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!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Books and Methods Review - Therapeutic Parenting - Additional Reading

Additional Reading:

An Unlit Path by Deborah L Hannah

Marythemom:  I've not read this, but a lot of moms are saying it's a good read.
 Product Description  What happens when love is not enough? A true story of one family's journey, although tragic, it raises awareness to the inherent risks and rewards of adoption and foster care.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unlit Path, March 8, 2007 -
One of the best and most meaningful books I have ever read. The faith, honesty, and humility with which it is written is awe-inspiring. The author describes her family's painful journey through fostering and adopting "hard-to-place" children and how her faith helped her through the turmoil of living with children who were deeply damaged by abuse. As a fellow adoptive mother of a severely abused, special needs child, so much of this book resonates and touches me. The ways that the author's faith sustains her, especially through her dreams, are deeply moving to me and are a reminder that all our attempts at serving God are meaningful. By Nancy E. Deren

Forever Child Series(

The Forever Child is a series of fairy tales that are designed for use by parents and therapists as a tool to assist children in dealing with early abuse and neglect. Unlike other fairy tales, this series of books illustrates a number of the behaviors that are often seen in children with a history of early trauma, the parent guides provide an analysis of the root causes of these behaviors as well as step-by-step assistance for the parent.

All parents need stories they can share with their children to help generate interest in their backgrounds. Traditionally, foster and adoptive parents have had few choices in children’s tales that are specifically geared towards their child’s early life before adoption. The Forever Child series can meet this need for many families.

It is especially helpful to have the tales read aloud to the child and it is important for parents to read the tale first to determine if it is appropriate for a particular child and situation. Adults who have already shared the tales with their children have reported that they have served as a springboard for many meaningful discussions about birth families and birth history.

Nancy A. Clark, MFT is a retired therapist in the State of California and a seasoned fairy tale writer. She has worked with children suffering from traumatic backgrounds for over 20 years. She was employed as a therapist by one of the largest inner-city school districts in Southern California. Ms. Clark, a foster parent, has four grown daughters and has adopted a daughter with an early exposure to trauma.
B. Bryan Post is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of adopted children who have experienced trauma and neglect. An adopted child himself he knows firsthand the driving emotions behind the troubling behaviors demonstrated by some adopted children.

Marythemom:  I purchased the first three books.  They are beautifully illustrated paperbacks, but they were a little too specific in some uncomfortable areas and not applicable in others.  I felt these would confuse my kids who are very concrete in their thinking.  I did however have my biodaughter read them to gain some insight and empathy into what the adopted children have been through, and I really liked them for that.  We will not be purchasing the 4th book which is recommended for “MATURE adolescents, teens, and adults.”

Holding Time by Martha G. Welch

5.0 out of 5 stars "Holding Time Is Absolutely *Not* Abusive., March 15, 1999 Occasionally I have heard or read comments about Holding Time that include false information, and would like to correct some of them and encourage everyone to read the book. It was *not* designed for autistic adults. I know this, because my family has worked with Dr. Welch in her offices in New York City and she told us how it developed, as she also does in the book itself. Holding Time was developed by Dr. Welch for autistic children, and has since been shown to be remarkably successful in helping all children, including those described as "normal". I believe anyone who finds Holding Time to be abusive either has not read the book, or is simply not applying the technique correctly. In this case, they should contact a therapist who is specially trained in attachment issues. Having worked with Dr. Welch and seen the truly remarkable results she's brought about with our two girls, I find myself telling all my friends about the technique and encouraging them to try it with their own children. So many of the problems associated with child rearing can be eliminated with Holding Time. Whereas "Time Out's" teach children that their emotions are not acceptable and that they must get out of the parent's sight, Holding teaches that *no* emotions, including anger, are unacceptable and that anger does not negate love. Through Holding, you can experience a degree of joy and love you would not have thought possible. I honestly believe that many of the problem kids in our society who are now problem adults would not be committing crimes or hurting anyone if they had been "held" as children. I'm reminded of the words of the great anthropologist Margaret Mead who said (and I paraphrase), "Is it possible for one person to change the world? Indeed, that's all that ever has." Please don't be afraid of Holding Time. Read the book, get help from an attachment specialist or call Dr. Welch if you need to, but try it. Best wishes to everyone.

5.0 out of 5 stars Holding Time, January 17, 2000
I am an educational psychologist who was noticing some minor but persistent behavior and emotional concerns with my two children. My daughter was short-tempered and very sensitive to any criticsm. My son was somewhat distant and did not often like to be held or kissed. I was familiar with attachment theory but was looking for a way to use it myself. I found this book in a bookstore and used the Welch method in a modified way (I could never hold them against their will). The results were so gratifying-I still am amazed when I think of my children's response to being really listened to and connected with on this deep level. The theory helped me understand their behavior at other times too. My children are teenagers now and I am still reaping the benefits of the physical and emotional closeness that we were able to establish. It took lots of effort for me to implement this radical method, even in a modified way, but holding time with them was of great and lasting value for our family.

5.0 out of 5 stars You Gotta Read It!, August 2, 2000  
My sister introduced me to this book. She found it at the local library. It was an answer to our prayers! PLEASE read this book, and try it on your children! It has made an incredible difference in my life and the lives of my four children. This idea of "Holding Time" is so incredibly much better than the other forms of discipline out there--time out, spanking, etc. It is a great way to get "angries" out in a safe way. It not only helps the child learn to communicate their feelings, it helps moms learn patience and self discipline too. I love it and would VERY HIGHLY recommend it to you. I plan to buy a copy for myself for future reference, one for our church, and for several of my close friends. My little girl (age 3) is a totally different child after starting holding. She expresses her feelings much better (instead of screaming or throwing a tantrum) and has fantastic eye contact. She actually ASKS for Holding Time! My 7 year old son has also opened up verbally, and doesn't demand attention through bad behavior (stealing, lying, etc.)"Holding Time" is very much worth the $. I thank God for it, and also Martha G. Welch, M.D.!

Parenting Challenging Children with Power, Love and Sound Mind by Wendy Pidkaminy You might check out her website...

“Children are a blessing from God.” Psalm 127:3-5  As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I have written this compelling, important book based on Howard Glasser’s Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart ApproachTM and the work I have done with countless overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted caregivers. Inside, I carefully examine, explain and teach an immensely successful and easy to understand method for raising and encouraging triumphant, ethical children and teens — no matter how difficult or challenging they may be at this moment or how dire their clinical diagnoses.

Parenting Challenging Children with Power, Love and Sound Mind: The Nurtured Heart Approach™ from a Biblical Viewpoint will benefit all young children and teens but is especially helpful for addressing the issues and needs of those deemed “difficult” or “oppositional” by their parents, teachers, counselors and other committed individuals, including those with Disobedience, Stubbornness, Bedwetting, Temper Tantrums, Anger, Depression, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder, Autism, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Phobias and other serious challenges. Best of all, this transformation can take place by implementing these strategies a mere five minutes a day!

Parenting From the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell

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“”””How many parents have found themselves thinking: I can't believe I just said to my child the very thing my parents used to say to me! Am I just destined to repeat the mistakes of my parents? In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences actually do shape the way we parent. Drawing upon stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.

Marythemom:  This book had some exercises in it that helped me access and address my own childhood trauma – which helped me become a better parent to my traumatized children.  

Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child: From Your First Hours Together Through the Teen Years by Patty Cogen

Product Description
In this book, child and family therapist Patty Cogen, M.A., Ed.D. guides parents in promoting an internationally adopted child's social and emotional adjustment, explaining how to help a child adopted between the ages of six months and five years bond with his or her new parents, become a part of the family, and develop a positive self-image that incorporates both American identity and ethnic origins. Other topics include how (and why) to tell the child's story from the child's point of view; how to handle sleep problems and resistance to household rules; and how to encourage eye contact, ease transitions and separations, and deal with problematic anniversaries (birthdays, adoption day, Mother's Day). With advice on language and school difficulties and the development of self-control and independence, Cogen guides adoptive parents from the initial meeting through their child's teen years. It's an indispensable resource, not only for parents, but also for therapists and educators who work with adopted children.

Editorial Review From Library Journal
When a child is adopted as a toddler, his needs and those of his adoptive family are different from the needs seen in infant or school-age adoptions. Yet few resources are available to deal with these special issues. In this work, Hopkins-Best, a child development expert and mother of a child adopted as a toddler, provides a guidebook for those considering toddler adoption or those already struggling with its special challenges. She discusses at length strategies for dealing with issues such as a grieving toddler or attachment disorder. She also explains normal toddler development and possible variances in the adopted toddler. The appendix provides a wonderful list of resources. Perhaps most valuable are the anecdotes of both successes and failures from other toddler adoptive families. An important addition to all adoption collections

Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser and Jennifer Easley (Paperback - April 1999)

Product Description
Transforming the Difficult Child brings to life a new way of shifting intense children to a solid life of success. The Nurtured Heart Approach puts a refreshing spin on both parenting and teaching and reveals new techniques and strategies that create thoroughly positive behaviors.

Recommended books I haven’t reviewed

Therapeutic Parenting/ Parent Resources
Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child” by Trish Maskew  - Covers so MANY different issues. Like ODD and eating disorders, FASD, and so much more.
"Understanding Attachment" by Jean Mercer, Ph.D. (Praeger)
Attachment, Trauma, and Healing : Understanding and Treating Attachment Disorder in Children and Families, by Terry M. Levy, Michael Orlans, and Kathryn Brohl
Attachment is the deep and enduring connection established between a child and caregiver in the first few years of life. It profoundly influences every component of the human condition: mind, body, emotions, relationships, and values. Attachment, Trauma, and Healing examines the causes of attachment disorder, and provides in-depth discussion on effective solutions--including attachment-focused assessment and diagnosis, specialized training and education for caregivers, the controversial "in arms" treatment for children and caregivers, and early intervention and prevention programs for high-risk families. 
Don't Touch My Heart: Healing the Pain of an Unattached Child by Lynda Gianforte Mansfield and Christopher H. Waldmann (Jul 1994)   Paints picture of adopted boy with huge attachment problems. Short, easy to read, Gives insight into seeing through the child's eyes.Attachment, Trauma and Resilience by Kate Cairns. British SW, biomom to 3, long-term FM to 12. Review:  I can't say how great her books are, including charts of things to do to promote... "Interventions to promote stabilization, integration, adaptation, to enable children to grieve and recover...." It's just gold.
The Behavior Survival Guide for Kids by Thomas McIntyre
Your Defiant Child by Russell Barkley and Christine Benton
Getting Your Kids to Think by Maurice Lacunza
A Safe Place for Caleb: An Interactive Book for Kids, Teens and Adults with Issues of Attachment, Grief, Loss or Early Trauma by Kathleen Chara

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