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A Trauma Informed Approach to Behaviors in the Classroom- free download!

April 13, 2015

Free Article Download- A Trauma Informed Approach to Behaviors in the Classroom is a letter to your child’s teacher- short, simple, and steeped in science- on why behavior management systems don’t usually work for children with a history of trauma, and WHAT THE TEACHER CAN DO INSTEAD!!!!

trauma informed

About six weeks ago, I finally started putting pen to paper on a project that’s been whirling in my brain for months.  I am regularly asked for an article or some scholarly referenced material that parents can give to teachers that describes why a traditional behavioral management system (levels, colors, stop-light, clip charts, etc.) don’t work for  kids who have experienced early trauma- in fact they often make behaviors worse.  An abstract idea I’ve been formulating finally took enough shape that I could get some of those ideas onto paper.

This is the time of year when behaviors tend to escalate at school.  Parents are met with teachers who want to do a ‘behavior contract’ or redefine the current behavior management system in place.  I haven’t run across a succinct, easy-to-read, yet steeped in science article about WHY traditional behavior management systems don’t work for our kids.  If there’s one out there, please point me to it!!

So, I wrote one myself.  I aimed for succinct (it’s 10 pages- long enough to explain some science, short enough for a busy teacher to read), easy-to-read (I include lots of information about the brain but in a way that make’s SENSE!!!), and steeped in science.  I can’t find a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article on this subject so I made sure I cited the work of leaders in our field- Dan Siegel, Pat Ogden, Stephen Porges, Allan Schore, Deborah Gray.  AND the article doesn’t just explain why behavior systems may actually make behaviors work- I give teachers an alternative!!!

You can access, download, save, print, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT with my article for teachers by CLICKING HERE.  I’ve called it “A Trauma Informed Approach to Behaviors in the Classroom” but wrote it in a casual manner as a letter to the teacher.

Check back here with your thoughts!!!  If you give the letter to you child’s teacher and find it helpful, please let me know!!!

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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!!

Early Bird Extended- EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE

April 6, 2015

We’ve extended the early bird deadline for EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE to this Friday April 10th!  Register before the end of the day on Friday and you’ll be saving $10 off your investment.

You can CLICK HERE to jump right to the registration page.

Haven’t heard about EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE yet?!?!

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WHY ATTEND?

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. 

WHAT TO EXPECT

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 other’s 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, mindful awareness..  You will enjoy learning about and experiencing these self-care tools!

Conference Sessions:

We’re All in this Together!

Participants will:

  • Understand the importance of a regulated nervous system and learn ways to keep a calm demeanor in the face of tribulations.
  • Explore the various elements of secure attachment and examine the role of attachment rupture and repair.

Getting Out of Your Own Way

Participants will:

  • Understand how shame can interfere with their ability to care for a challenging child
  • Identify their strengths under stress
  • Learn the concept of Radical Acceptance and how to implement it in everyday life
  • Choose how to act instead of just reacting
EMERGING through Self-Compassion
     Participants will:
  • Learn how self-compassion can help parents avoid continuing patterns of fear, isolation, and negativity
  • Understand how self-compassion helps keep our nervous system in a regulated space that promotes personal well-being and allows for attachment and connection with our children (and partners!)
  • See how self-compassion removes judgment, promotes self-kindness, and ultimately allows parents to EMERGE as the parents they hoped to be- and actually already are.

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, founder of CTATC, is a therapist specializing in adoption, attachment, and trauma.  Trained in EMDR, Trust Based Relational Intervention®, and The ALERT Program, she integrates these modalities into an attachment based, neuroscience supported, and       sensory sensitive healing environment for children and their families.

Suzette Lamb, LPC-S, LCPAA, co-founder of CTATC, is a therapist who has spent over 25 years working with children and families in the foster care system as well as residential and out of-home settings.  She is systemically trained, focusing on children in the context of their family, and has advanced training in trauma, attachment, EMDR, and Trust Based Relational            Intervention®.

Katie Spillar, LMFT Associate, co-founder of CTATC, is a therapist trained in EMDR, Theraplay, and Trust Based Relational Intervention®.  She works with children, teenagers, and families who have experienced attachment trauma, adoption grief and loss, and behavioral problems.  Katie’s playful, authentic presence supports connection and healing. 

ALL CTATC THERAPISTS SPECIALIZE IN FAMILIES WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ATTACHMENT TRAUMA

CLICK HERE to register!!!

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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?!??!!!!!!!??!!!!!!)

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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!!!

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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!!

Protected: AFAH Conference Handouts

February 21, 2015

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EMPOWER, EMBRACE, EMERGE Conference

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!

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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.

DETAILS

WHY ATTEND?

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.

WHAT TO EXPECT

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.

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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.

Carb-a-holic.

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.

PROTEIN

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 :)

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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.

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