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{Webinar} Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time- a 2 part webinar

August 1, 2016

Back in 2013, I wrote a blog post called “Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time” that went viral!  Well…viral for me🙂  It was, and continues to be, my most visited blog post by FAR.  It definitely struck a chord with families trying to figure out “why on earth does this keep happening?!?!?!”  I’ve since presented it as a workshop throughout the country!  What I learned is that this is information parents want…badly….and with my new webinar series I’ve got a great opportunity to present this short workshop for parents anywhere!!

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The details

It’s two hours, so I’ll be presenting it in two parts.  Part One will be live on Tuesday, August 9th at 8pm EDT, 7pm CDT, 6pm MDT, and 5pm PDT.  Part Two will be live on Tuesday, September 20th, also at 8pm EDT, 7pm CDT, 6pm MDT, and 5pm PDT.  You can register for only part one, or you can register for both.  If you register for both, you’ll receive a $5 discount off of registering for them separately.  Register by clicking here.  

Can’t make it live?  That is no problem!!!

After the webinar, all registrants will receive a link to a video recording which you will be able to watch as many times as you’d like!

What will be covered?

Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time answers the questions “Why is my child still triggered by trauma that happened YEARS ago!?!?!” and “Why isn’t enough that my child has lived in a safe home with plenty of food for years?!?!?!” and “My child seems triggered ALL THE TIME.  What’s up with that?!?!”  Trauma impacts children in complex ways, across many different systems.  Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time will look primarily at how trauma impacts memory integration (which leads to trauma being ‘triggered’) as well as regulation.  This is definitely a “WHY is this happening?” webinar, and not a “So what do I do about it?” webinar.  But don’t worry- I have those planned for the future.

I’m absolutely LOVING how technology is giving me the opportunity to easily connect with parents all over the world.  I hope you’ll join me for Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time!

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my monthly (or less) newsletter!

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.

Catch me in November as I experience the amazing honor of providing the Friday Keynote at the Adoption Knowledge Affiliates conference in Austin, TX!

EMERGE…a nine-month group for parents in Austin, TX

July 21, 2016

I’ve bee1n working on the content for EMERGE for months now, and I’m so excited to finally launch!

For years and years I’m gotten to know parents like you.  Parents who are struggling to not to drown.  Parents who are trying not to get pulled under by the chaos.  How do you tread water during a tsunami??

What happens when you realize that you can’t do much to change the tsunami from happening?  All you can do is find calm in the midst of the chaos.

Parents tell me that part of them is gone.  The part that holds peace and joy.  Contentment.

You know what?  That part of you isn’t gone.  That part of you still exists.  We can find you.  I promise.

But it’s a lot of work.  This isn’t a blog post I can write or a one-day training I can present.  Or even a weekend retreat.  I could probably TEACH you about it a weekend (or two).  But actually practice and experience it?  Embody the felt sense of turning toward calm and finding yourself again?  That takes patience and time to unfold and nurture.

SO here’s what I’ve come up with.

Nine months.

September 2016 until May 2017.

Every other Wednesday, 12:15 to 2:15pm.  You should have plenty of time to grab your kiddo from school!!

1705 W. Koenig Lane, Austin, TX

We’ll take the week of Spring Break off in March, and maybe another time or two around the holidays.  We’ll decide this together!

I’ve written out all the details about what to expect and what we are actually going to DO (as well as how to register) over on my website

Click here for all that good stuff ————————–> www.gobbelcounseling.com/groups

Does this sound awesome but you aren’t in Austin????

WELL.  I have a super secret (not so secret anymore!) plan to run EMERGE for a year and then turn it into an online group, so parents all over the WORLD can benefit.  Stay tuned and be patient for that!  I know that if I take a year to nourish parents here in Austin, I will be much more equipped to turn it into an online experience.

Head over to my website and then email me if you have questions or are ready to EMERGE.

Sending you peace….

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my monthly (or less) newsletter!

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.

Catch me in November as I experience the amazing honor of providing the Friday Keynote at the Adoption Knowledge Affiliates conference in Austin, TX!

Where there is adoption, there is grief.

July 15, 2016

Grief.  We are just terrified of grief.  “It’s not grief that’s the problem,” a wise colleague noticed.  “It’s everything that gets in the way of the grief getting expressed.”  I see this truth everywhere.

There is so much grief in adoption and we seem obsessed as a culture to avoid spending any time being with grief.  We ignore it, stuff it inside, refuse to speak about it.  It festers and grows, and we stuff it even further.

Why?  What is so scary about grief?

The losses in adoption are overwhelming.

Suffering is the distance between expectation and reality.  Nobody expects adoption.  Adopted children don’t expect adoption.  Birthfamilies don’t expect adoption.  Adoptive families may expect adoption- but there is almost inevitable a huge difference between their expectations for adoptive parenting and their realities.

When there is distance between expectation and reality, there is suffering.  There is grief.

Grief

Grief isn’t well tolerated in our culture even after tragedies where we expect people to grieve, such as death.  But grief with an ambiguous loss like adoption?  No one brings casseroles, sends cards or flowers.  There are no rituals.  In fact, we often try to paint adoption as a win/win/win.  We’ve spent a lot of effort over the past century insisting that adoptive families are the same as biological families.  That the mothers who lose children to adoption move on and forget.  There are still many many adoptive families who never disclose (or attempt to never disclose) to their child that the child is adopted!  Really!  It’s hard to express grief when it’s been made so clear that adoption related grief isn’t acceptable.  It’s not acceptable because there is no problem with adoption.

Except there is.  There are big problems.  Don’t get me wrong- there are lots of great things that happen in adoption as well.  But we cannot take out of the equation the truth that adoption begins with a tragic loss.  And for many adoptive families, the losses just keep growing.  The grief that accompanies raising a child with a special need is profound.  This was not their expectation.

Maybe the grief is so big that you just cannot bear to go there.  That’s ok.  Tell your heart that truth.  That you know the grief is there.  You aren’t ignoring it.  You just can’t do it right now.  Your grief wants to be acknowledge, but it just might understand that you’re doing the best you can.

Maybe you have finally reached a place where you are ready to look at the grief.  I’m holding space for you tonight.  May you find a compassionate person- a therapist, a spouse, a friend- who can hold space for your grief.  Who can offer their presence without judgment.  Please don’t grieve alone.  Allow yourself the experience of feeling that your grief is OK.  It’s OK to express.  That someone is willing to walk with you.  There is someone who isn’t afraid.

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my monthly (or less) newsletter!

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.

Catch me in November as I experience the amazing honor of providing the Friday Keynote at the Adoption Knowledge Affiliates conference in Austin, TX!

Giving Yourself Compassion….

June 12, 2016

“Ugh, I can’t believe I DID that!”

“Things in my family are a mess…how did this happen?”

“Sometimes I just want to run away.”

“I wish I could STOP losing my temper and stay calm.  What is wrong with me?!?!”

These statements have something really important in common….maybe what they have in common for you is that they are all things you’ve thought.  Maybe even recently.  But even if you haven’t had all of these thoughts…or any of them…one thing they have in common is they all signal a moment of suffering.

Compassion emerges when we can mindfully see suffering.  We don’t minimize or exaggerate, but recognize it mindfully.  We lean into the suffering instead of running away.  When we see someone else’s suffering and then realize that we are familiar with the feeling of suffering…we can relate….compassion naturally emerges.

Self -Compassion Blog

So why does compassion get so difficult when we attempt to turn that toward ourselves?

Maybe you think you don’t deserve compassion.

Maybe you worry compassion will let you off the hook and then you won’t change.

Maybe you think compassion is ‘soft’ or will make you ‘soft.’

Maybe confronting your own suffering with kindness feels too unfamiliar or uncomfortable.

I get it.  I’ve moved through some of these worries myself, and I’ve been with moms and dads who have moved through those worries.

What I’ve been blown-away by is how a practice of self-compassion has improved my overall feelings of calm and contentedness.  It’s an idea I can apply to absolutely everything and I can guarantee that self-compassion hasn’t made me sit back on my laurels and accept the unacceptable…the exact opposite is true.

I’d absolutely love to connect with you more about self-compassion!  I’m hosting my first ever webinar on Tuesday (THIS Tuesday, June 14) and it’s all about self-compassion.  It’s only an hour, and you can watch it live or just receive the recording.  I listen to a lot of webinars on my drive into work (obviously I just listen, I don’t watch them while driving!!!) because I have a loooooong commute and love listening to different ideas during that commute.

If you’d like to check out a little more information about the webinar OR you are ready to register, you can CLICK HERE.

Do you have stories about using self-compassion in your own life?  Or ideas for future webinars?  Leave me a comment!  I’d love to hear from you!

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my monthly (or less) newsletter!

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.

 

{Webiner} Self-Compassion: Helping Connected Parents Connect to Themselves

June 6, 2016

I started studying self-compassion years ago when I could see how difficult it was for my clients to give themselves the grace that they could so easily give to others.  This intrigued me- I was curious.  So down the rabbit hole I went.  What I learned (which I should have expected) was that I, too, needed a good lesson in self-compassion.

You can read more about the webinar and register by clicking here!!

 

self compassion

One of the coolest things about self-compassion (well, according to this brain-geek therapist) is that there is so much SCIENCE behind the importance of self-compassion.  I hear over and over again from the parents I work with that self-care is just a joke.  First, they don’t have time.  Second, they have no one willing to watch their kids.  Third, even if they had time and baby-sitters, taking time away from their kids makes things WORSE and completely negates any type of self-care they were hoping to achieve.  Sometimes the parents I work with have to come to grips with the fact that pedicures, massages, and golf outings are just not a part of their current parenting journey.  But self-care is non-negotiable.  Absolutely non-negotiable.  Children with attachment wounds rely on us to be in a calm and connected place so that they begin to trust the safety of relationship.  I’ve realizing that self-compassion is a profoundly powerful experience that be accessed in a split second, can quickly calm the nervous system and allow us to move into a place that is safe for our children to connect with, AND when practiced repeatedly is actually a much more useful act of self-care than a martini or coffee with your best friend ever could be.  Self-compassion has the power to help you become your own best friend.  A kind, loving, and supportive friend.  Who is always there.

Why would I launch my webinar series with a webinar on self-compassion?  Parents want me to tell them what to do, not be all touchy-feeling about self-compassion.  Right?

I believe the impact of self-compassion can be so profound that I was determined to make it my very first ever webinar.  I’ve seen it happen in my own life, and I’ve seen it happen in the lives of my clients.  I’ve watch years of negative self-talk and the resulting stuck negative behaviors dramatically shift.  It’s as if they are able to see something that’s always been there- something they didn’t know was there but now that they can see it (self-compassion) it is so CLEAR that it has actually always been there.  My job is awesome.

I’m doing my first webinar on self-compassion because I’ve come to believe totally and completely that tools are absolutely useless when parents are in a state of reactivity.  On edge.  Overwhelmed.  Hopeless.  “Just tell me what to do!!!” is like a secret code to me- what I hear is “I am so overwhelmed that even if there was a magic answer (there isn’t) I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway!!!”  Self-compassion.  Self-compassion can help you shift into a state where if I told you what to do, you would actually be able to do it.  But the coolest thing is that once you shift into that open state that emerges from self-compassion, you very rarely even need to be told what to do.  The ‘what to do’ becomes clear.

Self compassion isn’t some sort of cure-all.  It takes practice and repetition.  But I’ve seen it become the gift that just keeps on giving (it’s a lot like glitter).  Something so simple.  Something that can be done in an instant.

I’d be honored if you’d join me! Please click here to read more and register!!

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Like what you read here?  To get even more support, click here to sign up for my monthly (or less) newsletter!

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.

Be calm. Be confident. Be compassionate.

March 21, 2016

I think I finally get it.  Or at least, I’m getting it in a deeper way.  In a whole-body, brain and heart, I can feel it in my bones kind of way.

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In the past few weeks, I’ve have the opportunity to experience first-hand some extremely dysregulated behavior in my office.  In two circumstances, I couldn’t do anything except stay calm and wait.  In a third, I could have chosen a different path (the situation was a bit more contained and I had more power than in the other two circumstances, which were much more vulnerable), but didn’t.  I fully embrace the truth that I am not triggered by a dysregulated child in the same way that a parent would be.  I don’t feel as wary.  I don’t have the same level of attachment involved, which always muddies the waters.  But I think it’s because of these very facts that I was able to maintain the clarity that allowed for this profound knowing to take place.

When children with attachment trauma become extremely dysregulated, enter the red zone, have a down-stairs brain tantrum, we are witnessing a pocket of their disorganized attachment.  I can feel this in my body.  Their nervous system becomes so distressed, so dysregulated, so disorganized.  You can hear this in their tone of voice, see it in their eyes.  Knowing I am seeing their disorganized attachment coming through brings me so much calmness.  So much compassion.  So much sadness.  So much clarity about what I need to do.

The very thing a disorganized system expects is to be met with what led to the disorganization in the nervous system.  It expects anger.  Fear.  Threats.  Dysregulation.  When we meet the pocket of disorganized attachment with the EXACT OPPOSITE, change happens.

When your child is throwing a chair, or a rock…screaming at you….spitting at you (all of these have happened to me recently).  When they suddenly behave as though they have to protect themselves from you by allowing their FIGHT response to surge forward, what they need is your calm presence.  Your strong presence.  Your confidence that you can handle this situation with a calm and compassionate stance.  Your commitment to loving even their parts that are hardest to love.  Your knowing that THIS is not who your child really is…this is just a terrified, disorganized pocket.

When you stand calm, confident, and compassionate eventually you invite your child into connection. This is a fact I have known and embodied for many years now.  What I have known for years, but only truly embodied in the past several weeks, is the truth that it is this calm, confident, and compassionate self that is laying one brick in the foundation of your child’s secure attachment.  New research in the field of memory reconsolidation PROVES that when your nervous system is expecting one thing (an angry, frightening, or frightened caregiver) and it is met with the opposite (a calm, confident, and compassionate caregiver) that THIS is the magic key.  This unexpected surprise– a disconfirming experience– actually unlocks and CHANGES a small portion of the disorganization in your child.

This must be done over and over and over again.  I wish that weren’t the truth.  I wish that this only needed to happen once. But your child didn’t have ONE experience that created a disorganized attachment system.  Your child had many.  Hundreds.  Thousands?  So many new experiences are required.  Luckily, they provide us with many opportunities. Our hurting children are so smart to continue to provide opportunities for a disconfirming experience.

Calm.  Confident.  Compassionate.  Not “lacking boundaries” or “giving in to everything your child wants.”  In every episode I can think of in my office, the disorganized behavior erupted after a limit was set.  In every case, we (the child’s parents and I) did not waiver on the limit.  We did stay calm, confident, and compassionate.  We freely and eagerly offered the opportunity to repair because the intensity of the shame that comes forward after an episode of dysregulation is usually powerful.  Because dysregulated individuals need to know that all parts of them are welcomed and loved.  We offered a drink.  Because I know I’m thirsty after releasing so much intense energy.  I promised the child I’d see them the next week and when I saw them again, I welcomed them with such genuine gladness to be reunited…another opportunity for a disconfirming experience.  I hold no residue of the trauma because I do not take it personally (it’s never personal…even when it is).

The infrequent experiences I have with severe dysregulation and disorganization- the level that truly strips me of all potential opportunities to intervene and forces me to just stay calm, confident, and compassionate- cannot compare to the constant dysregulation that you experience in your home.  I get it.  Secure attachment is born of 33% attunement.  33% rupture.  33% repair.  You won’t be able to stay calm, confident, and compassionate in every situation.  You’re going to get triggered.  You’re going to yell or be scary to your child.  This is an opportunity to repair.  Repair is another non-negotiable ingredient in secure attachment, and it is only through rupture that we are provided the opportunity to repair.  I am grateful for ruptures.  I am grateful that I can encourage you to aim for 33% attunement.  33% of the time you can stay calm, confident, and compassionate in the face of dysregulation.  Meet your child’s disorganized attachment with your calm, confident, and compassionate secure attachment.  And lay another brick- knowing that you are truly changing and rebuilding their disorganized attachment system.

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Like what you read here?  To get more trauma momma support, click here to sign up for my monthly (or less) newsletter!

Join us in Austin on April 29 & 30 for our 3rd annual retreat for struggling parents raising challenging children- EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE.

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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March 10, 2016

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