I am currently in Boston attending a great conference on trauma/attachment. Just yesterday, since I was in the area, I took a stroll through the famous Boston Commons trying to get a photograph of an old tree. Presumably, this tree, much like the rest of this old city, has a great history and the backdrop of the famous Frog Pond, filled with ice skaters this time of year, looked like a good February-in-Massachusetts-photo. As I was trying to focus in on the old stump my camera would not click. I tried pushing the button over and over with no luck. Finally, after I switched the lens to manual, my camera focused in on what I wanted instead of what it automatically wanted.
Like cameras, each of us has a lens of life. Most likely we would rather click and shoot through automatic mode in our assessments, instead of switching to manual and taking the extra time to capture the bigger picture right in front of us.
Todays conference, put on by the great folks at Devereux and Klingberg, drove home yesterdays photography lesson. Most of the time we all need to change our lens when dealing with traumatized children and teens to This child is likely doing the best s/he can. His/her symptoms are adaptations. Instead of dumping theoretical and therapeutic jargon by way of explanation, I will leave the value of this post with that straightforward and simple charge. I will clarify more next time but until then, adjust your lens. Please e-mail me or reply to this blog with your experiences or questions until then.