–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD It was inexplicable. I was a twenty-seven-year-old wife and mother of an infant, and I had just left the family gathering and thrown myself on the floor kicking and screaming. My husband was standing over me with a compassionate but perplexed look on his face. I now understand exactly what happened. In that moment, I was not an adult. I was one of my child selves and that self felt betrayed. At
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD One day, well into my first year of therapy, I caught myself trying to manipulate my therapist. Not that I hadn’t been trying all along, but I hadn’t recognized that what I was doing looked distinctively like manipulation. Suddenly, I found the connection between that and my inability to ask for help. At issue was my need to schedule another appointment. The therapist had always taken this initiative (because I so
–by Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW, originally published on the author’s blog, September 14, 2017 “The problem with verbal abuse is there is no evidence,” Marta shared. She came for help with a long-standing depression. “What do you mean lack of evidence?” I asked her. “When people are physically or sexually abused it’s concrete and real. But verbal abuse is amorphous. I feel like if I told someone I was verbally abused, they’d think I
–by Hilary Jacobs Hendel Originally published March 10, 2015 How can it be that a seemingly depressed person, one who shows clinical symptoms, doesn’t respond to antidepressants or psychotherapy? Perhaps because the root of his anguish is something else. Several years ago a patient named Brian* was referred to me. He had suffered for years from an intractable depression for which he had been hospitalized. He had been through cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, supportive
–by Julie Beem I’ve been to a handful of post-adoption conferences this spring and summer. After working with ATN for over a decade, I have been excited by the number of workshops and speakers addressing early childhood trauma, and in some cases citing the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study. I remember all too well the many years when trauma and attachment challenges were not openly addressed at conferences attended by adoption professionals and adoptive parents.
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD Every adult knows that there are triggers in life. We often know each other’s triggers, and in toxic relationships, we talk about how we push each other’s buttons. We know those buttons exist, but we often don’t remember how they got there. It is even harder for children, who are not yet developmentally capable of identifying the trigger. Most difficult of all, for children and adults alike, is that triggers and
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD I sat on the floor next to her. I understood her fear of abandonment, the trauma she had experienced, and how her mother had been unable to provide any form of comfort. I watched her body shake uncontrollably and offered a blanket. I knew she would not want me to hold her. As we sat, I thought about how this had all started the day she was born. My cognitive understanding
–By Hilary Jacobs Hendel Manager’s note: The ATN blog is pleased to announce the addition of therapist and author Hilary Jacobs Hendel to our lineup of regular contributors. Although not as adoption- or attachment-focused as some of our other bloggers, Hilary’s work on core emotions and “The Change Triangle” provides precious insight into both our children and ourselves. Enjoy! What ‘Mad Men’ and Don Draper Taught Us About Trauma and Shame originally published on Hilary
–by Janyne McConnaughey, Ph.D. The doctor my parents took me to was wise beyond his era. He said, “She seems to be a bit anxious about school. Maybe it would help to keep her home for a week.” My first-grade report card proves that his advice was taken. In the midst of almost perfect attendance, there was an anomaly. It was called trauma. I used to tell a story about that year, a story I
–By Julie Beem A mother called me a while back. “What consequence can I give her?” she started, “She just won’t behave at school and the teacher keeps sending home notes. The only thing I can think of, the only thing she seems to enjoy is going to our church’s Wednesday night events. If I take this away, will she understand and start behaving?” Hmmm…this type of consequence makes logical sense in typical parenting world.