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You Are Not Ugly

Originally posted in February of 2011   Children who come from the hard places hate themselves. Their very young brains try to make sense of how all of the horrible things could have possibly happened, and they come to one conclusion very early on: it must be me. I am the problem. I am bad. I am unlovable. And they believe it. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and […]


Thinking On Your Feet

Originally posted in February of 2011   “The basic rules of improv theater … are key and fundamental to therapeutic parenting.” – Billy Kaplan, LCSW I keep munching on this. The basics of improv theater are: Learning a new way of thinking Respect for others in negotiations or transactional relationships Being “in the moment“ Make positive choices that keep doors open Proactive listening as opposed to passive or even responsive listening Trusting one another to do the right thing Benefiting […]


Dance With It

Originally posted in January of 2011   We just survived a tough two weeks with the trauma (which is now triggered regularly by full-on puberty). I understand why the therapists encourage us to work our tails off on the healing before puberty, if at all possible. Our kids are already onions, with many, many layers of issues and hurts. Puberty takes that onion, genetically modifies it, and turns it into a County Fair prize winner. A freakishly bigger onion, but […]


The Role of Forgiveness in Parenting

Originally posted July 10, 2013 Forgiveness. Blerg. I have come to a conclusion about life:  forgiveness is really difficult and will always be difficult. You can quote me on that brilliance.  Hell, make a Facebook meme. I have a very hard time with forgiveness in general because, well, I’m human.  Also because I feel things deeply and intensely.  Forgiveness is not forgetting (if someone has told you that, I hope you’ve politely cackled at such absurdity).  Forgiveness is having a […]


It’s PACE, Not Just ‘P’

Originally posted June 17, 2013   (photo by Katherine Evans; used with permission) My friend, Billy, always tells a story of one of his clients who was having some very big feelings during a session.  Billy became very playful again and again, to see if he could help the child pull out of the “stuck” place he appeared to be in.  The kid finally called him on it and said something to the tune of, “You couldn’t handle it!” He got […]



Originally posted May 31, 2013   I currently feel like I’m drowning in life. Probably because I am.  It’s been mollasses thick, lately. I believe that the hardest things we experience are always easiest to tackle if we can find a way to live in a vacuum.  Life would be so much easier if we were just handed one big problem at a time.  Yet, the second one other tiny piece of your life has a complication, then the other, […]


Join and Follow to Lead

Originally posted November 8, 2005   Sir, I See That You’re Waving a Gun – Are you Angry? Ahhhhh … foster care training. Another class last night. This was actually the Part 1 of last month’s class (see the whole “Do you like it on top or on bottom” post). We missed it last month because we were running our son to the ER with what the dr. said would turn out to be either a serious medical condition …. […]


When The Minutes Feel Like Days

Originally posted on December 3, 2012 There is an interesting phenomenon when we are in the middle of stressful situations or we are being intensely triggered by something:  time crawls. Not only does time crawl, but our need to react or engage is off the charts.  Every minute feels like hours, and we have a massive craving to do something.  We need to do it, and the longer we wait (during these dragging minutes) the bigger the craving. *record scratch* […]


You Can’t Lose Christmas, Ralphie

This is one of my most popular blog posts. It was written in 2011, but it’s timeless. Year after year after year …   You Can’t Lost Christmas, Ralphie! We have a law in our home. It applies to all persons, regardless of their history of trauma and endless list of survival behaviors. It was created by dictators with no democratic hope for change or removal. It goes a little something like this: You can’t lose Christmas. That’s it. No […]


Self-Care, Dammit!

Originally posted June 1, 2012 I know I bark about loving yourself and taking care of yourself.  Yet, I’m personally making it my mission to get a new approach trending.  The following showed up on my Facebook wall this week: BEAUTIFUL!  Just so stinkin’ beautiful. I still struggle with taking care of my own person.  My religious upbringing told me I was to “take up my cross” daily and sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.  Amazing how that was drilled into me much […]

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