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Online Therapist Training starts September 5

August 14, 2018

2 spots left

My FOURTH cohort of “Regulating the Brainstem in Play Therapy through Music, Movement, and Play” begins September 5, 2018!  There are just TWO spots remaining.

If you work with highly dysregulated children with complex trauma and toxic stress in their background, this course will help you feel more confident leaning into dysregulation in the therapy room without become scared, overwhelmed, or feeling like your only option is to end a session.  Children with histories of complex trauma need a significant amount of coregulation from the adults in their lives!  The brainstem loves music, movement, and play – especially when it is experienced inside relationship.  This course will help you thoughtfully integrate movement, music, and rhythm into your therapy sessions while also giving you the tools to coach parents and caregivers on how to provide more opportunities for brainstem regulation at home!

Details:

  • 12 week course
  • Meet once per week for 1.5 hour (Wednesdays, 10am – 11:30am, Central Time)
  • Total 18 hours of CE credit (see website for all the details about CE credits)
  • Online via HIPAA compliant web meeting- webcams and microphones make this an interactive class!
  • Uses Bruce Perry’s “The Boy who was Raised as a Dog” as a text

The rest of the details and registration information are all available on my website!  CLICK HERE!

~

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my newsletter! I try to send it out monthly. Sometimes I succeed. Mostly I don’t 🙂

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, RPT-S is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center

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More delight please!!!

August 8, 2018

Delight.  It’s such a neglected piece of the conversation around attachment.

When was the last time you heard about the importance of delight when you were learning about attachment.  How does delight apply to therapy from an attachment lens?  How does delight apply to parenting?

Delight. Happiness.  Pleasure.  Good feelings purely for the sake of good feelings.

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^ Me on my way to a P!NK concert.  No exaggeration- one of the best nights of my life.  Hubby and kiddo are cropped out of this picture.  A night full of pure delight.

I was listening to a podcast about sex yesterday (Therapist Uncensored- Unspeakably Sexy) and nodded in agreement when the guest stated that Americans tend to be allergic to pleasure.

How did this happen?!?!

And if we are allergic to pleasure and delight, what is missing from our parenting? Or the therapy space? If it isn’t infused with delight?!

Delight.  Expressing and/or experiencing pleasure for the sake of pleasure.  Delight is that moment your kid is adorable beyond words.  Not because they accomplished something or did something that made you proud (those are important too…).  But delight is absent of any accomplishment.  Any task.  Delight is simply about existing.

And being delighted in- looking into the face of and coming into emotional contact with someone who is delighting in you- is attachment gold.  Delight is what secure attachment is made of!

Are you finding moments of delight in your life?  Because it’s hard to give if you ain’t receiving.

Delight and pleasure are why I’ve spent too much money on P!NK concert tickets this year.  Delight and pleasure are why I started taking aerial silks classes.  Delight and pleasure are why I love going to Costco with my husband.  Seriously.  We have so much unbelievable amounts of fun.  At Costco.  One time, the three of us were laughing so hard a woman walking by said “Man, I wish I was in your family.” Delight and pleasure are why my friendship with my colleague Marshall is strengthening (and blooming with creativity!!!).

Delight and pleasure are not privileged ways of being.  Delight and pleasure are crucial ways of being.  I remember watching “The Book Thief” – historical fiction about living in Germany during World War 2.  How even in those horrifying and stressful times, people (especially children!!!) were able to find moments of delight.  Delight helps us stay connected to ourselves and our humanity.  Delight helps us move into connection with those around us.  Delight is like Vitamin C for the soul.

Find ways to have more moments of delight!!!

~

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my newsletter! I try to send it out monthly. Sometimes I succeed. Mostly I don’t 🙂

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, RPT-S is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center

Not too late to sign up!!! Regulating the Body with Sensory Based Interventions

August 6, 2018

Hey hey hey!!!!  Have you been consumed with regret and sadness 🙂 at missing “Regulating the Body with Sensory Based Interventions” – an online course for parents, caregivers, case-workers, teachers, and all NON-therapists?

HA!  I’m exaggerating of course.  I’m assuming no one has been consumed with any regret or sadness!  But seriously, if you had planned to register and thought you missed the deadline, I have good news!  Since the course doesn’t conclude until Wednesday the 8th, you actually have two more days to register.

 

You’ll receive the recordings (audio and video) to Part 1 that aired last Wednesday the 1st (plus a link to all the resources that complement the training- there are lots!).  You’ll be registered for Part 2 and can either attend live or just sit tight and receive the audio and video recordings later this week.

 

EVERYONE who registers will receive audio and video recordings to both parts 1 and 2.  You’ll have lifetime and unlimited access to these recordings, so you can watch them WHENEVER and WHEREVER!!!

 

Wondering what you missed?  Here is a short clip from part 1:

 

CLICK HERE to register!  And seriously- this time, don’t delay.  When the course ends on August 8th at 12:30pm central time, registration ends for good and you will not be able to purchase the recordings until I run the course again- which might not be until NEXT summer.

~

 

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my newsletter! I try to send it out monthly. Sometimes I succeed. Mostly I don’t 🙂

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, RPT-S is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center

Building the Tower of Self-Regulation

August 1, 2018

I’ve been thinking about the word ‘trust’- as in “I can’t trust my child to do XYZ…” (make the right decision, behave appropriately…etc.)

Trust really isn’t the right word here, especially if you are parenting a child with a history of complex trauma or toxic stress. It’s not about trust. It’s about recognizing your child’s developmental age and having appropriate expectations and boundaries in place.

tower of self reg

Children’s brains develop only through the process of coregulation.  Parents first do EVERYTHING for children.  Feed them.  Keep them warm. Install baby gates.  We adjust ourselves, the environment, and we inherently know that babies and toddlers need us close to them.  All the time.

It’s not about trust when we don’t leave a three-year-old home alone. Or even leave them playing unsupervised. Certainly not on the internet! We don’t do these things because their brain isn’t developed enough to make choices that keep them safe!  They literally don’t have the neural connections to the part of their brain that dampens impulses, thinks things through, considers consequences.  Their brain is fast DO DO DO. Touch, learn, see, explore.  It’s reactive- meaning there is no pause between a playmate taking their toy car and bopping them on the head in frustration.  Feel Do. Feel Do.  As adults, we seem to inherently understand that these little people need a significant amount of coregulation from a regulated adult in order to be OK.  We help with that ‘pause.’ We rush in to regulate emotions, which lays a brick in the slow-building tower of what ultimately becomes self-regulation.

Simply by being near-by, our toddlers and young children stay more regulated, right??  Things always seem to go better when an adult is close- sometimes just watching over, not even necessarily actively involved.

That ‘watching over’ adult is still coregulating the young child.  The child’s brain is literally borrowing from the regulation of the adult’s prefrontal cortex.  And the adult is close enough that the child can check in for an extra boost of coregulation as often as needed.  Little children do this by approaching their grown-up, showing a toy, making eye contact across the room, and rushing toward them with tears that need to be kissed and hugged.  Every time your small child makes contact with you, they are receiving a boost of coregulation.

If your eight-year-old can’t play with the neighbors without WWIII commencing, or can’t play in their sister’s room without things going missing, this isn’t about trust. This is about your eight-year-old needing more coregulation than they are currently receiving. This is about your eight-year-old not having eight-year-old impulse control. Both simply indicate delayed development.

If your 16-year-old can’t navigate the world wide web without falling into a pit of video game addiction or porn, this isn’t about trust. It’s about needing more coregulation.

Children with a history of toxic stress or complex trauma need a smaller circle.  Toddlers have circles of a few feet- meaning they need to be in close proximity to an adult.  Basically all the time.  As children grow their circle gets bigger because they have begun to internalize all that coregulation.  The tower of self-regulation is growing stronger.  But they still have a circle, right? We don’t leave school age children without an adult for hours.  Teens still have their circle.  Grown-ups have a circle!!!  I touch base with my primary attachment figure regularly!  I can go days if needed, but I sure prefer not to!

You might have a school age child or a teen or even a young adult child with the circle the size of a toddler.  They simply cannot coregulate themselves to make a sandwich, go into a store without taking something, or navigate a frustrating peer situation (especially as they get older and peer dynamics get more complex and nuanced…leaving children with delayed social development extremely confused…which ultimately causes more frustration and dysregulation).

This isn’t about trust.  This is about brain development.

Human beings are designed to do well.  They are designed to develop that capacity to do well INSIDE relationship.  If your child can’t do well, they need more scaffolding, support, and coregulation.

They may also need experiences of being gently nudged out of the nest – these experiences help their capacity for regulation to grow.  Just like there comes a day when I watch my toddler navigate playground equipment instead of holding their hand…knowing they are likely to fall but that I’ll be close by and I can soothe them. Through this, my child learns more about their body and capabilities…something they can’t do if I never let go of their hand.  But I do this incrementally.  I don’t go from holding my toddler’s hand up the toddler slide steps to releasing them on the big kid monkey bars in one day.  It’s little by little.  Opportunities for small failures that can be supported and coregulated…not big failures that have the likelihood to result in the (real or proverbial) broken arm.

Using the word trust to describe our children’s inability to have age appropriate impulse control, cause and effect thinking, emotion regulation seems to suggest a moral character flaw. Let’s turn the words around. Instead of “I can’t trust my child…” can we use “My child needs more coregulation in order to be regulated enough to be OK.”

~

 

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my newsletter! I try to send it out monthly. Sometimes I succeed. Mostly I don’t 🙂

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, RPT-S is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center.

Regulating the Body with Sensory Based Interventions

July 24, 2018

Dysregulated children are usually moving their bodies- so what if we leaned IN to that and used their body to help them regulated with movement, rhythm, and music?

I’ve been teaching therapists to do this and having a BLAST…and I’ve finally adapted the content into a workshop for parents, caregivers, and other non-therapists who spend time with children impacted by toxic stress and complex trauma!  This workshop tackles regulation through the body, a much more effective and efficient way to bring about regulation with children who struggle to use cognition-based coping skills.

SensoryWebPic

This five-hour online workshop- Regulating the Body with Sensory Based Interventions-  will begin on August 1, Wednesday, from 10am -12:30pm central time and conclude on August 8, Wednesday, from 10am to 12:30pm central time.

You can attend live and participate using a webcam and microphone OR you can just register to receive the audio and video recordings.

EVERYONE who registers- including the live participants!! – will receive access to the live and video recordings. You’ll have lifetime and unlimited access to the recordings, meaning you can watch or listen whenever, wherever, and FOREVER!!!

Together, we will:

  • Review brain development and the impact of toxic stress so you can have a better understanding of what is driving this dysregulation in your child (this will help YOU stay more regulated!!!)
  • Learn a system for you…and your children….to develop the ability to both notice and then CHANGE their state of regulation
  • Explore lots of activities that will help your children move into regulation, both in and out of moments of dysregulation.

You can head over to my website for all the details and to register!

https://www.gobbelcounseling.com/summerparentingonlineworkshops

This will be the last opportunity for in-depth, online training this summer.  Can you believe summer is starting to wind down???

~

Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my newsletter! I try to send it out monthly. Sometimes I succeed. Mostly I don’t 🙂

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center.

 

 

We are all Yearning for Connection

July 16, 2018

We are all yearning for connection.

Me. You. Your children.  Even the children (and adults) who seem as though they would do ANYTHING to stay out of connection & relationship.  I promise you.  Their core being is yearning for connection, too.

I know that sometimes our littlest people (or our youngest selves) get so hurt in relationship that they develop what can seem like an infinite number of ways to stay safe from heartbreak.  To avoid the vulnerability the comes with true connection.

Their attempts to stay out of connect are real.  You aren’t imagining this.

But it’s over top a painful, deep longing to be seen and felt, inside connection and relationship.

I promise.

Below is a short clip from the online course that started last Wednesday.  This is just two and a half minutes of a five hour course!

If you are interested, you can still sign up.  You’ll receive access to the audio and video recordings of last Wednesday’s course so you won’t have missed a thing.  If you sign up for the LIVE version of the course, you’ll receive links to participate LIVE this Wednesday the 18th, for the 2.5 hour conclusion of the course.  Of course, you can choose to skip participating live at all, and just sign up to receive all the audio and video recordings 🙂

EVERYONE who registers will receive the audio and video recordings.  The link to the recordings never expire– you’ll be able to watch the course whenever, wherever, and forever.

I’ve received some great nuggets of feedback from participants, but the most common comment continues to be about how I can make complex concepts easy to understand and then apply in every day life.

All of the details and registration are available by CLICKING HERE.  

Have a wonderful Monday!

~

NEW Online Course for parents and caregivers of children with a history of complex trauma and toxic stress!!  CLICK HERE for all the details!

Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my newsletter! I try to send it out monthly. Sometimes I succeed. Mostly I don’t 🙂

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center.

Attention is a NEED (for all of us)

July 5, 2018

The human brain is an amazingly complex and beautifully social organ.  The moment when our nervous system syncs up with another and we experience being seen, felt, and known is not a luxury- it is an actual need as non-negotiable as food and water.  It is through this experience of joining as a ‘we’ with another individual that we experience our own existence.  We feel alive and known.  We feel gotten.  This resonance with another confirms our own aliveness in a way that provides the nourishment we need to show up in the world with all of our unique amazingness.

attention is a need

When I feel seen, I know I exist.  The more I feel seen and known, the more I can tolerate moments when I don’t feel seen.  The fuller my cup is, the more I can tolerate when a little spills out.

We are all so delightfully smart and crafty at getting our needs met.  We’d all LIKE to just use our words and ask for what we need but many of us have had too many experiences of those needs going unnoticed or even shamed.  So we stop asking with words, and sometimes we even stop noticing that we have this basic, beautiful human need to be seen.  Oh yes, our system knows exactly when we need a dose of being seen.  The cup has to be refilled- for some of us, it needs to be refilled often. And we find ways to be seen and noticed.  Some of these ways get us the delightful attention we are craving.  Some of these ways get us attention combined with irritation, annoyance, frustration; even shame, criticism, and punishment.  But it all gets the need met.

When a behavior is labeled as “attention seeking” could we consider how we would respond if a hungry child was “food seeking?”

We’d give food. We’d understand that the food seeking wouldn’t stop until the child was fed.  We’d understand that they may even escalate to ‘bad’ behaviors like sneaking and stealing- all to get food.  We’d understand that the way to stop the behavior would be to meet the need.  We wouldn’t necessarily negotiate in that moment for better behavior.  We’d meet the need first.

We need to respond similarly to attention seeking.  It’s a basic, human need.  We are ALL ALWAYS looking for connection.  When it’s not there, we keep looking for it.  We panic, we protest, we get angry.  We are satisfied with negative attention the same way we would be satisfied with unappetizing food if we were hungry enough.

Attention is a need.  Meet the need.  Then teach your child not to be ashamed of needing attention so that they can notice the need and ask for it in a way that is connecting instead of distancing or annoying.

And honor your own need for attention.  You long to be seen, felt, heard, and noticed.  It’s a need.  Do not be ashamed.

~

NEW Online Course for parents and caregivers of children with a history of complex trauma and toxic stress!!  CLICK HERE for all the details!  Begins July 11, 2018.

Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my newsletter! I try to send it out monthly. Sometimes I succeed. Mostly I don’t 🙂

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center.

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