Saturday, May 01, 2010

A peek into Attachment Therapy - Appointment 5

We didn't have an appointment last week because our AT's daughter had surgery and was recovering.

This week was much more relaxed with Middle staying the night before therapy. We were able to leave an hour later than we had been.

Mr. T and I spent our "family" therapy time discussing the breakdown of Bright-Eyes behavior. Bright-Eyes spent this time creating chaos and discord in the waiting area. It makes me so deeply sad to see him so anxious, but honestly there has been no aggression during the transition or in years, so it's all based in past trauma. There may never be another episode of aggression and we need to help him understand that.

AT reviewed with us, again, how to talk to Bright-Eyes and keep "tapping his tank" to let off steam and anxiety. We need to daily talk about his fears and feelings concerning Middle. We need to reassure him again and again that we've got his back. We are protecting him and keeping him safe. We are going to love him, not leave him and always care for him. We are also to use this talk as a "consequence" by pulling in to talk every time he has a tantrum, meltdown or behavior issue.

After our grown up talk we pulled Middle-One in to begin working on his timeline.

I love the timeline. It is a wonderful visual of a child's life and their perceptions.

First Middle had to review his birth story. Then he taped pieces of paper together. Each page would hold two years so we had an eight page strip of paper when we were done. Then AT drew a line from one end to the other through the middle and Mr. T marked off each month of his life. During this time AT led Middle in a discussion of his placements in life while I kept notes. Then we marked off each placement on the line while Middle chose a color for each location and colored the line down the center to represent each placement. (His forever home was green and it ended up being just about half of the line. That made me very sad).

After the initial line was drawn out and colored, we began to add events and memories. The events that were included were why he went from one placement to another. He claimed that he always left home because he was bad and he was "bad" because his brother picked on him. The AT mentioned after the session that Middle had been in three different treatment facilities, a behavioral hospital and public school. HE had been picked on by the best but went back and blamed his brothers for his behavior... and one brother hadn't even been born/adopted yet! Events are historical so there isn't much variation but memories are entirely different. The memories of a RAD child can be a lot of fun ;o).

Middle claimed he didn't have many memories. He did say that he had a bike that was too big when he was a toddler, at his second foster home. (We did not remember a bike but we put it on the line anyway). He then had a memory lapse then for the rest of his life until his most recent birthday and he only remembered what his foster family had done for him and not what we did (counting to ten). So, that's it... A couple of memories in FOURTEEN years. And one of those is likely not even true LOL.

Interestingly enough Middle brings ancient stuff up to us, privately, all the time. He truly remembers EVERYTHING. But he doesn't have to include everything on the line for it to be effective.

Next session we will add in the emotions and feelings of his life. Sad/Mad/Scared/Glad.

Can't wait!!!! ;o)

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