The Neurobiology of Attachment
with Dan Siegel, MD ;
with Dan Siegel, MD; Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD; Allan Schore, PhD; Bessel van der Kolk, MD; and Ruth Buczynski, PhD
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with Dan Siegel, MD ;
Fran Hart, Another Field, Round Rock, TX, USA says
I’ve been researching trauma for >6 months. This actually started with a steady stream of parenting books (moving from Love and Logic, through Playful Parenting and some Markham and Faber/Mazlish).
I’ve read several of D. Siegel’s books as well as MDK’s Body/Score (which is when things really began to click). I recently finished Siegel’s Mindsight.
We had full-custody of 3 grandchildren for 4 years (the youngest was 18 months old at the start). All 3 children are traumatized by the drama/chaos created by their parents during the last ~18 months. And, naturally, 3 different ways of coping which require 3 different areas of focus/attention.
I have the most trouble connecting with the eldest, who is now almost 11years old. He wants to isolate himself. I will try the dog imagery recommended in today’s session, since he told me during their last visit that he sleeps best at his mom’s because their dog sleeps with him.
I’m at a loss with the almost-9 child’s compulsive eating. I’m thinking I’ll try a body scan during their next visit. She’s trying to fill a void, no doubt. Where does she feel the emptiness? Probably not her belly, but we’ll see.
The youngest was well-attached (to me, not her mother) but is now demonstrating reckless behavior without attachment.
I love that I have access to this material, as my husband and I are the only source of reliable love and stability in their lives.
I don’t have a license, but am currently in counseling, addressing the effects of my own trauma. I’ve carried much of the emotional burden and am now regaining my sense of self and boundaries.
Liz Williams, Other, GB says
Although “only” a yoga/remedial bodyworker (part-time as retired from prison education), I am finding these talks so helpful to review my past, present and future as well as for interaction and relationships with others. Learning is life-long and life-saving so thanks to all concerned.
Lois Bernard, Social Work, Asheville, NC, USA says
The concept of Backdraft is very powerful and I will be changing the way I practice especially in the first few sessions. Explains why some clients who are very open in first session do not come back. Also the idea that some clients who are traumatized feel death of animals more profoundly than death of persons. It seems this would be a diagnostic clue.
As I listen to these talks, I am increasingly and consistently encouraged as I am studying Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. It uses classical music to support healing imagery that can reach into pre- and peri-natal trauma. The music relaxes defenses to some degree, and touches our feeling states, engages the imagination, is somatic, can provide opportunities for completing those blocked movements. I appreciate the up-to-date information and whole collaborative approach you bring. Thanks
Barbara Braun, Psychotherapy, AR says
Hello Pamela, could you say something more about the Bonny Metyhod you mentioned in your comment_ , Thank you!!
Dina Mann says
Many of my clients are care givers of elderly parents who abused them as children. The abuse continues against the care giver who has one step in the present and one step in the traumatic memories of the past. Usually other family member refuse to give a hand. I encourage them separate themselves by doing respite activities and living their own lives as much as possible. (a simple way to put it!)
gabrielle israelievitch says
I have a question. Could your panel please comment on circumstances in which EMPATHY is a trigger and what to do about that? Thank you.
Peter Ryan says
Thank you Ruth & others for a very informative, engaging and encouraging event.
Sophie Faherty says
Thank you so much for this série on trauma. I am a rural GP in Ireland and this is extremely helpful as we are first line in care because of lack of counselling services
Delyth Wilkinson says
If a baby’s brain couldn’t develop healthily because of mother’s very early trauma in utero, resulting perhaps in an anxious, stressed baby, I imagine that effecting therapeutic change with that adult might only be partial and very long term? If a parent or grown-up baby becomes aware of the baby’s compromised growth, couldn’t that result in further re- traumatisation? Is this knowledge best withheld from a client?
Sorry – this is complicated to express – I’m also thinking of a mother who became pregnant in the week of burying her 6 month old baby through cot death. The new baby’s brain development was compromised, and he died on the day of his birth at 8 months.
Sheena Mackenze says
This was s very helpful. Thankyou. Ruth Lanius gives me the theory to reinforce my felt sense of the need for careful contracting with the client; at the beginning and moment by moment. Even though I work for a free at point of access service I explain our first meeting is for them to decide if I am the right counsellor for them and if we continue moment by moment giving them choice in the direction our work takes. Eliciting inner wisdom- great.
We had some llama’s visit us (!) where I work just for fun- and I can really see how helpful animals could become in our work. Great to hear more work around this.
I loved Dan Siegel’s view of dysfunctional interactions “Yay! An opportunity to do some work” This is so hopeful. Thank you very much.
So generous to make this available free of charge for those of us unable to pay (just yet) Thanks again.
Paula Caines says
more to blame on our parents…..
delicately crafting every profile
initially establishing parameters of feeling safe + not feeling safe
observing physical clues; gestures, characteristics of defense, supporting the positive capabilities
so very informative
so very effective
Hazel Da Silva says
Re: Allan Schore’s comments on elevated stress of mother prior to and during pregnancy and horrendous effects of high cortisol levels on the baby from infancy & for a lifetime. So, how does the mother reconcile her guilt, blame, shame (or combo of all 3) at bringing this on her innocent infant, when external circumstances were beyond the mother’s control (abusive spouse for many years)? This is my situation, as health care practitioner and also mother, whose adult son has been suffering unimaginably from infancy, with attachment issues (I am doing attachment repair at home, using my trauma training as best as I can), also with social engagement, ongoing incidents of workplace harassment by employers (who are predators preying on the vulnerable) etc!!! He is shutting down more than ever, having been forced out of his most recent job at YMCA in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, by the harassment by the Director of Child Care. He has lost the very thing that he coveted in life, his job with kids in an after-school program, where he could help kids who felt left out, to integrate with other kids & this also was helping him to heal from his past childhood traumas. We have Intergenerational Trauma (IGT), so when I see him losing interest in life, I am dealing with my guilt, shame, blame, and also trying to help him stay afloat and find ways to cope and see new opportunities to from the “time off.” We are both significantly affected by this latest round of “raining bullets” (my phrase for our ongoing serious life challenges), as survivors of severe trauma of years in duration. As recommended by Bessel van der Kolk, we did engage in Neurofeedback therapy, which provided some good positive steps forward. However, our trauma triggers still prevail, as new incidents cause them to rise up repeatedly. External resources for trauma therapy are almost inaccessible, very costly etc. Our financial & emotional supports are minimal. I feel that IFS (Internal Family Systems) work by Richard Schwartz would be the critical next step to help us to integrate the fragmented parts of ourselves. However access to a qualified IFS practitioner (who is doing their own healing work) & also affordability are now more major obstacles than before, due to income loss (my son) and I have been on disability benefits for several years, due to trauma triggers from my work in auto insurance. I feel at a loss on how to get help ASAP. as I am now on a downslide myself emotionally, at seeing us both deteriorate daily!! Hope to have others shed some light on our situation from this comment board. How do I access the comment board to check for replies after this rebroadcast is over today??
Jodie A, Other, New York , NY, USA says
Richard Grannon spartan life coach. He has a free YouTube channel with such good workable content that my therapist now refers Client’s there. I just signed up with my email address at his spartan life coach website last week and got a “stop emotional flashbacks course” that didn’t cost a dime in my inbox and it is the same parts work that I am working on with my therapist except he makes it fun and has more practical exercises that I can refer back to when I forget. Yes, I really meant fun. I did buy his emotional literacy course for $60 at his website and it brought me back from so much trauma and flashbacks that I was practically deaf and had double vision and was dissociating most of the day. He often explains with a white board and draws a lot of easy pictures and has a good sense of humor. It is geared towards “kids of all ages.” So it’s easy for all parts to understand. It’s the best resource for integration that I’ve found. There are also a lot of IFS lectures with Richard Schwartz on YouTube for free consumption. Hope this helps.
I’ve studied Katie O’Shea’s work w/ EMDR and implicit memory, so knew baby’s could be directly effected by mother’s level of anxiety, but now I know the neurobiological reason. Thank you! I learned today that the cortisol, a helpful and important hormone, gets passed through the placenta directly to the baby and can effect the way the baby’s nervous system/brain develops. I will use this information with one of my adolescent clients who has a long history of anxiety and is having a difficult time separating from parents as she nears graduation. I am going to have a conversation with her mother and see what was happening in her life when she was pregnant with my client.
Thanks for these great speakers and for sharing the knowledge!
Very informative information regarding attachment. One particular topic of up and down regulating of emotions I will pay more attention to during sessions with clients.
Gayle Sturmer, LCSW-R says
Terrific! Compliments my work and training!
Gidget Wong says
Thank you so much for sharing these important research and insights.
It has given me a deeper understanding into how we can work with our clients who experience traumas. They are all very helpful; the left and the right brain workings and communications techniques, pregnancy issues, attachments, and particularly the one which is the animal imagery. I do know that animal like live dog or cat can be therapeutic in counselling. However to know an image of an animal can be just as helpful to clients who experience great neglect and attachment issues is wonderful to know and that I will use.
Annie Goodwin says
I am a survivor not a practitioner and found today’s session soooooo useful. My mother underwent surgery for an ovarian cyst when she was carrying me back in 1946, then for the rest of the pregnancy was told not to expect me to live. Went through 4 years of sexual abuse starting about age 11. Over the years have worked with the abuse issue a great deal but not with the pre-birth trauma. This session has given me a whole heap of understanding as to why I have never been able to sustain a long term relationship and many times, even with people I have felt safe with, friendships have fallen apart as I felt the need to withdraw for a while but the friends have taken that need as wanting to completely draw away. In the past 5 years I have been evicted from my rental homes 3 times for no good reason and this brought up every issue of abuse and lack of choice I have ever had. Now getting myself back on en even keel and this session has given me a whole heap of understanding as to what has been going on. Thank you.
Danielle Williams says
I am a trainee integrative counsellor and psychotherapist in London and I am so grateful for this resource. First of all it is great to see neurobiology lending support to theories in psychotherapy, and as a student to access this for free is outstanding. I have always had a felt sense that talking on its own is insufficient in supporting those affected by trauma and I am happy that this webinar provided the research as well as helpful tips on how to combat the barriers caused by talking. I am familiar with Bessel van der Kolk but now can’t wait to find out more about Pat Ogden and sensorimotor psychotherapy. I look forward to the next sessions. Warmest wishes, Danielle
Joaquín P. says
The right brain is there, listen to it. what happens when the cliente is embedded in this overwhelming affect and connect with it, by no verbal language. many ideas. thanks from Bilbao, Spain.
If you want to work out subtitles you have me here.
Thanks and cheers.
Srishti Nigam says
Kudos to you Ruth.
Anna-Maria Thiemann says
Dear Ruth and Team,
I am a licensed psychologist and psychotherapist in Cologne, Germany. I am also certificated as a Somatic Experiencing Practioner, and this body/nervous-system integrating method helped enormously to make my work more effective.
I am deeply impressed of what you created with this Master Series on Trauma! Even if I already studied a lot on trauma, your input really deepens my intuitive “wisdom”, makes me remember certain facts and strengthens my ability to actually applicate and integrate the knowledge in my actual work with clients. I find the didactic of your webinars (so far) great! The reminding emails, summaries of Ruth during the sessions, the structure, the graphics- it is really a pleasure to watch (I loved the left brain- right brain- split of Ruth!:-), easy to memorize and even for a non-native speaker easy to follow. The cherry on the cake is of course to see all my “teachers” of whom I read so much talking about the issue. Thank you very much for making the knowledge accessible and to contribute with your mission to a more healthy society!! Anna-Maria Thiemann (www.annamariathiemann.de) PS: What I will use from todays session on attachment is to remember that kindness can be a trigger for a traumatic circuit and to remember, to help the client create safety by means like finding safety in the body, offering control/choice etc.
I will be certainly more clear or rather aware about the process of interconnectedness and it makes me more curious to watch what is happening during the talks and interventions with clients. It also brings me back to myself and I‘ll take more time, to use my inspirations and feelings during the therapies. I new before, but now I having more background for this. Thanks a lot for your precious work.
Bobbe Nunes says
I appreciate these dedicated teachers and all the insights. It is helping me to pose many questions and to more fully appreciate multi-generational concerns of caregivers and friends and family who are struggling with Alzheimer’s and end-of-life opportunities for healing.
KC Chiang says
3 key ideas that I may be able to apply :
1. I really appreciate the session by O’Hanlon – explore the strength and resources.
2, the use of animal to experience attachment – i have a young adult client who has been bullied in most of his teenage years. has been experiencing anxiety and fear in crowd.
3. for the same client, I have been using Cbt, trying to show him that thoughts are not facts. but I will try to switch to “right brain” to explore his emotion, The part of integration of left and right brain makes a lot sense.
My heartfelt gratitude to all the speakers for the very informative and enlightening sharing , and to Dr Ruth Buczynski and NICABM for organising this.
Bobbi Rood says
I will work with strengths and look at what what is working, along with the problem story. I will de-center the problem.
I will be sensitive to the fact that even kindness can be a trigger for a traumatic experience. I like the technique of asking the patient what they would like to focus on in session in order to limit overexposure and bring in the frontal lobes into play.
I am so very grateful for adding a second day option and more times in which to watch the video in the midst of a busy schedule.. The practical suggestions are so helpful
I really appreciated how Ruth commented after each section. It helped me cement the previous speakers remarks.
e cheshier says
another one please. so it was said that there are brain areas that don t come online b/c of trauma? does this relate to anhedonia? in adulthood, thanks.
That was excellent! Uploading positive feelings will be something I work on more with clients.
Starting with attention on the body here and now and what the person notices and using that to identify the different parts and to help the parts integrate was also helpful!
Giving people choices as Pat said is something that I’ll remember.
I appreciated being reminded of the importance of playing up the positives, no matter how insignificant they may appear, in order to up-regulate the positive emotions.
e cheshier says
mostly interested in what happens to the developing fetus if the mother experienced serious trauma while pregnant. my therapist and i haven’t been able to figure out why my mother was total cluster b since everyone else in the family was ok. my father died before i was born, so. this material will be good to mention with the therapist, maybe.
Greetings to you all. My appreciation for your -more than helpful- information is beyond words. This information will no doubt help our society far more than you can imagine. Like many others who wanted to hear this, due to my schedule I wasn’t able to listen to the programs in their entirety. Will you have a link for those of us who want to listen? If so, this will not only help mentor those new comers in the field, but it will be easier for those who are deciding whether to sign up as members realize the value of this type of membership. Personally, I’d like to thank Bessel for his “Body Keeps The Score” book. I’m currently reading it for the second time. Great job dear man.. It’s a timely read to say the least and long, long overdue. Sad to say it was not surprising to me to see the test results and the connection to the various traumas. Especially those that started in early childhood… Memo: People be kind and love your children!
I’m not able to open up this video! Please advise,
Marilyn Taylor says
Treating Trauma Master’s Series is truly amazing! I appreciate the opportunity to partake in this experience with experts who are willing to share their knowledge and skills with individuals who are not able to pay, at the present time. I recently graduated from a Counseling/Clinical Mental Health Master’s degree program and have my Limited License in the State of Michigan. I am gleaning as much information that I can from each session and realize it is exactly what I need to more forward in the counseling profession. Thank you for connecting with me, and allowing me the privilege of being included in this wonderful experience.
Thank you for sharing this information…I too am interested in an intermediate subscription…with just the reading material…I missed most of today’s session…is there a link for a replay?
I also would like to add that listening to the body and giving it permission to move how it would like to during quiet moments can start an unwinding that is tremendously calming and healing.
Ricardo Villlobos says
I am going to take my therapy dog to many more of my sessions with clients and I am going to add address the amount of stress or trauma the mothers of my clients experienced during pregnancy. This may give me a clue to why a client is having trouble with emotional regulation, especially ones that have not experienced any major trauma after their birth. Thanks.
Jodie A, Other, New york, NY, USA says
Hi Ricardo, I hope you don’t mind my reply. I would love a therapy dog in my sessions but I’d love to be asked if I would like that first (so the traumatized client feels in control in case they have some dog related trauma.) If kindness or a smile can trigger then I guess you never know. My therapist is afraid of dogs.
Hazel Da Silva says
Like Elaine Dolan, I also wanted to ask about the comment re: when a traumatized person may evoke a negative response from another person, it was stated that the other may be the “wrong person” (Law of Attraction). But even if the other person may be OK, something that the traumatized person says or does evokes a negative response.
So, how does the traumatized person know which one it is (wrong person or OK person)?
Also how does the traumatized person avoid feeling a sense of guilt,shame, blame (or a combo of all 3) in either scenario, if they are aware of this concept? What ways can they use to cope on a practical level, in attempts to socially engage with others? Otherwise, as stated, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I know this from personal experience for myself & my son!!
Anneliese Knop says
I have a client, age 7, who has almost completely dissociated from reality. I am conseling in a school setting and have no contact with the parents. I was intrigued by the animal attachment/visualisation intervention mentioned in this week’s talk, but I am concerned about applying it to this client because he has given me mixed signals about his feelings toward animals. First he claims to love the family dog dearly, then said he had tried to strangle her at least once. Frankly, I am not even sure if he has a dog. Would you use an animal-based intervention with a client like this? thanks so much for your help!
Very good point around kindness potentially being triggering. Also maybe letting people “overshare” and expose themselves too much. I’m left with a few questions though…
Like what would be the alternative to being too kind 🙂 I guess offering clients as much choice as possible and creating safety in other ways? Slowing down people who are oversharing?
Also it would have been nice to hear a bit more orientation around solutions for working with clients who were exposed to high cortisol in the womb and may have brain differences because of this.
Sandra Figueroa-Sosa says
Thanks you all! The way I’m using these ideas is right in the theoretical chapter of my dissertation. I’ma working with so called Otomí shamans, “those who cure” in their native language, describing the complexity of the life of those who carry a gift. The transgenerational exploration of their families has shown a lot of trauma, the understanding of which has been capital for my comprehension of the cultural decisions of coping with violence and transgretion. For the moment, the text will serve as an initial interface to dialog in the community, where the fate of women keeps being very dificult. God bless you!
Karin Wentworth-Ping says
I am watching this to learn how to help my 13 yo son regulate his emotions (he was born overseas, abandoned, lived in an orphanage for 2 years) and for me to better regulate mine in the face of his rage/remorse/rage/remorse cycles. Boom! I tuned in maybe 20 mins into the webinar and felt that you were talking directly to me about him. I ave learned so much and also been reminded of so much. My takeaways are:
I have sometimes decided to ignore him when he’s raging. I will no longer ignore him as this reinforces his belief that I’m not thee when things are challenging. I will kindly explain how I feel and say I’m taking a break but I’m open to talking or getting on whenever he is.
I will not get angry and rage back, as I have sometimes recently when things have escalated which reinforces the belief ” no one can cope with me, I don’t need you, I can cope on my own”.
I am the Rock, the attachment figure that he can rail against.
Unfortunately our cats, who we got so that he could have loving attached pets, do not go to him because of his energy and loudness. It’s another reinforcement that he’s not loveable and I will reconsider getting him a dog.
Maximina Rivera says
My take away from this week’s session:
1. Kindness and being nice can be a trigger for the client. I am much more aware of this factor and will take this into consider when working with my students. In the past I have noticed a hesitation from students when I have approached them in this manner and now realize that it may have been a trigger.
2. Empowering the client by giving them choices is a way to create a secure attachment. I will continue to utilize this approach. Today’s lesson helped me to appreciate this technique and how it strengthens an individual sense of self-knowledge.
I look forward to the next session on Memory.
Mike Wallace says
My biggest take away is the importance of the client/therapist relationship. It makes me think more carefully about how to monitor my part in it’s development. From today’s seminar, for example, how a smiling face can replicate the initial abuser, allowing the client to choose where they sit and being aware of the client’s over divulging and feeling too vulnerable afterward.
Zonzurea Thomas says
This training is absolutely phenomenal! I have worked in the mental health field slightly over 12 years. I am very passionate about working with traumatized individuals. I plan to implement protocol to gather more detailed information about a client’s past. This will better help me to understand attachment that he or she has experienced, which will lead to a more tailored treatment of the traumatized child that still resides in the core of the individual. Lastly, I will share this information with supervisees to help them better succeed in treatment when delivering services to this population.
Kimberly Dawn Phillips says
Today’s class is so critical when you work with families. I wish I could watch it again.
Floralisa martinez says
Loving the information . I have read Dr kolks book . Wonderful ! I am not a provider. I work in health care. Seeing a therapist for trauma and memory block -most of my life . Seeing a therapist and going thrrough EDMR and I find it (as a health care person ) amazing. It has helped me tremendously . Unlocking memory . Traumatic memory . Painful memory . I have been given the books on trauma and sites to view and read to understand what is going on in my head clinically . And it has helped . Thank you for doing this series .
Gita Canaran says
Pat Ogden’s practical approaches are so impressive. We have a Traumatic Psychosis Community of Practce that is forcossuing on Attachment Disorders this year. Her body work for the separate parts of self are so useful for working with our traumatic psychosis patients. We are currently applying for an internal grant to help build capacity with our clinicians. We are planning on signing up for a Gold subscription, but it would be amazing if Pat Ogden would be willing to join us as an expert for one of our meetings, if we can get funding for this through an internal grant. I have had the pleasure of working with Ruth Lanius as well, and it would be lovely to have her for an expert’s session as well. I apologize for the typos, but this web page wouldn’t allow me to correct in the first line for some reason.
Thank you so much for offering this series free of charge. As a retired massage therapist shifting into a counseling practice, this is very exciting information. Listening is helping me to discern where in the counseling field I will fit in. It will be some kind of somatic therapy with a mindfulness component.
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