For parents who are raising chronic conflict children and youth.

I am a therapist and mediator specializing in family conflict and life transitions. I am also an adoption specialized author and trainer and I am the mom of 14 wonderful humans (12 joined our family by adoption, 1 joined when we blended our family, and I gave birth to 1). I have a private practice located in Victoria BC and I provide consulting and coaching world wide by phone, Skype and by cybercounselling. Check out my web sites http://www.lifespanmediation.org and http://www.hazardousparenting.com My Youtube videos and my books http://www.amazon.com

The Role of Abandonment in the lives of adopted children & youth

When parents adopt a child from foster care, they soon learn that the child’s behavior is very different than they expected and that typical parenting skills are not going to work. Parents also learn that the standard child therapies do not reduce the child’s negative or provoking behaviours. This course is designed to help parents understand why the child acts out, why the standard therapies don’t work, and most importantly, why the key issue is that it is the parents, not the child, who will have to do the most changing. This course covers the challenges faced by most adoptive families today. It includes the key issues of abandonment, grief and loss, attachment, the long term impact of pre-natal exposure to toxic substances and early neglect and abuse, as well as strategies to manage the challenges and become a more effective parent. This course will not produce *magical* results and it won’t erase all of the negative experiences nor the way in which these have impacted the child’s capacity to behave and to form relationships. This course will help parents understand why their child behaves as she does, how they can best respond, how to manage their own fears and stresses, and how to form and maintain the healthiest possible family life. The course is useful for parents and professionals at all stages of the adoptive family experience. The course will take about 6 hours to complete and is presented in lectures (with powerpoints) that are divided by topic. At the end of this course, parents will: • have increased skills to enhance the parent/child relationship • be able to choose or create an effective support team • understand why your child’s brain is different than yours • have changed your ways of managing challenging behaviors At the end of this course, professionals will: • have a substantially increased understanding of the unique needs of adoptive families • will have relevant skills to support adoptive families
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Post Adoption Depression

You've waited years for this child, and you love her/him with all of your heart - but you find that you are crawling through your days and becoming increasingly isolated. You wonder how you can be depressed when you finally have the child you've been yearning for. This video will help you understand post adoption depression and will give you strategies to move onward and upward.
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Inducement in Adoption - How Your Child Gets You So Mad

Many adoptive parents are horrified at the level of anger they experience when they are in conflict with their child. This course discusses how the child creates and provokes negative feelings in the parents and what you can do about it. Target – parents who want to stop engaging in senseless arguments with their child Inducement describes the child’s use of verbal non-verbal communication to induce one’s his emotional state into the parent. For example, the child is feeling angry or confused, and so she uses negative behaviors to induce that same feeling in the parent. Impact on the family – for many adoptive parents this can result in their own experience of feeling angrier than they ever knew possible and also emotionally exhausted and desperate. Anticipated outcome – a) you will be able to recognize inducement when it occurs b) you will have strategies to manage your own feelings
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Grief and loss in Adoption - its not just the kids.

It isn't only the adopted child or youth who experiences loss, in fact, all family members experience grief and loss in the adoption process and not just at the time of the placement, but throughout the growing up years and beyond. This course is for parents who want to deal with the losses so they can let go and move forward with the adoptive relationships Adoptees lose their genetic parents and if they are adopted at an age beyond infancy, then they will have lost foster parents, familiar surroundings, peers and pets, schools. Adoptive parents have also Impact on the family - adoptive parents find that their family does not meet their hopes and dreams and is never going to be like other families. They realize that they are never going to be *normal* ever again.
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Adoptive Family Identity Formation

adoptive families are not like other families and must learn specific skills to transform their unique relationships and needs Target – parents who want to use adoption specific methods to make the transition from genetic to adoptive family. This dynamic is about the way in which the family system transforms emotionally, spiritually, and physically from its pre-adoptive state to one that embraces and reflects the recently placed child and his impact on the family. This transformation has to occur not only the first time a family adopts, but each time a child arrives and gets re-created at each developmental stage. Impact on the family - the family system has to recognize and acknowledge the significant changes that all members experience or the child will be stuck in the outer limits of the family, never really belonging. As well, if the family system resists transforming, then the child’s adjustment behaviors will become increasingly negative and challenging. Anticipated outcome a) the parents will identify the ways in which their family is changing b) the parents will be able to seek support for the changes c) the parents will be able to see this as a transition and transformation rather than a forced impact
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Adoption transference: Why your kid hates you.

You showed up to be the parent and love your child - yet you're the one she blames for all her bad feelings. This course will help you understand this dynamic and give you strategies to move beyond.
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Adoption: Emotional Dysregulation in Children, Youth, and You!

early experience robs the child of the capacity to manage his own feelings and decreases the parents’ ability to manage their own tempers and feelings This course is for parents who find they are confused and angry from the chronic conflict in their family. The brain learns how to regulate the emotional states through parental care but when this is inadequate or irregular, the brain simply doesn’t develop the capacity for a child to manage feelings. The result is that the child creates emotional turmoil and chronic anger. Impact on the family - the emotional dysregulation presented by child means that adoptive parents often find themselves overwhelmed and over stimulated by the resulting chronic conflict. Parents become upset at their own anger and sense of helplessness. Anticipated outcome – a) you will have effective skills to help the child learn to become less reactive to small issues b) you will have the skills to reduce your emotional reactivity to the child’s behaviors
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Brain Whispering

How self-care for the brain can help parents adapt to the stresses of raising challenging children Target – parents who experience stress from parenting children with challenging behaviors. Adapting to adoption is not just about adding a new child to the family, it’s about learning how the child’s brain has been impacted by the pre-adoption experiences and how the parent’s brain is impacted and even altered by the child’s behaviors. Impact on the family – the child’s brain is functionally and structurally challenged by the early experiences and, significantly, the parents’ and the siblings’ brains are also altered by the chronic conflict and other issues that arise. The changes present as negative feeling experiences and conflict.
View course $15