Many parents ask us if there is hope for their family and/or child. Jeff and Faye do what they do because there is hope. Over the years, they have witnessed and shared in the healing that occurs in loving, therapeutic homes. The work is not easy, nor quick, nor without despair but very rewarding.
Our desire is to facilitate healing of traumatized children by equipping parents and professionals with understand and healing interventions.
Thank you for your interest in learning about the special needs of children with complex trauma. Such trauma can occur from abuse, neglect, abandonment, and even from emotionally distant primary caregivers. We offer specialized training in the impact of early trauma and provide healing interventions. We will make research practical.
Many times parents, direct care staff, teachers, therapists, and
Trauma from neglect, abuse, and abandonment:
The child’s healthy development is derailed with each trauma. Developmental milestones cannot be reached when a child is living in stress and fear and/or when a child does not have an emotionally responsive and attuned caregiver to guide the child through these stages. Imagine the developmental “holes” a child may have from multiple caregivers and placements, abuse, and neglect. Trauma impairs “attachment, biology, affect, dissociation, behavioral regulation, cognition, and self-concept” (
Treatment in the context of relationships:
Counseling 101 instructs clinicians to form a therapeutic relationship with their clients. Traumatized children are adverse to relationships and do not trust adults. These children may be difficult to engage and resistant in revisiting their early trauma. Specific training and creativity are needed to engage a resistant child. To further complicate treatment, some parents are emotionally unavailable due to not understanding the child’s behaviors. Treatment must be in the context of relationships-parent/child if possible-with multiple positive and reparative experiences. The parents may be the first clients-as the clinician helps them explore and resolve their histories, expectations, skills, stress, grief
We encourage parents to use the resources on this website to encourage hopefulness by readying parents to being the healing process.
You Were A Successful Parent Before
Foster and adoptive parents begin the process with abundant hope; hope for improving a child’s future, hope to make changes in the world, hope in building a parent/child relationship, hope to have a child reciprocate love… Many of these parents are or have successfully parented before, why should this child be any different? They willing proceed even when warned the child may “have problems.” They remain hopeful.
Sally and Andy reviewed their soon to be pre-adoptive daughter’s history. This loving couple was informed there were 53 disruptive behaviors recorded in the report. They agreed she may have some issues but they were ready. As the behaviors erupted, their hopefulness equally decreased.
Trauma Lens Paradigm Shift
Helping families “be ready” requires the Trauma Lens Paradigm Shift: psycho-education in trauma, child development, attachment, boundaries, emotional awareness and communication and a vulnerability to form a relationship with a child who does not reciprocate.
Helping professionals in the foster and adoptive world as they desire to see children not just live with but thrive in their new families.
Teaching Parents and Children to Thrive
Professionals in the foster and adoptive world desire to see the children they work with not just live with but thrive in their new families. They know the last thing this child needs is another change in placement. They know the heartbreak, the depression, the violence possible in the child and in the homes. They also know the joy, care, and comfort in the healing homes-and they want this for all their families. They have seen that hope is tangible and accessible in the right home with the prepared parent – the flexible parent – the ones who can see this child differently.
Helping Parents and Cheering Them On
Professionals can help parents be the change agent by providing resources, training, and encouragement. They can stand by the parent during the struggles, be their cheerleader as they travel through the Trauma Lens Paradigm Shift, and empathize with the defeats. Use the resource list to help families look outside of their “normal” parenting styles. Attend training with the parents so that everyone with