Disconnect to Connect By Angela Murphy How many of us remember the story of Josh and his parents? Once when I was visiting a family, the 12-year old adopted son *Josh, took me to his room to show me his game.  Within a 5-minute time span I saw his very real looking character smoke marijuana, pick up a prostitute, run down a police officer, and the boy talked about killing his family next (in the game).  By the time I …

BUILDING EMPATHY THROUGH READING By Kenzi Dirks, M.A., R.C.C.   “We really emphasize saying sorry,” a concerned foster mother said to me, “when Milo hurts someone we always make him apologize.” “How is that working?” I inquired, genuinely curious. “I don’t think he means it,” she responded. Children who have experienced complex trauma can have increased difficulty in understanding their own emotional experience (https://www.complextrauma.ca/weeping-willow-helping-traumatized-child-find-feelings/).  To empathize—get inside another’s emotional experience—can prove even more challenging. Milo’s parents were very well intentioned …

Working with Complex Trauma is Challenging: Increasing Resilience by: Dr. Kirk Austin Resilience is a funny word. It means to bounce back, to rebound, or to recover. It is an essential life-skill that can lead to healthy identity development.  Sarah Hamill believes that resilience typically refers to the development of competence in the face of adversity. More specifically, it refers to a dynamic process of positive adaptation and development while simultaneously facing a significant amount of adversity (Luthar, Cicchetti & …

Yoga for Trauma by Lisa Frede Jaime sat cross legged on her new yellow yoga mat, wondering why she had ever agreed to try this. The instructor at the front of the room was addressing the class, yet Jaime’s mind was racing and she could hardly focus on what was being said – something about bringing her attention to her breath and settling into her body, whatever that meant. It was all so unfamiliar: the soft lighting, soothing music, a …

Over this past year, I worked with an 11-year-old girl named Jenny who was going to be re-introduced to her biological father after not seeing him for 18 months.  The caregivers brought Jenny to me as she was exhibiting a wide range of emotions and behaviours from excitement to anxiety. These were connected to the impending visit.