Published Articles and Resources
Useful for foster carers, adopters and professionals as the themes relate to parenting and living with children who experienced maltreatment, neglect or frequent changes of carers. Scroll through something will grab you.
The Cost of Trauma (Helen's most downloaded article)
Early intervention is cost-effective and morally right. First published in April 2008, this article demonstrates the cost-benefit of early intervention. Although the actual costs have changed the principles are equally valid today. A decade later the child in this case study did not have a good outcome.
Trauma comes in different sizes and intensities. This article offers both a metaphor and formula for measuring trauma. Quantifying damage can help explain why children behave how they do and why early intervention, truth telling and understanding is vital.Read More
Invisible Wounds Don’t Stop Hurting
By comparing and contrasting two different parents (including “a mother like Alex”) the challenges of parenting attachment disordered children become clear. Both the financial costs and emotional costs are compared
Child abuse victims need more than just our shock and horror
Newspaper articles brings child abuse into “normal peoples” lives. Sympathy is not enough. Repair, healing, truth telling is needed to future proof children.Read More
Facebook: direct contact with no safeguards (Part 1)
First of two articles published in 2010 exploring the threat of Facebook, what’s happening plus the link to identity, teenage angst and loss of control when birth family enter adopters homes via the internet.
Facebook: The Shame and the Shadow (Part 2)
Adopted children need an enduring safe place to grow, create a solid sense of self and to melt the pervasive shame their early maltreatment created. The need for therapeutic reparenting and truth telling is explored.
The Impact of Toxic Parenting
Based on Susan Foreward’s 6 categories of toxic parents (inadequate, controlling, alcoholic, physical, sexual & verbal abusers,) this article steps into the childs shoes and highlights the distortions it creates plus tools for healing.
Toxic Shame: how trauma contaminates the ‘wonderful’ inner child
John Bradshaws model explains how the “wonder” child can be contaminated by trauma and toxic parenting. The different developmental stages of children (based on Erik Erikson’s model) is explained with impact of deficiencies.Read more
What do you and they REALLY NEED for Christmas?
Christmas brings heightened expectations, so focus on children's enduring needs not short term wants . and yes that may disappoint some adults – including your family. Plus glorious ‘gifts’ others can give you and the family.
Jigsaw of truth: why, what and how?
Children need to know their history, it shapes how they see themselves, hence key to their identity. Life story ‘work’ must honour the child’s somatic (body) experiences and memory.Read more
Valuing Our Needs
Our needs and values affect our motivation and behaviour. Children whose early developmental needs were not met have an emptiness inside. Often their ‘nonsensical’ behaviour is a window into their inner turmoil and deficits, if we can read the cues. Maslow and Barrets models illustrate the concepts.Read more
Increase the flow with a SUD
Being in the flow is a useful state. Reduction of anxiety by increasing skills and a method of measuring “Subjective Units of Distress” which can help children callibrate hurt, pain and trauma. (Part 1 of flow articles).Read more
Are you a boiled frog?
Maintaining one’s identity is vital to keep self-concept strong. Boredom stems from the repetition of events, even being stolen from. With sufficient skill; flow is possible. (Part 2 of flow articles).Read more
Robust matching for permanence
Criteria for matching a child to a new set of parents is often vague and subjective. We need robust measurement and techniques that will enable placements to last.Read more
Why are these children any different?
Written primarily for teachers this article explains why and how children who have experienced maltreatment and neglect have a legacy of trauma which impacts their ongoing life.Read more
Is this what I expected?
During the drafting of this article, I had an ‘interesting Sunday’, which for me illustrated how the complexities of adoptive parenting change as our children grow older.Read more
Help! What Type of Support Does This Child Need Right Now?
This article offers a cohort of models, criteria and methods of supporting a dysregulated child in that moment and enhancing their future. By combining Logical Levels and the Coach to Awakener framework with the Window of Tolerance stress test model, a strategy evolves. Even though we're just focusing on the chronologically young, this framework is equally valid and useful for adults.Download article here
The legacy of childhood trauma is huge and complex. The more you understand, the more you can do in your field to either prevent or heal childhood trauma. These links and resources will aid your learning.