Trauma

Understanding (& Overcoming!) Abandonment Issues

By Wesley Gallagher Relationships are hard. No matter how much you love someone and know they love you, there’s always the chance that you’ll get hurt. The reality is that most people, even those you love the most, will hurt you at some point. And while many relationships last a… Read More

Scars: What Lies Beneath; Emotional Abandonment

When we think of trauma we most often think of incidents that are blatant and acute, visible and sudden, such as a natural disaster or a car wreck, mass shootings, or acts of terrorism. But some people experience trauma as more subtle and chronic that present in the form… Read More

What Do I Do With My Child?

College can be an exciting time for many young adults; it is where they experience many firsts, including a new lifestyle, friends, roommates, exposure to new cultures and a wide variety of principles and thinking. Unfortunately, when many students are unable to handle these firsts, they’re more likely to struggle. Insecure and unable to manage the new environment or adjustments they can become susceptible to depression and anxiety. Read More

PTSD in Children of Alcoholics

In addition to the basics of food and shelter, children also need stability, consistency, and emotional care in order to thrive. Typically, at a young age, children form an emotional attachment with their caregivers and this has an influence on their development. The most important emotional attachment for a child is usually their parents. Children learn from their parents how to behave, how to function in life, and how to form other healthy relationships. When children grow up in unstable environments, it can disrupt normal development and lead to difficulties, such as mental health conditions. Read More

Building Strength and Resilience through Facing and Dealing with Life’s Problems

Resilient qualities are not only what we’re born with but also the strengths that we build through encountering life’s challenges and developing the personal and interpersonal skills to meet them. It is one of life’s paradoxes that the worst circumstances can bring the best out of us. According to the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) studies performed by Robert Anda (2006) and his team at Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, we will all experience four or more serious life stressors that may be traumatizing, and according to positive psychology research, most of us will grow from them. Read More

The Magic of Sand Tray

Sandtray therapy is a valued medium I use to help young adults who are trauma survivors and/or are struggling with addiction. At the Claudia Black Young Adult Center I use it with clients with early childhood complex trauma, those with attachment disruption often associated with adoption histories, those with dissociative symptoms, or major traumatic events such as sexual assaults, nightmares, and polarities around addiction.  Certainly, family dynamics can be explored with this medium. For the client who is showing resistance, has poor verbal skills and/or social-relational difficulties it is really useful as the sand tray becomes both a visual and a sensory tactile experience creating the ability to go deeper within and regain an internalized sense of control and safety. Read More

Adopted Children Often Face Mental Health Struggles as Young Adults

By GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC Adoption is a delicate process that comes with many different considerations. The relationship between an adopted child and his or her adopted parents is unique, and in many ways unlike that between parents and their biological children. It is difficult to predict how a child… Read More