Attachment Trauma: A Personal Reflection Part 3 by Bryan Post

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And so we struggled. When you have four members of a family attempting to relate to one another in a positive way but unknowingly unconsciously influenced by the blueprints that relationships are not entirely to be trusted or are safe, you quickly gain a portrait of a typical family.

Trauma is any stressful event perceived to be overwhelming, unpredictable, or prolonged. When such an event is not emotionally validated by our direct relationships and environment, then such an event can impact us lifelong. Typically we have a very small window of knowledge for what have been traumatic events in our lives and how they continue to influence us.

When looking at the family portrait we now can see one child adopted at an early age with relatively little trauma around birth, however carrying the seeds of sensitivity to rejection, a fear of abandonment, and ultimately fearful throughout his childhood; Another small child born premature with a possibility of fetal exposure, whose first moments in the world were spent surrounded by the dull hum of an incubator; An adoptive mother who was the oldest daughter of ten children with a hardworking mother, an alcoholic father, and a sharecroppers wages to feed twelve mouths; and a father, the oldest of nine, an alcoholic father, equally poor wages to feed eleven mouths, later a Vietnam veteran suffering from wartime shock.

According to neuroscientist Allan Schore, attachment is the dyadic regulation of emotion. The ability of two peoples to sooth their upset emotional states between each other. Considering the above, and the stressful society in which we live, it is hard to wonder that any attachment at all could be created. It was however, and then story shall be told. To be continued.

Choose Love,

B.

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Want to learn more about trauma and attachment? Reading From Fear to Love: Parenting Difficult Adopted Children by Bryan Post will give you a simple explanation of how it occurs, how it effects relationships, and how to heal it.

A Parenting Must-Have for Adopted, Foster or Biological Children - Honestly, it's the best parenting handbook I've seen for someone with a child that has difficult behaviors... Even if you aren't into reading, this book is a must have. If you are thinking of adopting a child, please read this book. If you have adopted a child, please read this book. If you yourself have been adopted, please read this book. If you're a parent and have nothing to do with adoption in any manner, please read this book." -- Book Review By Literary Litter

You'll never believe how it simple it can be until you understand what really drives your kids.
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Attachment Trauma: A Personal Reflection Part 2 by Bryan Post

There are no two relationships ever the same. Every interaction that we have with another individual is influenced by our own personal past experiences. John Bowlby, M.D, the father of modern-day attachment theory, referred to these past experiences as our blueprints. Bowlby espoused that the first three years of our lives establish the blueprints for all of our future relationships. At a physiologic level, upon reflecting at the differences between my sister’s earliest relationship blueprints and my own, it is not difficult to determine that at even such an early age she was already imprinted to view human relationships as not safe.

When we consider trauma in the lives of children it is important to realize the far majority of traumatic experiences occurring in their lives typically involve some aspect of human relationship. If a child has been abused, battered, or neglected by the individual that is supposed to love her most then what would make subsequent relationships appear any safer?

From the earliest point in time throughout their relationship with one another, my sister and my parents struggled to be attached. The legendary attachment pediatricians Marshall Klaus and John Kennel inform us that attachment is the behavior of the child to the parent and bonding is the behavior of the parent to the child. In the mental health profession we have fostered an imbalance of influence. A child cannot develop attachment with a parent struggling to bond. Thus, unwittingly, an almost impossible task was set in motion.

Regardless of the trauma issues that my sister carried into the family, my own parents equally brought their own. As you can imagine, the family experience, the experience I refer to as the ‘secret life of the family,’ was not very attractive. To be continued.

Choose Love,

B.

If you have children – adopted, biological or foster – with attachment issues and would like to learn how to help heal early trauma, consider this excellent parenting manual for challenging children - visit From Fear to Love: Parenting Difficult Adopted Children by Bryan Post.

A Parenting Must-Have for Adopted, Foster or Biological Children…
“Honestly, it’s the best parenting handbook I’ve seen for someone with a child that has difficult behaviors… Even if you aren’t into reading, this book is a must have. If you are thinking of adopting a child, please read this book. If you have adopted a child, please read this book. If you yourself have been adopted, please read this book. If you’re a parent and have nothing to do with adoption in any manner, please read this book.” — Book Review By Literary Litter

There are also FREE resources, videos and articles available for helping families with children with trauma, RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attachment Disorders, ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder and more at www.postinstitute.com, www.reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.com, www.postinnercircle.com and oxytocincentral.com.
There is hope. There is help.

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A thoughtful and skeptical review of Bryan Post’s book

"The Difference Between Happiness and Despair"

This reviewer, both an attorney and adopted mom, gave an insightful, critical and skeptical review of her experience with Bryan Post's first popular book co-authored with H. Forbes. Here is a taste of her final conclusion:  ..."So I gave it try. With our own adopted child, we have seen a night-and-day difference in his behavior which I believe directly reflects the efficacy of the book’s general recommendations. I would recommend reading the book in light of your own experience with your children and trying out some of the scenarios. If it works for you, it’s time well spent. For our child, it was the difference between despair and happiness. My child’s unselfconscious smile and laughter are the proof I need that the practicum works".   Read the full review here -  Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control...bookscritics.com.

For more of Bryan Post's groundbreaking radical new understanding of difficult children, read The Great Behavior Breakdown and From Fear to Love: Parenting Difficult Adopted Children and visit www.postinstitute.com,  and www.postinnercircle.com.

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Attachment Trauma: A Personal Reflection Part 1 by Bryan Post

The purpose of this column is to educate and offer solutions to parents, teachers, and professionals struggling to care for children that have been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder.

Having been an attachment challenged child myself, spending time in foster care and then being adopted into a loving home that soon became an angry home, I have first hand experience on how difficult understanding and parenting your child can be.

Before I go into what you can do to help your child, allow me to tell you a little about my story growing up as such a child:

  •  I only spent in three months in foster care. However, anytime in foster care is too much time due to the traumatic break which occurs between the infant and biologic mother at birth. For decades the impact of this early attachment break has been discounted.
  • It is impossible for me to tell my story without also including my sister’s story because it creates the framework for my life’s work. Let me explain.

Though both adopted before we were four months old, my sister’s life has been the polar opposite to mine from day one. I was carried to term and moved quickly into a foster home, she was premature and had to spend her first three months in an incubator. My mother tells the story that when she and my father first saw me I was smiling. On the other hand, upon seeing my sister for the first time she was crying. Because we now know so much about neuroscience and physiologic patterns, I believe these first interactions established the framework for the relationship my sister and parents had from that point forward. To be continued.

Choose Love,

B.

If you have children - adopted, biological or foster - and would like to learn how to help heal early truama or attachment issues, visit From Fear to Love: Parenting Difficult Adopted Children by Bryan Post.
A Parenting Must-Have for Adopted, Foster or Biological Children...
"Honestly, it's the best parenting handbook I've seen for someone with a child that has difficult behaviors... Even if you aren't into reading, this book is a must have. If you are thinking of adopting a child, please read this book. If you have adopted a child, please read this book. If you yourself have been adopted, please read this book. If you're a parent and have nothing to do with adoption in any manner, please read this book." -- Book Review By Literary Litter
There are FREE resources, videos and articles available for helping families with children with trauma, RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attachment Disorders, ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder and more at www.postinstitute.com, www.reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.com, www.postinnercircle.com and oxytocincentral.com.
There is hope. There is help.

On Love (and Fear) by Bryan Post

We at the POST Institute decided to spend time examining the very fleeting experience of Love. Why do I say fleeting? Truth is love is not that common. To really know love, experience it, share it, sit quietly within it, is something that I believe eludes most of us most of the time. We are familiar with the all too common “I love you” and the quick “love you too” response that is more of a knee jerk reaction than a truly heartfelt expression of what the words really mean. Truth be told, we all strive for it, hope to raise our children in it, and would like to be seen as very loving. In fact, in the day to day we probably even believe that for the most part we are loving. But let’s take a closer look shall we?

I believe that in order to truly understand something, we can best grasp it by understanding more fully its opposite. I was twenty-seven years old before I first realized that I was fearful. Not fearful on a moment to moment basis, but fearful in a way that it was a controlling factor throughout my life. Within a flash I looked back on my earliest experiences, the anxiety, the shyness, the vigilance, all rooted in fear. I have started this year off with a resolution of getting fit. The other day, as I was exercising, a flash of stress trigger entered my body. At first I could not place the source of my stress and anxiety. When I sat with it for a moment I realized the history of the stress trigger was in my fear of failure. You see, I played college football for a couple of years until I finally came to the realization that my dream of becoming a professional football player was more to get me to college than it was to become a reality. My first college football exercise was to run a mile in under twelve minutes. I was young, strong and in shape. Not really a big deal until I started running. I became filled with anxiety. I couldn’t catch my breath, my heart was beating fast, soon I started to fear that I wouldn’t make it and would have to run extra during the rest of the season. After a few laps I noticed that several teammates had finished and being a freshman, I wasn’t particularly worried about anyone watching me, so somewhere in the mix of things I feigned completion and stopped alongside the rest of the guys. I never finished my mile; my fear got the best of me.

Such experiences were a significant part of my athletic life throughout school. Though I was by most accounts a dominate athlete, occasionally my fear would takeover and I would be almost helpless. I didn’t realize this until years later while in therapy. Though the therapist was not particularly impressive she did point out to me that I seemed to have a tremendous amount of fear. It did not become fully conscious until another year or so passed and a client asked me what I was afraid of and I was about to reply, “I’m not afraid of anything,” when suddenly it hit me like a lightening bolt, “I was afraid of everything and had been so for much of my life.” After sharing with my client the light bulb she had just turned on for me, I began another round of therapy to examine deeper the fear that I had been carrying throughout my life.

Now you might ask, “Well Bryan, if you are writing on love why exactly are you going into this diatribe on fear?” The point is that if you don’t know what you are afraid of, you will never become conscious of whether the space you are standing in is one of love or one of fear. It is imperative and much easier to be honest with our fear, more so than our love, because our fear is much more pervasive in our lives. Now if you find yourself taking offense to that last statement, ask yourself why? Why is it that we become immediately defensive with things we do not like, rather than just opening and accepting?

It’s because of fear. We are always fearful of encountering new things. It’s actually a scientific finding that when we encounter new things we perceive them as threatening and fearful until we deem them otherwise. If we were holding a space of love we wouldn’t judge, wouldn’t become so reactive, and defensive. We might laugh in our observance of the statement, find it amusing and then move on to the rest of life. But, we don’t. Just like our children’s behaviors. We are so fearful of our children doing wrong, we seldom see the right. It is much easier to see fearful behaviors or actions because our brains are always looking for a threat, as opposed to seeing attempts to survive, or to do better, or perhaps to just do as we’ve been conditioned. (Take a moment to read that last sentence again. I think there is something significant there, which probably deserves another article at some point.)

Love is simple. There have been songs, poems, books, and monuments built to honor it. However, love requires none of these things. Because it just is. My most sincere suggestion regarding love is that you look closer at the roots of your fear. If you can find it, connect to it, understand it, and don’t judge it, but seek to really see it and how it plays out in your day to day experiences, you will then find the space of love. Remember love and fear cannot co-exist. Where one is the other is not. Your ability to see your fear makes it possible to then put it aside and return to love.

Bryan Post
“A humble seeker of love.”

If you have children - adopted, biological or foster - and would like to learn more about how to love more and fear less and help your child do the same, visit From Fear to Love: Parenting Difficult Adopted Children by Bryan Post.

A Parenting Must-Have for Adopted, Foster or Biological Children...
"Honestly, it's the best parenting handbook I've seen for someone with a child that has difficult behaviors... Even if you aren't into reading, this book is a must have. If you are thinking of adopting a child, please read this book. If you have adopted a child, please read this book. If you yourself have been adopted, please read this book. If you're a parent and have nothing to do with adoption in any manner, please read this book." -- Book Review By Literary Litter

There are FREE resources, videos and articles available for helping families with children with RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attachment Disorders, ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder and more at www.postinstitute.com.
There is hope. There is help.

How to Get 4 Hours of Bryan Post’s Solution Sessions for 5 Bucks

We found a bunch of  copies of Susan Kutchinska's wonderful book on Oxytocin, the Chemistry of Connection, in our warehouse (we thought we had sold out) and decided to offer it AND for the first 13 people who buy they can get Bryan Post's 4 CD set entitled The Solution Sessions for only $5 more. So for $21.95 you get the book and 4 hours of Bryan in this rarely offered CD set for helping children and parents heal. Paul Zak, the love Doctor said about Chemistry of Connection, "A marvelous book. It brings the science of oxytocin into the service of love in an engaging and practical way. Anyone who wants to understand and improve his or her relationships should read it." Check it out at http://postinstitute.com/store/books.html.

Hello, Here is a question for all of you. What do you do when your child won’t stop taking food from the pantry and hiding it in their room? Please read and answer the different questions that come up and add questions of your own that you may need help with so we can all get ideas from each other and help each other. My example: My 17 year old hides food and wrappers under his mattress even when he knows we will find it. HELP!!! —-Susan D.

A public thank you from a friend in the UK

To David Durovy & Bryan Post

Whom sent me copies of Bryan's books, "From Fear, To Love" & "The Great Behaviour Breakdown", both by email and hard copies by post.

Thank you so much.

I doubt many people in the UK will have heard of Bryan Post or the Post Institute (http://www.postinstitute.com/) but Bryan is clearly a generous man and a man of passion and a special understanding within his field. All parent's, whether of adopted children or whether biological parents, should read his books and watch his videos. The world is a better place because of people like Bryan, who truly understands the importance of love, compassion & understanding.  The books are not available through Amazon UK (and should be!!!) so if you are a parent, whether adoptive or not, and want a copy then approach the institute directly.

Amazon UK do have "Beyond Consequences Logic and Control" which is co-authored br Bryan.

I believe the single most important thing for the future of humanity, is working towards a true understanding of our nature, and Bryan is definitely one of the knights on that quest.

Sir, you have my utmost respect and gratitude!!

 

Got Attitude? by Bryan Post

When a child is always in a huff about a request or frowns his face, we have a tendency to say this child has an attitude problem.
 
However, brain research informs us that anytime we encounter something new or different, we perceive it as a threat until deemed otherwise. When you make a simple request of your child, he is naturally geared towards having a reaction. This reaction which is actually brain-based causes him to experience a momentary state of freeze. At this juncture many children have been able to override this experience by rolling their eyes, huffing out loud, making strange sounds and groans, as they move toward completing the request. In this way the expression of emotion through attitude is an attempt, unconsciously, for the child to adjust to the request. To effectively permit your child this expression, simply make your request and move away. It can be just as effective to make your request in passing. This will permit your child to have the emotional safety of his expression without you feeling as though the child is disrespecting you. 
 
Contrary to what your parents may have believed, the expression of attitude is not an attempt to disrespect, but rather an attempt to adjust to the demand of a new request. Albeit, the request may be very simple, the brain does not always see it that way.

Any request can create a stress reaction. When you make a request honor that it may seem like a really difficult one in that moment. Even if it’s a simple task like making the bed. How many of us really enjoy making the bed? Simply state, “I know it’s sometimes really hard for you to make up your bed.” Then walk away. There doesn’t have to be a “but”. In this instance you are honoring your child’s internal state while at the same time making it okay for them to go through whatever adjustments necessary to complete the task.

Make sure you visit our Facebook page for more tips. http://www.facebook.com/postinstitute

Choose love - Bryan Post

On Healing Trauma

Hey Bryan,

There is a lot of talk about trauma these days, from early childhood to soldiers in the Middle East. One cannot read the news it seems without seeing PTSD somewhere. How permanent is this stuff? Can it be cured? Can the effects be diminished over time? Is there really any help other than drugs? Just what the heck is it anyway? - Thanks, Dave

I recall as a teen being injured during basketball practice, actually knocked unconscious, and lying in bed when my mother got home from work. When she asked me what had happened I explained the best I could through my tears. My mom listened, turned my light off and then walked back out. Honestly I can’t recall if I was that injured or not, but when that happened it injured me worse. I moaned and cried out loud, begged and pleaded to go to the doctor, finally out of frustration she relented. I left the hospital in a neck brace and on crutches. I had sprained my neck, had a concussion, and torn ligaments in my knee.

Trauma is defined as any stressful event which is prolonged, overwhelming, or unpredictable. That means any stressful event, and stress can occur in more situations than we can possibly imagine. From pre-birth trauma to medical trauma, adoption, automobile accidents, witnessing a crime or murder, living in a stressful environment and everything else before, in between, and beyond, trauma can rear its very silent yet devastating impact.

In his seminal text, Affect Dysregulation and the Repair of the Self, author Allan Schore cites the findings of a meta-analysis of societal trauma: 50% of men in our society have experienced severe trauma and 60% of women. If you consider trauma as occurring on a spectrum of mild, moderate, severe, then essentially every member of our society has experienced some degree of trauma at some point during their lifetime. It is also important in understanding that when traumatic events continue on unexpressed, unprocessed, and misunderstood, it has the potential to impact the person for the rest of their lives.

There are so many levels from which we are impacted by trauma. Yet, it is in our immediate past and present day experiences that we most often look at trauma. I am convinced that this is merely the tip of the iceberg especially when it comes to parents and children who have been impacted by traumatic experiences. First of all, most parents are unaware, in denial, and flat out resistant to considering the impact of highly stressful past events on their current life circumstances. We tend to want to take a very puritanical approach to our pain, thus not surprisingly this carries over to our child-rearing.

Did my mother approach me this way because she was uncaring? Absolutely not, my mother is one of the most caring people that I know. However, when it comes to us and our family it is very easy to rely on past imprinting of just “tough it out”. As much as the trauma we may have directly experienced in our past or present is the impact of the generational trauma that has impacted all most all of us. I always encourage the parents and therapists that come to my camps to think not current generation pain, but go back a generation, two generations and see what you find. In the 1960’s the pioneering psychologist Bowen coined the term “generational transmission of stress” implying that stress and trauma are actually transmitted from one generation to the next. Forty years later science has confirmed this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

A passionate and concerned mother asked me the other day, “How long will it take for our family to find peace in our home. For our children to be more normal and just have the day to day challenges of normal children?” She didn’t like my answer, “Find peace now, today. This is when you will find peace. Not in the next moment or year, but today. Accept that your children are who they are and love them as they are, this will bring peace. If you are waiting for some magical moment when peace and normalcy will arrive, or come knocking at your door, then you have an expectation for the way things should be as opposed to an acceptance of the way things are. The problem with this line of thinking is that when peace and normalcy finally arrive, because we are too busy waiting for what we expect to show up, we don’t welcome what does. When this happens then peace and normalcy leaves our home as unwelcomed guest because we were too busy waiting for what we thought was going to show up.”

Healing is a process. It is a journey through repairing damage that has been done long ago. When a child has been mistreated, abused, deprived, or neglected during their most critical brain stages, then their brain has been shaped differently. In many ways he becomes a stranger in a strange world of expectations and demands, like a foreigner speaking a foreign language when everyone else speaks in the native tongue.

Additionally, what of the imprints we carry from a generational perspective? To have been witness to an adult treating a child in a manner of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, is a reflection of how that adult was inevitably treated at some point in their own life. Not only is the child therefore victim to the adult, but also to the generations of mistreatment, abuse, deprivation, and neglect that came many generations before. Healing is therefore not merely about bringing one child or family into a sense of peace and normalcy, it is about changing the very fabric and imprinting of life. It is about what will be passed down through the DNA to the next generation of children. Healing trauma is a very big deal.

Let us not forget that life and love in and of themselves have the potential to heal. How many of us who have come from traumatic environments, circumstances, and relationships have been able to rebound and move forward? Maybe not finding perfect peace and harmony, who ever truly does, but able to experience the joys and wonders of the world, along with the sadness and grief that it offers, without ending up in jail, broken down, and alone. Many more have attained this than not. And what of the ones who have not? My personal belief is that as long as there is breath there is hope and everyone has a purpose and the value of that purpose cannot always be determined as it relates to the fabric of our lives.

Choose Love,
- B.


Can people see without their eyes? How people can hear without ears and other mind boggling healing stories and some of the latest onLearned Optimism healing trauma, both physical and emotional, see Dr. Norman Doidge's classic book on Neuroplacticity  The Brain That Changes Itself available at Amazon,com. Yes, it is brain science and yes, you can do your own brain surgery! For more on this exciting field you will want to read Martin Seligman's Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. Both these books will provide the incentive, motivation and roadmap for learning to make the changes you desire both in your life and help to positively influence those in your family. Truly, you owe it to yourself. If you have a challenging child, you NEED help.

Also, if you have not been to our site, visit us at http://www.postinstitute.com