August 27, 2009 19:19 by Ken
One of the ways that we try to help families is by finding resources for dealing with issues while a child is still at home, or after a child has been in residential treatment. There are not a lot of that type of resource where a professional can come to your home if you live in a remote area. Even if you live near a big city, frequently there is not a professional around that is trained in working with trauma or attachment issues. In an information age, the internet can be a tremendous help if you know what to look for. This post is meant to give an idea of where to go for some invaluable help from parents who struggle with attachment and trauma-challenged teens.
The organization is called the “Attachment and Trauma Network (ATN).” If you want to go to their website, type in www.radzebra.org. ATN was created by a mother who adopted some children who were struggling. Nancy Spoolstra was that mom and she was unable to figure out where to go for help. When she eventually found some of the help she needed she began networking in the attachment world and realized that many parents needed some support from other parents. Parents needed a place to look for answers. With that in mind she created ATN and it has been most helpful to hundreds and thousands of families since.
ATN is a true non-profit. There are many links and resources that are free on their site. If you want unlimited access to support groups you can try that out for free for a month or so. Joining costs $35 per year. I believe in what they are doing so much that I joined the board as a volunteer. Take a look at ATN and give me feedback about your thoughts.
July 30, 2009 21:17 by Ken
I started my career at a Residential Treatment Center that was much more behavioral and "in your face." I worked to create a different paradigm on my caseload of girls and worked to have a much more relational focus. I am grateful for that early experience. I got some good training and began the process of creating a different kind of residential treatment that was much more nurturing. I would not want to go back to those old ways but, again, I am grateful for what I learned in that very different system.
While at that RTC I got to work with a young lady with some issues around self-image, communication, and anger. She also had a significant eating disorder that almost took her life. Working with this young lady, I will call her "Maddy," was alternately painful and exhilarating. We made some nice strides but Maddy could be emotionally abusive and destructive at times. All of us caring for her kept at it and after a year and a half or so Maddy was ready to go home. She went home but it did not go well. Lots of old coping mechanisms came out. We tried a tune-up at the RTC with mixed results. Finally, Maddy went to a therapeutic boarding school for another year. After graduating from there Maddy had some More...
June 18, 2009 02:47 by Rob
AfterCare – A Transitional Step Toward Success.
Transition from the residential setting to the home environment is one of the key pieces to a successful outcome. Aftercare utilizes the progress, skills, and relationship established in residential treatment to create continuity and momentum for maintaining and developing interdependency throughout the student’s existence. The student and family’s transition is as essential as treatment itself.
Often times, the student nearing the end of treatment is evidencing authentic change and has experienced a great deal of success with self regulating, managing behavior, and controlling themselves emotionally while on home-visits and with parents/guardians. As valued as this change is, it soon becomes challenged after graduation and is forced to face many obstacles, fears, and temptations. Knowing that these difficulties will arise, After Care is designed to provide the support, structure, and resources necessary to productively work through the challenges and reinforce those foundational elements (relationship, trust, humility, and connection) developed while in treatment. More...