of mindful parenting/conscious parenting, peaceful parenting and attachment parenting. All of these parenting approaches are based on humanistic values, attachment theory and trauma-informed.
This therapy model will help your child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy with you.
Although I mainly use this model in my work with family therapy and also integrate it into Individual Therapy sessions with parents, I have recently brought in some of the elements of these into my ‘Parenting with a History of Trauma’ programme (you can read about this here: https://steppingstonespsychology.com/events/parenting-level-1/). However, the most recent development is that I have decided to include these into my membership package. This would mean that any parents who register for the membership will have two types of supportive parenting sessions: One being the Listening Circle sessions led by Wendy Andrews (you can watch about it here:https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=787472362023755 ). The other being the Traume-informed Parenting Session run by myself.
The membership package is still on 50% discount offer of £50 until Wednesday midnight. You can read more about the membership here if you like:
I talk about it here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=215403266466178
To register, please contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can’t afford the membership we do accept donation via our bursary fund if someone you know likes to gift you access to the membership. Here is the link to our bursary fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/bursary-fund-for-trauma-survivors
We currently have a private Facebook group for those who like to stay informed about this service and where I also share free CPTSD-related resources. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PTSDandTraumaSupportPackage/
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