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Northwest Arkansas Therapy

Beyond Scared March 26, 2015

I found this somewhere else, but so clearly expresses the same point of view.  Susan

Beyond Scared.

by:  Deborah A. Novo

surviveTeenYears (2)It is natural to feel apprehensive and scared navigating through some of life’s challenges and expectations. Much of the time, we can do this with confidence and competence. However, scared doesn’t begin to identify the depth and breadth of the feeling that is experienced when our children with Reactive Attachment Disorder anticipate or perceive abandonment. The feeling could be more accurately described as panic and terror.

People outside the child’s inner circle may find it hard to believe the degree of distress and impairment that is observed and the myriad of triggers. One of our sons purposefully failed a school year so he wouldn’t have to graduate. His belief was that if he graduated he would “be deserted and on his own.”

Our other son and his girlfriend break up and he is in terror mode feeling like an infant again with no one to care for him. Despite their innumerable breakups they have never been “broken up” more than minutes as he frantically begs her not to leave.

When our children were younger triggers included me leaving the house to get groceries, them standing in the outfield during their baseball game, feeling rejected by classmates, spending respite at their grandparents among many, many other examples.

It is essential that mental health professionals, teachers and others involved understand the scope of emotion that real or perceived abandonment can provoke. Fearing abandonment on a chronic basis changes your brain and has significant, potentially life long, implications in creating connection and stability in relationships, academic success, sustaining employment and keeping oneself emotionally regulated and happy.

As parents, it is important to be prepared and respond appropriately. I have learned, through the years, that the best support you can give is a consistent, calm and empathetic response during these, often volatile, reactions. Anything else fuels their panic. There are tools that our family uses with the intention of balancing and healing their whole being so they can learn to soothe themselves and use their reasoning brain. Strategies such as yoga (free online yoga classes for all ages and levels at www.doyogawithme.com), Emotional Freedom Technique (free and easy instruction at www.emofree.com) and doing Brain Gym exercises are a few fun and very effective examples. When our sons were younger we would leave notes with the respite provider, to be given periodically, while we were away from our home. The notes had simple phrases that said, “we believe in you” and “you are safe and loved.” We still do this, but we now text these messages. I have placed Power Ranger stickers on my youngest son’s chest prior to his baseball games to remind him of the “power” within him. We recently resurrected his favorite stuffed version of that Power Ranger to help this now older teen. We continue to engage in quiet activities such as drawing, board games, Reiki and lots of hugs to minimize their intense reactions and promote their attachment, safety and self worth.

I have discovered that every experience, ultimately, has its benefits. For me, I have developed infinite compassion, advanced problem solving skills, articulate boundaries, self care and advocacy skills for my family. When parenting our special children there is no shortage of opportunity to practice growing in wisdom and love!

 

 

Why are there no support groups? November 24, 2014

……asked one mother of a RAD kid….

I quickly retorted….Because there is too much embarrassment and shame….No adoptive parent adopts with this in mind……

They are too embarrassed because their child is always a perfect angel at someone else’s house…

No one knows about the anger directed towards you; the yelling, screaming directed towards you; and pain involved.

They are too ashamed because they get so many critical looks reflecting that they should “just spank the kid”;

or give more consequences.

Or they get looks and comments which communicate that something must be something WRONG WITH YOU, as a parent, that you can not control your child.

Or just the opposite…..

They get too many looks or comments which communicate…

you are too hard on him; or all he needs is love;

but she is always so polite at my house…you just misunderstand him…..

 

I communicated to the mom to not be ashamed nor embarrassed for we are dealing with the one percent of the children which nothing seems to work.

But there is hope if you are willing to try something different…and I would bet you are…or you would not be calling me now.

 

 

Sensitive Children October 15, 2014

Filed under: Parenting,Relationships,SENSITIVE CHILDREN,Therapy — beyondpondering @ 4:02 pm

THIS IS NOT NEW BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT

Northwest Arkansas Therapy “Hope, Growth, Discovery”
January 7
Raising a Sensitive Child
by Sue Fliess

He cries at the drop of a hat—or a toy, in this case. She crumbles if you raise your voice at her, even slightly. He seems to have a bionic sense of smell. Before you write your child off as a drama queen, consider the fact that this behavior may be innate.

Research by Dr. Elaine Aron shows that a high degree of sensitivity is often a physiological reality with which some children are born. Despite what other parents may tell you, it’s not due to a deficiency in confidence or social skills, and it’s certainly not something you as parents have, or ever had, control over.

Sensitive children have different, or perhaps more exaggerated, reactions to things. They don’t act the way you’d expect a typical child should in many situations. Unfortunately, in our society, this is often seen as weakness. But according to Jeremy G. Schneider, a MFT (marriage and family therapist), it’s just the opposite. Says Schneider, “The reality is that sensitive children have a gift. They are able to experience the world at a higher level than average children.”

What earmarks a child as ‘highly sensitive’? Highly sensitive children may exhibit one or all of the following traits. Schneider explains that the key is to notice a pattern of behavior, as well as the degree to which a child exhibits one or more of the following:

Is your child highly sensitive to his/her senses? An excellent sense of smell or hearing? Very sensitive to pain?
Does your child get emotionally overwhelmed easily? Does she feel a wide, yet intense range of emotions? Does she sometimes get so excited she withdraws?
Does your child have a depth greater than his peers, or even adults? Does he ask profound questions, think a lot on his own or reflect on his experiences?
Is your child highly aware of her surroundings? Does she notice when small household items are moved or minor changes in others, like a haircut?
Is your child very sensitive to other people’s emotions? Does he notice when someone is feeling sad and try to help him? Does he seem especially sensitive to the feelings of animals?

Realizing your child is highly sensitive can be tough. Not tough to understand, but tough to swallow. Don’t depair! It’s better that you know early on, and take steps toward helping him deal with his world going forward. Schneider offers these two tips to parents to help their children maintain their sensitivity and confidence without making them feel they are not like other kids:

Adjust your behavior, not your child’s. Don’t try to force her to adapt to society’s demands. Love and accept your sensitive child unconditionally. You cannot change who he is. He needs to know you love him no matter how he perceives or reacts to the world.

Become partners. Work with your child to create ways to interact with the world safely. For instance, she’ll likely have an easier time interacting with classmates 1:1 than in larger groups, so set up individual play dates so she gets comfortable with several classmates.

Focus on strengths. Sensitivity is practically a stigma in the U.S. and it’s important not to “label” your child. Help him understand that he experiences the world more deeply than most children, and help him see the strengths associated with this. He may notice things most people don’t, have a better imagination, focus or concentrate better, be a gifted student, or empathize and be sensitive to others.

Make small changes. If you need to make changes to your child’s environment, make them little by little. She will feel less overwhelmed.

Nudge, don’t push. Most highly sensitive children get easily distressed when they have to make a decision. They often reject opportunities out of fear. Sometimes the best thing you can do is nudge your child to take a risk or try something new. The same goes for punishment. He’ll respond better to you gently correcting his behavior, rather than yelling at him. If your highly sensitive child knows you will be there for him and love him no matter what he is feeling, he’ll have less hesitation in new situations, and will be less self-conscious or risk-averse. If he knows you’re not going to push him to be something he’s not, you’ll both be a lot more relaxed and prepared for the road ahead.
You can help your child deal with the world and all the unexpected noise and upset it can throw out at us. Highly sensitive or not, all children need that parental security blanket every now and then.

 

PARADIGMS September 30, 2014

Filed under: counseling,Relationships,Therapy — beyondpondering @ 12:36 am
Tags: , , , ,

Okay, I have had writers block. I haven’t written in a while. Here goes…

PARADIGMS:  

A MILLION AND ONE WAYS TO LOOK AT THE WORLD

 YET I WILL BOIL IT DOWN TO ONLY

TWO FUNDAMENTAL PARADIGMS:

Problem Focused or Solution Focused

What is a paradigm?

According to Merriam-Webster :

A:  par·a·digm noun \ˈper-ə-ˌdīm, ˈpa-rə- also -ˌdim\

B: a model or pattern for something that may be copied

C: a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about

1:  example, pattern; especially :  an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype

2:  an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms

3:  a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly :  a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.

Other words used to describe paradigm are: Example, pattern standard archetype, exemplar, and prototype.

 

So what does this have to do with counseling? There are a million and one ways to theorize about how human beings function, think, live, and process their emotions; and a million and one techniques to go with them. The Arkansas Board of Counseling mentions just a few listed below.

 Individual Therapy Focus

Cognitive Behavioral

Reframing exercises

Self-talk

Self-analysis/self-evaluation/self-assessment

Homework therapy

Relaxation techniques

Muscle relaxation

Deep breathing

Cognitive imagery

Guided imagery

Systematic desensitization

Problem-solving skills training

Self-monitoring

Cognitive restructuring

Role playing social problem-solving situations

Self-reinforcement

Self-instruction

Modeling

Positive incentives

Behavioral rehearsal

Monitoring negative thoughts

Restructuring negative or maladaptive thoughts

Person-Centered

Active listening

Reflection of feelings

Clarification

Empathy

Unconditional Positive Regard

Congruence

Adlerian

Gathering life history (genogram, family constellation, early recollections) ·

Therapeutic contracts

Homework assignments

Paradoxical intention

Suggestions

Confrontation

Interpretation

Providing encouragement

Paraphrasing

“Aha” experience

Catching Oneself

Acting “as if”

Gestalt

Reliving /re-experiencing unfinished business

Confrontation

Staying with feelings

Role playing

Empty chair

Creative expression (art, poetry, writing, movement)

Psychodrama

Putting feelings or thoughts into action

Body awareness (breathing awareness)

Guided imagery

Focusing on the here and now

Behavior

Reinforcement techniques

Relaxation methods

Modeling

Assertion/social skills training

Self-management programs

Behavioral rehearsal

Coaching

Contracts

Homework assignments

Reality

Evaluation of present behavior

Willingness to change

Development of specific plan to change

Awareness of how life would be different

Commitment to follow through with plan

Psychoanalytic

Interpretation

Dream analysis

Free association

Analysis of resistance

Analysis of transference

Questioning to develop case history

Existential

Identification of responsibility avoidance

Confronting irresponsibility

Owning of feelings, statements and actions

Attacking “wish” avoidance

Attacking affect avoidance

Unblocking decision-making

 Family Therapy Focus

From General Systems Theory:

Transgenerational/Bowenian/Contextual

Boundary making

Family sculpting

Genogram

Family reconstruction

Therapeutic contract

Going home assignments

Differentiation assignments

Family ledger

Structural

Enactments

Unbalancing

Tracking

Assess family structure

Assess family rules/roles

Reframing

Draw-A-Person

Kinetic Family Drawings

Family play

Strategic

Assess hierarchy/power

Circular questioning

Miracle question

Scaling questions

Exception questions

“As-if” assignments

Homework assignments

“Go slow” messages

Experiential

Positive connotations

Paradoxical interventions

Rituals

Ordeal assignments

Prescribing the symptom

Behavioral parent training

Restraining techniques

Identifying self-defeating patterns

Invariant prescription

2nd order changes

Family Sculpting

Family drawings

Hypnosis/trance

Here-and-now techniques

There-and-then techniques

Narrative

Questioning (opening space, meaning, future)

Deconstruction

Co-construction

Re-storying

Externalizing

Mapping influence of problem

Find Exceptions to Problem

Therapist’s letter-writing

Preferred view of self/from others

Psychoanalytic Family Therapy/Object Relations

Participant observation

Listening

Avoid reassuring, advising, confronting ·

Interpretation

Avoid counter transference

Integrative Family Therapy

Language of parts

Internal conversations

Micro/Macro lenses

Solution focus

 

WOW ! ARE YOU CONFUSED YET ?

MANY THEORIES HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT AND

MORE THEORIES COME EVERYDAY.

 

Okay, I will help you get off the Merry Go Round. I try to keep things simple. Everything listed above have been thought over and discussed thoroughly over the ages. They serve their purpose and help people. Yet even within the before mentioned paradigms, points of view, theories, techniques and approaches…

 

Therapy can be either

“PROBLEM FOCUSED”

or

“SOLUTION FOCUSED”

      Over the years of practice, I have done both approaches and have eventually come to prefer the “SOLUTION FOCUSED” approach. After using and watching both in action, I gravitated to the one, which seemed to me, proved more successful.

Here, let me give a brief synopsis.  PROBLEM FOCUSED:

“You are sad. You are so sad. How sad are you? So sad you couldn’t get out of bed for a week. So sad you couldn’t take a shower. So sad you couldn’t wash you hair or brush your teeth. So sad you couldn’t get up and let the dog out…..So sad the dog has now pooped on the floor…..”

Down……

Down…

Down…

Down….

Even I got depressed!

(The focus was on the problem of sadness.)

 

SOLUTION FOCUSED:

“You are sad. Okay…But I see you got yourself up…neat and clean, make up on…you got yourself here…Where did you get the energy and wisdom to come to a counselor?”

“Oh…you have known for a while you wanted to see a therapist and you finally made up you mind and made the phone call.”

“Yes, seeing a therapist is scary. But you know what? Most people do not even make the first phone call. Just the fact you made the call then showed up today, tells me a lot about how intelligent you are, your determination, and your willingness to do better in life. Congratulations…you are ahead of most people.”

(The focus is on strengths.)

Solution focus does not deny problems. On the other hand, why should strengths be denied? To me Solution focused is more balanced and healthier.

 

 

 

I have been saying this for years ! November 7, 2013

Filed under: ADHD,adoption,Attention Deficiet,Parenting,Relationships,Therapy — beyondpondering @ 6:12 pm
Induced birthing procedures using synthetic oxytocin (pitocin) have proven to increase the risk of ADHD. In a study of 300 children whose mothers received Pitocin at birth to induce labor, 80 % of the children were diagnosed with ADHD. While these techniques can sometimes save lives, they are over used simply to make the birthing process more convenient for doctors and hospitals. 25% of mothers in the US receive Pitocin during labor. John Gray, Ph.D.
I have done countless psycho-social intakes for children and families.  One question I have learned (by experience) to ask is if the birth was induced with pitocin.   I get the families in my office 5 to 10 years later.  Why is this information not being brought to the forefront?
I am usually not a conspiracy theorist.   But you need to know.
Blessing to you.  Susan
 

STILL PONDERING August 10, 2013

Photo on 2013-07-11 at 14.45 #3

I am still pondering all this time.  

I have had many different experiences.  

I still ponder.  

What do people really want out of therapy?  

You tell me.  

 

MORE OF THE SAME? TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT! March 28, 2009

I go back to the same old questions:  Is it working for you?  Is doing what those so called experts say, really working?  When is it time to try something different?

You will just try to defend yourself out of fear someone will think you are a bad mom.  Or maybe you will just to defend yourself out of fear that it might be true.  You really do enjoy getting away from them.

The peace you feel when he is away seems to validate the assumption that it is “He” who is the problem.  There is something much much deeper going on.

The idea that RAD child should be treated differently is a start.  They have a developmental wound which cannot be helped to heal with more chores or strong sitting.

They have a developmental wound which cannot be helped to heal by being sent away.

A couple years ago,  I was working with a mother and  young daugther.  There was never any problems at school.  The problems occured at home.   I give this mom a round of applause for taking responsibility for her behavior years ago.  She left the children.  Yes she had her reasons…… but from a child’s point of view it was abandonment.  “I was not good enough for you to stick around.”  “I was not lovable enough for you to want to stay with me”.

We had a breakthrough mom said.    I was amazed at something else.

We were all sitting on the floor.  There was soft comforting lighting rather than glaring florescent tubes.  I was verbalizing what a young child might feel if a parent went away.  Little by little the child leaned her head on her mother’s shoulder.  Little by little the child wrapped her arms around mother’s neck.  Little by little, the child crawled into mother’s lap.  Little by little, mother cradled the girl in her arms and started rocking her body back and forth.  The girl nestled her head into mom’s bosom and allowed herself to be rocked.

I kept quiet and allowed the two to rest in each other’s arms for a good long time.

I whispered to mom,  “How old was she when you left?”  Mom whispered, “One and a half.”

The behavior of the child was reminiscent of the age of her trauma.

I helped mom see the developmental issues going on.

A rocking chair and more rocking at home……………. was the recommendation.

This addressed the heart of the matter, not just the acting out behavior.  Work on the heart of the matter and the acting out will subside.

These kids need even more rocking, more comforting, more compassion, more empathy….  Or at least just as much.   Because they are RAD does that mean they should be treated differently when it comes to Tender Loving Care?   They need it even more because they have a develpment lag in that department.

If what you are doing is working for you….by all means…..continue with what you think is right.  However,  begin reflecting on how you can address the heart of the matter rather than just manage the behavior.

 

TALK TALK TALK. NAG NAG NAG. AGAIN AND AGAIN January 25, 2009

Does it often feel like you are continually talking to yourself whenever you are trying to teach your child?  Whatever you are saying is simply going in one ear and out the other?  If you’ve said it once you have said it a million times. ?   AND STILL THEY DON’T  ” GET IT”. 

Well there is a reason for it……. and if you understand this reason ,, you could actually get more done with less talking.   You don’t have to drive yourself in circles, repeating the old thing, trying to change the same old behavior. 

Based on neuro-science, the right side of the brain has the ability to override and short circuit the left side of the brain.  The right side of the brain is the emotional side.  The left side of the brain is the logical rational side,,,,to put is simply. 

If the left side of the brain can be short circuited by the right side, no wonder all our explanations, talking, corrections, or discussions do not seem to work.

Our logical rational explanations, meant to impact our child’s left side of the brain, are not reaching their intended target. 

IT REALLY IS GOING IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER !

The right side of the brain overrides the left.  Emotions override logic and learning.

Right brain has greater influence than left brain.   RIGHT, greater than LEFT, therefore decreased logic & learning.

Children do not have the ability to learn and use logic if their emotional state is not addressed first.  Likewise, we do not have the ability to reach their logic and learning until we address their emotions and feelings.

Why don’t we listen to our own  words of wisdom.   Be logical.  Be reasonable.  It makes no sense at all to use logic on our kids if science has shown that logic does not work if emotional aspects are neglected. 

So how logical are we?  Maybe our kids are smarter than we are.  We keep trying logic when it has been proven not to work.  Now that is irrational. 

To keep doing the same old thing expecting different results.   Isn’t that the definition of CRAZY?

 We are in the habit of talking talking talking….explaining explaining, explaining. 

We lecture, make demands, and expect our kids to comply.  We expect from our kids what they are not able to give us until we see through to their emotions.

What do we do then?  Put into words what our adult wisdom knows

For example, your friend comes over,  slams the door, and heavily plants themselves on your couch. 

What can you presume from what just happened with your friend.  Your friend is upset, something bad happened, something is wrong……?  Probably.   

We would sit and wait.  Perhaps offer a cola or cup of tea.  And we would listen.  

If our kids did the very same thing…. we have a tendency to tell them “don’t slam the door!”  Where is the compassion we would naturally give to our friends?

Now is the time we could start changing habits, turn over a new leaf, and try something different. 

Now that is logical…….try something different for different results. 

Listen instead of lecture.  Sit instead of stand.  Be quiet instead of boss.  Consider emotions instead of demands.  Give compassion instead of giving directions.    Then little by little,,,when emotions are soothed and calmed, suggestions and ideas can get through.  Little by little, understanding will come to the left side of the brain.  But only when the right side of the brain understood.   

Give compassion to emotions.  Save yourself time, energy, and stress.

 

ADHD and Holidays December 21, 2008

Aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, visitors and guests………..

Sights, sounds, lights, and laughter……

Music and song,  fireplaces and snowfall, presents and parties…….

So many activities and high hopes….that this years everything will go without a flaw….

But wait…there’s more….. School is out, fun is in.

Holidays are filled with activites and expectations.  Gifts picked out with special care hoping to convey the right sentiments.

Family comes in or you go there.    Perhaps you have not seen a particular set of relatives for years.  You want everyone

on your side of the family put their best foot forward, have on their best behavior, and be especially courtesy and kindness.

 

Different house rules, or perhaps none.   Squeals of joy and running here and there.   Too much sugar and a too much Egg Nog & Rum.  Someone can’t stand someone else’s brat kids.    A child brakes another child’s toy.  Someone’s child won’t

share.  Crying and commotion.   The pie burns while you are trying to put out the fires among the children.  

Spitting and spankings.   Ho Ho Ho…..MERRY CHRISTMAS. 

 

Parents in all their good intentions sometimes shoot themselves in the foot.   Many weeks or months their child has been on ADHD medication.  They understand the need to have the child sit in class and learn.  They understand how distracting school can be.  Medication is a necessary evil in their minds.  They are willing to put up with it to help their child have a better experience with school.  Now since school is out for the holidays,,,,certainly this is the perfect time to let “Little Billy” have a Medication Holiday.

Think about it for just a moment.  Does ADHD take a Holiday?  Does ADHD take a vacation?   No, it doesn’t.

The very time when family harmony is stressed out the most,,,,,

The very time when feelings can be the most sensitive……………

The very time when families needs more peace and calm……is the same time parents want Little Billy to be off his meds.    Is it helping or hurting family relationships?   Is it helping or contributing to family stress? 

You know….The ADHD child already has difficulty feeling good about him or herself,  why contribute to their negative feelings by purposefully pulling them off their meds at the very time it is needed the most?   Allow positive family relationships to develop.  Allow Little Billy to gain warm feelings about himself in relationship to their close relationships.  Do you want to help or hinder family harmony during the holidays?   ADHD does not take a holiday.  The risk of  a child having negative behaviors in the long term is related to how they feel about themselves today.  An  ADHD child can be frustrating.  Yet try to imagine how frustrated he is with himself.  Try to imagine how that child feels as he is constantly criticized, punished, or consequenced for what he has little control over.  Does the risk  of medication  really out weigh the seriousness of  long term side effects of poor self esteem or negative self image?

ADHD does not take Holidays.

 

Relationships During These Hard Times December 10, 2008

“All we need is love. All we need is love, love………Love is all we need” (Beatles).  Is this true?  Really?

“I love you,,,,,,but I am not In Love, with you.”  “I love him but I don’t like him.”  What ?

“I’ll just die if I can’t have those jeans !”  Hugh ?

So, …..what then, do you need?

Time and patience for a start. How about giving honesty, dependability, determination, kindness, fairness, courtesy, cooperation, trustworthiness, and generosity? All of these can help sustain us during these financial hard times, as well as, help build meaningful long-term relationships.  Let’s take a look at things. Society has made so many improvements. Life is more convenient: Fast foods, drive thru’s, microwaves, dishwashers, and the like. We are so accustomed to “convenience”, we lose our patience if we have to give a little extra time at a restaurant. No wonder we get such a big surprise when we have to give time to another; or be patient

with another person’s like or dislikes; or even be patient with another person’s imperfections.We have never really had to wait, save up, or do without. Delayed gratification is almost a thing of the past. Perhaps the great benefit of today’s economy is that we are forced to realize that “relationships” are the only meaningful and lasting thing……… if we look at life Existentially or Spiritually. However, because life is so much easier than even a decade ago, many people have not learned to “press on” during times of momentary difficulty, as our historical counterpart once did. No I do not want to go back to the “good old days” when it comes to convenience. However, there are valuable principles which are worthwhile to carry with us from the past into posterity.

I was surprised when researchers came up with the term: “Benign Deprivation”. It is the idea of allowing oneself or one’s children to do without something, if that something, is not critical to sustaining life. In other words, if doing without an item, has a benign effect, it is okay to do without it.

The idea of “Benign Deprivations” still makes me chuckle because I have made it a point to do without a lot of stuff. My husband had to force me to get a cell phone. You see, I grew up around my grandparents. They lived through the Great Depression. Consequently they were fugal, never used credit, and saved tin foil. I did get caught up in materialism and conspicuous consumption when I was younger, but later sought out meaning and purpose.

We really have to ask ourselves if something is truly a need, as compared to a want. True, we may think we are going to die if we can’t have a particular pair of shoes. We may even tell ourselves….our children need a particular pair of jeans to fit into that popular crowd. Nevertheless, is it really life threatening to do without it? Maybe we need to count our blessings?

An over abundance of things can make ourselves and our kids greedy, spoiled, and demanding. Generosity and kindness can be lost unless we refocus back to positive character values.

Will we, as a society, allow material goods to replace character? Is “Benign Depravation” a new way to reminding us not to spoil ourselves and our kids with material goods? Is it a reminder for us to still value old fashioned character such as honesty, dependability, determination, kindness, fairness, courtesy, cooperation, trustworthiness, and generosity?

Relationships are necessary for life. Therefore, promoting, nurturing, and tending to the growth of quality character in ourselves and our kids, is beneficial for love and lasting relationships. Time is what our kids really want from us anyway. You too, probably.

These economic tight times need to be embraced and valued as a time to reinforce those things which are more lasting than temporal materialism. It can also bring out the best in us. Love, honor, dependability, determination, kindness, courtesy, trustworthiness, generosity, and meaningful long-term relationships will sustain us during these financial hard times.

About our RAD kids……………….time and patience is even more important.Not reacting to the fears they stir up in us is also critical. Our calmness can soothe their scared souls.

No matter what age they are. The younger they are,,,probably the easier it is to not react.Nonetheless, it is the older children who probably need it even more because they have gone without longer.

If we are going to catch ourselves before we over react, then we must be introspective and try to figure out why.

Why does a particular thing bug us?  What happened in our background….. which stirs up those irritable feelings, when our

kids bug us?  My father was a pathological lier, so when my child said anything which might resemble even a “half truth”,

my nerves were set on fire.   He might have been telling the truth yet I was already predisposed to expect the worst.

Therefore, I got paradoxical results.   I helped create the very thing I thought I was trying to prevent.

This is when I should have stopped myself. But I was not aware yet. Everyone does the best they can with what they know.

I am so glad to have a better understanding.

 

Tradition is the enemy sometimes: Reactive Attachment October 23, 2008

I took my dog to our Veterinarian one day.  She was curious about the philosophy I was trained in.  I tried to explain in a way fellow therapists would understand.  I noticed that blank, far away look in her eyes as she cocked her head a little to the side.  I knew she was a horse lover so I mentioned the “Horse Whisperer”.  Not the movie, but the man the movie was based on. Then an “OH !” came from her, with sudden understanding.

When I got home I Googled, “Frank Bell Horse Whisperer.”  I found his site and found a Kindered Spirit.  His site was so on target to understanding our kids…..as he understands his horses.  It turns out that he often does fund raisers to help children.  He will teach his Horse Whispering to people to raise money for equine therapy for children.

I emailed Frank Bell and told him the story about the vet.  I explained the gentle methods which I was trained in by Post and Forbes.  Just like the horses, our kids are hard wired for survival and repond very much in like manner: Hyper-vigilant to sights and sounds, startling at the slightest thing, often resisting the one who intends to help them.  I asked him if I could use some of his training videos to help people to have compassion for our kids……to understand they are really scared and fearful.

The kind gentleman that he is, responded to my email personally.  Not an “auto-reply” generated by a web host.   He too understood the philosophy of Post and Forbes and their gentle methods.  He gave his blessing for the work I do to help the children and gave permission to refer to him and his videos.  He said he would send me one of his Videos.  I got A Day in the Life of a Horsewhisperer.    

Now I would like to include some information I presented at an adoption conferance in Northwest Arkansas.  It is about Frank Bell and his philosophy.  It is my hope, that perhaps, the use of different words or scenarios can help parents, caretakers, and therapists to gain a compassionate view of Rad Children.

      
Frank Bell’s horse training philosophy is refreshingly unique in that it encompasses a much bigger picture of the horse. In this day and age of hurrying, seeking immediate gratification, and take, take, take, he has chosen to do nothing but give to his horses—until they are ready to give back to him—willingly, happily, and eagerly.

Since the horse’s predators were among the fastest creatures on the planet and in the case of wolves and man, they were also the smartest—most cunning predators, the horse needed incredible instincts to survive. Their survival is proof that they posses these instincts.

To counter the stealthy stalking of their enemies, horses developed one the most sensitive alarm systems in nature. The slightest perception of an unnatural movement can trigger the flight response which for countless millennia enabled the horse to escape the stealthiest cats, the most cunning wolves, and smartest humans.

The horse is an exquisite sensory system of nerves which culminate into a hair-trigger alarm system, which when activated, releases an explosion of energy channeled into an instantaneous flight for survival. The horse is naturally fearful.

Tradition is the enemy of progressive horse training methods. ” Grandpa treated his horses this way and we do it the same,” is the lame excuse that pervades the old school of rough horse treatment. Pain and intimidation have been the backbone of horse training methods for centuries.

The focus of Bell’s training is on the development of a “safe” relationship with the horse.  Without using force or other common strong-arm tactics, Bell develops a foundation of trust upon which all further development must be built. He transforms the horse’s distrust into trust.

Taking the time to love on the horse pays big rewards only minutes later as the horse eagerly chooses to give back and enjoy performing and engaging with the human. It is truly magical.

A kinder, gentler way of relating to horses and all living creatures.  Bell’s message truly applies to all walks of life from family to business and most importantly to relationships.

Blessings.  Susan