ADULT THERAPY ONGOING for Parents, Couples & Individuals
Adolescence...the Journey. A Developmental Approach to Psychotherapy
Journeying through Adolescence
What if certain developmental milestones were not met in early and middle childhood? A common occurance with Asperger's Syndrome and giftedness, as well as with many childhood experiences that can stunt fluid development or present as a deep emotional wound. Some examples are children of divorce, adopted children and those who have suffered neglect and abuse (physical and/or relational); children with learning disabilities, attention differences as well as those with
mood disorders and sensory/regulatory dysregulation.
Emotional competence is a journey, not a destination. In the cases of the adolescent journey while struggling with adoption or divorce, children can sometimes achieve reasonable levels of emotional competence, just in time for adolescence to throw them (and parents) a big curve ball! The psychosocial challenges of middle school and high school can be more than a child, or their parents, can address without support. Click on Sand for more details on how Jungian Sandplay Therapy combined with a problem-solving and cognitive approach can be so effective supporting tweens and adolescents.
Disciplining the older child who is adopted and/or living with divorce:
This excerpt taken from Nancy N. Verrier's book, The Primal Wound:
" To discipline means to teach, not to punish...It is important to teach a child (or adolescent) about limits and boundaries for her own well-being. This is necessary to her relationship with her parents as well as to future relationships. It is also a very important source of the child's sense of security. Adopted children love routine and often act out when routine is interrupted, even if they look forward to new activities. Every new experience again raises the anxiety level (of abandonment and confusion regarding 'Is the World ok?' and 'Am I ok?')...
One of the difficulties in disciplining an adopted child is in knowing what is actually going on...It is not easy to get at the real stimulus (which button was pushed for the seeming exaggerated reaction), because the child is usually unaware of it herself...."
From the author's own experience with her adopted daughter:
"I had no idea at the outset of her therapy that adoption had anything to do with what was going on with my daughter. Despite the fact that I had been considered a highly successful teacher, with a deep, caring and intuitive understanding of my students, as well as the biological parent of a younger daughter
who was not having these difficulties. I believed that I must somehow be at fault.
For most of the acting out was directed at me, her mother."
(Taken directly from text, with notes/clarifications offered by LT in parens)
Recognition by parents of attention differences, low self-esteem and mood dysregulation in their child is a sign of health and attunement. Parents must always remember that self-care (of the parent's regulatory system and appropriate individual counseling for early wounding) is essential for sustaining the positive effects of play therapy. I do sibling work with great success, and am available for family/filial work when recommended.
Attachment, the adolescent and the brain: The Central Nervous System (CNS) is that part of our nervous system that coordinates all functions of our body. Together with the peripheral nervous system, it has a fundamental role in the control of behavior. It's major role is to provide us with a internal sense of harmony and feeling of safetly in our daily life. Our central nervous system helps us adapt to life's constant changes, even under pressure.
However, when the CNS has become overloaded by accumulated stress, including physical or relational trauma, it cannot do its job effectively. It begins taking short cuts, and devloping sometimes maladaptive 'short cuts'. We notice changes in our ability to focus, or to stay present to what is happening moment to moment; we can become anxious, even depressed or hyperactive in our busy culture. I recommend a mindfulness or meditationo practice, as well as the support of biofeedback.
(portions taken from D. Delaney's work with bio/neurofeedback)
Child Therapy works!