Two things helped me parent with PTSD and manage PTSD symptoms. They are:
1. learning about attachment
2. learning about ACEs
Leaning about ACEs gave me context and learning about attachment gave me tools for how to do parenting differently than it had been done in my own life.
For some reason, neither had been discussed in my traditional "feel it to heal it" type of therapy. When I learned about ACEs I was not shocked that some people have high ACE scores. I was shocked that not everyone does.
I was shocked that what I had considered normal wasn't. I was shocked that many adults have not experienced multiple ACEs because most of the people I know had.
How those of us in therapy or treatment aren't taught this I don't know or understand.
When I learned about ACEs it made such a difference in my parenting and healing that despite being an introvert I do speak now and again to help spread the word to other parents who might be struggling and feeling alone or like they are just lousy as people or as parents to not know things others seem to know.
The other part I learned about is attachment and for me, it provided the tools, the approach, the missing information about what is supposed to be present when trauma is absent.
It was a huge "aha" for me.
And it's only something I learned as an adoptive parent. I don't know why this isn't part of therapy 101 for all of us. Maybe it is now but it wasn't for me and it's not for many others. So that too I try to share.
Just talking and sharing is helpful. There are also concrete things we can do to parent and to soothe and support ourselves and each other. It's not easy to talk about parenting challenges or having trouble recognizing, dealing with or responding to those feeling things in ourselves and others.
But we can. We totally can.
Here's some information about this event which is open to anyone.
Parenting with PTSD (also with ACEs): Breaking the Cycle without Falling Apart
How do adults abused as children go on to become effective parents? The author speaks from a combination of personal and professional experiences as writer, mother, reporter, parent via adoption and trauma survivor. For most of her adult life she’s been exploring how to live, love and parent well after being raised in hell. She shares data, stories, insights and a surprisingly upbeat and humorous perspective of parenthood and adult life after adverse childhood experiences.
After this Training, Participants will be Able to:
- Explain the ACE Study and how it can be a useful tool in working with parents who have a trauma history
- Discuss the specific and daily challenges those parenting with post-traumatic stress experience
- Identify 3 strategies for supporting parents with PTSD
When: Friday, December 16, 2016, 9:30 am-12:30 pm (registration starts at 9 am)
Where: MIT Endicott House, 80 Haven St., Dedham, MA
Who Should Attend: This talk is geared to mental health clinicians, but would also be valuable to family partners, outreach workers, school personnel, health professionals, child welfare workers, parents and others.
Speaker: Christine “Cissy” White is a writer, health activist, trauma survivor, mother, and founder of the Heal Write Now Center (www.healwritenow.com). She’s been published in major media, including The Boston Globe, Ms. Magazine online, and Spirituality & Health magazine. Her work focuses on adverse childhood experiences, traumatic stress, and the long-term health and well-being of trauma survivors. She blends research, interviews, and personal experience to create powerful presentations. She’s a contributing writer for the book Trigger Points Anthology: Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting and, You can Help Survivors. She is also Group Manager of the Parenting with ACEs group at www.acesconnection.com.
CEUs: Applications for 3 hours of continuing education credits will be submitted for Social Workers, LMHCs, LMFTs, and Nurses. Please contact Jenny Huynh (email@example.com) for the status of the CE accreditation. This training is approved for 3 hours of continuing education for Psychologists. RiversideCommunity Care is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor education for Psychologists. Riverside Community Care maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Registration: Registration is $55 per person or $35 per person for Riverside Community Care employees. Pre-registration is required. Complete the registration online at www.parentingwithptsd.eventbrite.com and pay by credit card or, if you prefer, you can use this PDF flyer with registration form and pay by check or credit card. Please make the check payable to “Riverside Community Care” and send it to: Jenny Huynh, Riverside Trauma Center, 255 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02494. Pre-registration is required by December 9, 2016.
Refunds will not be available for this training. Registration starts at 9 am. Coffee and bagels will be provided.