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SELF Compassion for the Trauma Momma

March 12, 2015

{This article went out in my email newsletter yesterday.  I’ve always tried NOT to duplicate content, so forgive me!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the blog!  Forgive me for that too!!  It’s not uncommon for me to take writing breaks and it’s always for the same reason.  When life starts to get reallllly busy, I just cannot get in a brain space to write creatively.  I hope to get back to it because it really is my own form of self-care.  It’s a good litmus test- if I can write creatively I am well inside my window of tolerance!!!  And when I’m not writing regularly, I will give myself compassion!!  Thanks to everyone who has already emailed with lovely comments about how much the article meant to you.  It’s so helpful for me to remember that even a short article can really change someone’s day- and that’s important!!} (PS- as I’m proof-reading this, I’m wondering if I could possibly use any more exclamation points?!??!!!!!!!??!!!!!!)


Compassion {kum – pash – un}- the recognition and CLEAR SEEING of suffering.  Compassion involves feelings of kindness for the person who is suffering so that the desire to help end the suffering will emerge.  Compassion means we recognize that all humans are flawed and we are in this together.  (Kristin Neff, 2011).

Compassion isn’t too hard to find when others are hurting.  My whole job revolves around finding compassion.  Without compassion, I’d sit in my puffy brown therapist chair (it really is brown but it’s not actually that puffy) and stay focused on the myriad of difficult behaviors that walk through my door.  Underneath every single one of those maladaptive behaviors- in both the children and the adults- is suffering.  And through compassion, I can stay focused on that suffering as a framework for the behaviors.  This allows therapy to actually work!  When we ease suffering, we see a shift in maladaptive behaviors.

Sometimes easing suffering is as simple (note I said simple- not easy or painless) as shining a light on the suffering, looking at it together, and staying in a non-judgmental place of compassion.

Why is it so difficult to aim compassion on OURSELVES?

When we extend compassion toward others we don’t see it as a pity party.  It isn’t woe is you.  It isn’t your life is worse than mine.  So why is SELF-compassion so intimidating?  Why do we fear that if we extend compassion to ourselves for our suffering that we are throwing ourselves a pity party? Or that we are ‘letting ourselves off the hook.’ What if you spoke as kindly and gently to yourself as you did to your best friend?

There is suffering in parenting a child with a traumatized background.  You cannot invite that much suffering into your home without that suffering extending to you.  Maybe you are experiencing physical suffering due to an attack on your body or because parenting your child has put a tremendous amount of stress on your body and immune system.    Certainly there’s emotional suffering- including overwhelming grief and loss- for families who care for, parent, love, and commit to the hurting child.

Consider extending yourself some kindness.  Pause for a moment.  Place your hand over your heart, and maybe your other hand on your belly.  Say to yourself “I’m suffering.  This is hard.  I feel this pain.  I offer myself kindness.”

I’ve been learning and reading about self-compassion through the work of Kristin Neff, PhD- who happens to live nearby and works at UT Austin.    Everyone needs self-compassion.  You are no exception.

If you are local enough to Central Texas, please consider joining my colleagues and I for the 2nd Annual CTATC Conference in Austin on April 17- EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE.  I’ll be speaking even more about self-compassion and how to cultivate kindness toward yourself in order to ease suffering.   CLICK HERE for more information and to register!!!


Like what you read here?  To get more trauma momma support, click here to sign up for my monthly 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.

EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE- A Nourishing Conference for Parents & Caregivers in Austin, TX on April 17.  Created just for YOU!!

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February 21, 2015

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February 11, 2015

Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center is excited to invite you to our 2nd Annual Conference- EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE- Another Nourishing Conference for Parents and Caregivers!


We had a BLAST last year at REGULATE, REFUEL, AND RECONNECT and heard the message loud and clear that parents are looking for a conference JUST for them.  You can get training hours- and we love to provide training hours!!!- on parenting a child who has experienced attachment trauma, or any kiddo who has difficulty with relationships and regulation.  But this conference is special- this conference doesn’t focus on what to do to help your kiddo- this conference focuses on what to do to help YOU.  And not only will you get the “what to do” but you’ll have the opportunity to begin to feel and experience it.  BONUS- you’ll be in a room full of parents who totally get it.



Compassion fatigue and caregiver burnout may be all too familiar on your journey of parenting a child with difficult behaviors.  Over the months and years, the ongoing trauma of parenting may have you feeling as though you have little left to give.  How would you like to spend a day with    other parents who share a similar path and are ready to turn some of those caregiver superpowers on themselves?  Please join Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center (CTATC) for our second   annual conference-EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE, a Nourishing Conference for Parents and Caregivers.  This soul-enriching day will draw from the latest research and innovation in the fields of neuroscience, mindfulness, and self-compassion to help attendees EMPOWER their mind, body, and soul, EMBRACE themselves (and their child), and EMERGE as a parent more amazing than you ever imagined.


EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE will be hands-on and interactive, combining learning with experiencing and providing real-world application that you will be able to feel and do in the moment.   You can look forward to meeting new people, hearing others’ stories and experiences, and having the opportunity to share your own.  This will be a day of listening AND doing so come ready to connect with other parents who share a similar parenting journey.  Topics will include self-compassion, radical acceptance, mindfulness, and the power of stories.

When: April 17, 2015; 9am to 3:30pm

Where: Austin, TX- The Settlement Home

Cost: Early bird registration fee of $85/person, with $55 for your second parent partner.

To Register CLICK HERE.

Questions?  Send me an email!  Partial scholarships are available for families in financial need.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Like what you read here?  To get more trauma momma support, click here to sign up for my monthly 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.


Free Webinar!! We Adopted- So Why are Things Getting Worse?

February 2, 2015

Just a quick reminder- I’ll be presenting a FREE webinar for Cenpatico EDU on Tuesday February 3 (TOMORROW) at 7pm central time.  This webinar is part 2 of 3 “We adopted- So why are things getting worse?!.”  Part 2 will focus on changes you can make in the environment.  Part 3 will focus on changes that can be made in the family.

Sign up for the Cenpatico Webinar by CLICKING HERE.

Did you miss part 1?  No problem! You can read a summary of the two topics covered on my blog.  The articles aren’t as in-depth as the first webinar but I think it’ll be enough that you will still get a lot out of Parts 2 and 3!

Part 1 focused on two main topics.  Disorganized Attachment and the Window of Tolerance.  To read about Disorganized attachment, CLICK HERE.  To read about the Window of Tolerance, CLICK HERE.

The link to sign up for the Cenpatico Webinar tomorrow is HERE.


Like what you read here?  To get more trauma momma support, click here to sign up for my monthly 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.


Stop Afternoon Melt-Downs!!

January 25, 2015

Fit.  Tantrum.  Melt-down.  Dysregulated.

Picky eater.


Do any of these words describe your kiddo?  4pm hits and kids are hitting to proverbial roof.  Or maybe the not-so-proverbial roof in the case of a reallllllly dysregulated kid.

Maintaining regulation in a child with a trauma history is a complex process.  An art, really.  And….lots of luck.  This tip won’t fix all your dysregulation woes, but it may just help.


So many kiddos I work with are chomping on carbs…carbs…and more carbs.  And fighting with a dysregulated kid about food will likely just lead to more dysregulation.

Two quick little tricks to hide protein in yummy, sweet treats.

Protein Black Bean Brownies.  No, really.  Black beans.  In brownies.  There are lots of recipes on the internet for black bean brownies, but I love this healthy-ingredient option from trauma momma Shelly over a Yearn for Surrender.

No Bake High Energy Bites.  These. Are. So. Amazing.  You can experiment with the recipe.  There is so much sweetness in this recipe that you can easily sub cacao nibs for chocolate chips.  Use 100% nut butter with no sugar added.

Trauma kids power through glucose in their brain realllllly fast because it takes a LOT of energy to be in chronic fight/flight/freeze.  They burn up glucose (sugar) and then their blood sugar plummets, which spikes cortisol, which triggers more fight/flight/freeze.  Etcetera.  Trauma kids are more susceptible to HANGER but frankly, there are lots of kids (and adults) who could use a little extra protein to keep their blood sugar stable- which may ward off a case of the crankies and grumpies.

You’re Welcome :)





Like what you read here?  To get more trauma momma support, click here to sign up for my newsletter! I try to send it out monthly. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes 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.

Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time- Grand Rapids- Early Bird Extended

July 26, 2014

Yikes, I just realized that my last blog post was about my Austin, TX workshop, and here I am posting now about my Grand Rapids, MI workshop.  I am so sorry!  I try so hard to write blog posts that are helpful, but the summer months are SO hard for me to get in the head space where I can write.

For those of you in West Michigan- just a quick reminder about Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time NEXT Saturday in Grand Rapids, MI.  I extended the early bird rate by a few days so you should be able to get the $50 rate until Monday.

For more information and to register, click HERE.

Thanks for your patience on the marketing blog post instead of the content that you are used to.  I’ll be back on track with writing ASAP!!!  I’m looking so forward to my trip to Grand Rapids, which will be a tiny bit of work and mostly play and fun!!!

In humble gratitude,

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time- Early Bird Rate Expires Tomorrow!!!

July 3, 2014

If you’re planning to come to Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time next Saturday in Austin, TX, the early bird rate expires tomorrow!!

The venue has been finalized and the workshop will be held at The Settlement Home- 1607 Colony Creek Dr, Bldg. B, Austin, TX 78758. If you attended Regulate, Refuel, and Reconnect in April, it is being held in the same location (fewer attendees though- so we’ll have lots of space!!!).

If you still need to register, you can do so here: REGISTER FOR TRAUMA DOESN’T TELL TIME

Looking forward to seeing you there!


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