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Notes from Beyond Consequences LIVE- Austin

March 6, 2013

I sat down with the intention of writing a coherent article based on my notes from the AM session of Beyond Consequences LIVE last Friday with Heather Forbes. BUT I think I like this blog post better with just the random bullet points of notes I took in the morning (unfortunately I had to leave in the afternoon to present at a conference down in San Marcos).

We are asking the WRONG question. It isn’t about HOW DO I GET THIS BEHAVIOR TO STOP in needs to be about:

  • What is driving my child’s behavior?
  • What Can I do at this VERY moment to improve my relationship with my child.
    • This creates connection, safety, regulation, and relationship
    • Sends the message to the child that “I’m still going to be connected to you no matter how you act.”

The behavior your child is exhibiting today is a reflection of what has happened in the past.

Even though you can move the child out of the trauma, you cannot move the trauma out of the child.

How does trauma come out? Bad behavior!

There is no such thing as a good orphanage! Some are better than others, but an orphanage is not the family.

The family is the change agent, not the medicine, not the therapy. The FAMILY.

There is a difference between healing and behavioral change. Patterned, rhythmic, and repetitive experiences with a loving and regulated caretaker will calm the brain.

Children should be in FAMILY therapy. If anyone goes into INDIVIDUAL therapy it should be the parent. Very few of us were raised with good emotional attuned so WE HAVE TO LEARN!!

When we are dysregulated we seek sugar, fat, and salt.

Trauma is unpredictable. So if something happens that they are not planning, to that kid that means DANGER! Something bad is going to happen.

Be present with your dysregulated child and just offer your presence. SIT DOWN. Be at their level. Being above a child’s level can increase the fear. Slow down your voice. When you get stressed out the hard-drive doesn’t work as well and you need to slow down the processing.

Stop looking for the outcome. Even if the outcome doesn’t change, at least you aren’t yelling and that’s better, right?

Pretty good stuff, huh?



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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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