This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Books and Methods Review - Therapeutic Parenting - Deborah D. Gray

Deborah D. Gray

Nurturing Attachments - website. Practical approaches of promoting attachment, shaping behavior, and working through trauma and grief

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents by Deborah D. Gray Review
Proper attachment is the most fundamental issue in a successful adoption, but what exactly does the term mean? Attaching in Adoption answers that question thoroughly, and it provides solutions to a variety of specific attachment problems.
Along with technical explanations of challenges such as self-esteem, childhood grief, and limit-testing, the book includes a tremendous number of personal vignettes illustrating attachment-related situations. Parents who are convinced that only their child has ever behaved a certain way are sure to take comfort in these stories; not only do they include kids from all backgrounds and age groups, but each has an ultimately happy ending. The emotional health of the whole family is also paramount according to the book--with plenty of rest and "alone time," caregivers are more likely to be emotionally available when they are most needed.
Because Attaching in Adoption focuses on special needs, families who are coming together through foster programs, at later ages, or across cultural lines will find it especially helpful. Both psychologically detailed and straightforwardly helpful, it can be of equal benefit to counselors and parents alike. --Jill Lightner
From Publishers Weekly
Gray, a clinical social worker specializing in attachment, grief and trauma, has penned a comprehensive guidebook for adoptive parents, taking an in-depth look at how children and families adjust. The author notes that many of today's adoptions involve older children who may have been abused or neglected, or who may have spent years in institutions or various foster situations; due to their past experiences these children may have difficulty attaching to their adoptive parents. Explaining that attachment forms the template for future adult relationships, Gray stresses how important it is for adoptive parents to be patient in forging this new bond. She advises creating a high structure/ high nurture environment for the child, and instructs parents to find out about their child's background. The book covers many issues, including cross-cultural and interracial adoption, religious concerns and other complications for attaching, such as ADHD and learning disabilities. Gray also includes a detailed exploration of developmental delays common in kids who have been adopted later in life. While the book is densely written, it will nevertheless be invaluable for adoptive parents. Gray compassionately helps readers form realistic expectations, while offering a myriad of suggestions for families and children striving to form lasting, loving relationships.

"Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after  Neglect and Trauma" Deborah D. Gray
Adopted children who have suffered trauma and neglect have structural brain change, as well as specific developmental and emotional needs. They need particular care to build attachment and overcome trauma. This book provides professionals with the knowledge and advice they need to help adoptive families build positive relationships and help children heal. It explains how neglect, trauma and prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol affect brain and emotional development, and explains how to recognise these effects and attachment issues in children. It also provides ways to help children settle into new families and home and school approaches that encourage children to flourish. The book also includes practical resources such as checklists, questionnaires, assessments and tools for professionals including social workers, child welfare workers and mental health workers. This book will be an invaluable resource for professionals working with adoptive families and will support them in nurturing positive family relationships and resilient, happy children. It is ideal as a child welfare text or reference book and will also be of interest to parents.

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