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2017 Child Abuse Prevention Academy

Please join us for the 9th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Academy, a training for students, professionals, and community members.

Participants will:

  • learn how to report incidents of suspected child abuse,
  • understand what occurs after a report,
  • understand the role and funtion of the brain in Trauma-Informed Care
  • learn to recognize the effects of trauma on the brain, behavior and development
  • explore primary strategies for healing trauma in the lives of children and adults.

Presenter: Lisa Fraser, Executive Director, Center for Family Strengthening, the San Luis Obispo County Child Abuse Prevention Council

Guest Speaker: Ron Huxley, LMFT will share,
The Beautiful, Wonderful, Broken Brain: Understanding Trauma-Informed Care.

Noted child and family therapist, speaker, and blogger Ron Huxley has worked in several systems of care, including community-based mental health, child therapy clinics, wraparound, County mental health, private psychotherapy practice, and faith-based counseling/coaching services. He has certifications in various clinical evidence-based and promising practices: EMDR, Incredible Years, Family Wellness, Love & Logic, S.T.E.P. (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting), TheraPlay, Love After Marriage, and Developmental Dyadic Psychotherapy (attachment-focused family therapy).

Student participants are urged to attend and will receive a Certificate of Participation. 

The training is free, but preregistration is required.

register now

When

Friday April 28, 2017. 9:00am – 12pm
Add to Calendar

Where

Cuesta College Student Auditorium – #5401
 CA-1, San Luis Obispo, CA, CA 93403

Free Parking  Lot #2

Contact

Center for Family Strengthening
805-543-6216
support@cfsslo.org  

  Brought to you in partnership with Center for Family Strengthening and Cuesta College        

   

 

Click here to Register Now!

 

One brain, many different experiences


Nobody likes to have a negative experience of fear, sadness or anxiety. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to shift his mental states two more positive experiences of peace, joy, love. That’s when I realized that we are using the same brain to have very different experiences. Same brain structures, chemicals, and energy networks are being used for both negative and positive states.

In my studies of neurophysiology I discovered there are very similar mechanisms being used for things like anxiety and excitement! Additionally, we are using the same structures to experience past traumas as well as future expectations. The slide above is from a research study in the field of trauma resolution, particularly the use of EMDR as an intervention for trauma.

EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It’s obviously quite a mouthful. Basically utilizes I have moments to help us manage dramatic situations in our past so they don’t continue the hunt are present and destroy our hopes of a future. The technique was created by Francine Shapiro a psychologist working with traumatized veterans. In the research study illustrated above, The demonstrates how the brain scan can reveal a similar activation when we Thunk about past events as well as future hopes and dreams.

When working in trauma-informed care, we can utilize the same channels in our brain and mind to focus on more positive experiences. We are not limited to only one set of negative experiences. When adding thanks to our trauma informed care, we are able to inject hope it comes from a source greater than ourselves and yet moves in and through us. When we operate in agreement with this belief that we are protected and cared for by a God who loves us unconditionally, we are able to transform our past thoughts about trauma into a hopeful future that start now.

If you would like help at your next training event how to build faith-based, trauma-informed practices contact Ron today at rehuxley@gmail.com .

Explaining Executive Function Skills to Children

Our brains are organized into three components. There’s the robot or the brainstem which controls all the functions within our body without having to be told what to do. It just does it automatically like a robot!

Next is the puppy dog this is built on top of the robot and while it has a lot of energy and a lot of fun I can early experience life to its fullest it can also be easily distracted not very trainable and sometimes a little disobedient.

On top of this is the trainer. The trainer is very good at figuring out problems solving puzzles and using self-control. It’s job is to teach the puppy dog how to behave and make sure that it gets all the information sent from the robot about what’s going on in the body so that he can give a new instructions if needed.

A child’s job is to use the trainer part of our brains to teach the puppy and the robot but it needs to have self-control, lots of fun, and manage ourselves well!

The easiest way for the trainer to teach the puppy dog in the robot is to use self talk. Everyone talk to them selves. When were difficult situations week off and talk yourself through it by encouraging us to sit still when it’s hard and there’s a lot of distractions, give something a little extra effort is proving very challenging, and figure out how to make the best choices in a very confusing situation.

Sometimes we need to advise and help from other adults in her life like her parents or teachers to guide us on how we should best train the puppy dog and give instructions to the robot. Most adults have already had a lot of practice being a trainer and they have to offer some really good ideas that would help you as well.

Looking for a trainer at your next parenting conference or trauma-informed care event? Contact Ron today at rehuxley@gmail.com

The Important of REST when Parenting A Traumatized Child

parenting a traumatized child

By Ron Huxley, LMFT

Parenting a traumatized child can be challenging and exhausting work. It isn’t something that should be done alone without adequate support. Parents must take care of themselves as well as others. You can’t give away what you don’t have… Faith-based families look to God for their help (Psalms 121:1-2) and operate from a place of REST:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“He restores my soul.” Psalms 23:

REST stands for RE-store your Soul from Trauma. Our soul includes our entire being: body, mind/emotions and spirt. Each area requires attention. How do we do that when we have an endless to-do list, dealing with continuous problems?

The key is to find rest IN work, not FROM work. It is a mental recognition that we can be in partnership with God and others. We can set boundaries and say “No” to outside activities, not live up to others expectations, and remembering “who you are and whose you are” spiritually speaking. You have to be a “son or daughter”  before you can be a fully functioning father or mother. Seek out spiritual parents to support you as you carry on the work of parenting traumatized children.

List 5 ways you will restore your soul in the next 30 days:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

“Pull Yourself Together”: Trauma and Sensory Integration Issues

 

Our bodies have 5 senses and 7 sensory data inputs:

1.Sight

2. Smell

3. Hearing

4. Taste

5. Touch

6. Balance

7. Body Position

All of our senses organize information from inside and outside our body and communicate the “data” to the brain. This organization allows us to know where our body is in time and space, to feel safe in one’s own body, and to perceive our body’s relationship to others and the environment.

A child who has experienced trauma typically has a dysintegration of sensory information that will result in a dysregulation of thinking and emotion. They will not be aware of where their bodies are in time and space, cannot feel safe in their own body, and are unable to make connections to others and the environment.

Stressful sensory input is handled by the lower levels of the brain (brain stem and limbic system) and the body and overseen by the higher, executive level of the brain. If the stressful input is mild, normal coordination between all levels of the brain and the body coordinate smoothly. If the stress is high and overwhelming, the lower levels will “hijack” the higher levels to protect the body. This is called the “fight or flight” reaction to perceived danger. If these two mechanisms are not able to bring the body back into a place of safety, the brain will react by “freezing” or shutting down.

The fight, flight and freeze reactions are designed to allow the higher order areas of the brain to continue operating so that is appears that traumatized children are functioning in some areas of life but there will continue to be gross areas of dysfunction in development. This will manifest in “gaps” between a child’s age and stage of development. They may be 15 years of age chronologically but act like a 5 year old socially and emotionally. Parenting strategies will have to adjust to meet both the 5 year old and the 15 year to close the gap.

Sensory “confusion” will drive traumatized children to be sensory seekers and/or sensory defenders. Sensory seekers look a lot like children diagnosed with attentional deficits. They appear impulsive, can’t sit still, wiggle a lot, touch things, put things in their mouths, tear things apart, easily distracted, etc. These are attempts to get more information about themselves and the world around them. Sensory defenders are quickly overwhelmed by certain sensory information in one or more of the sensory systems: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, oral, and olfactory. They will complain about the brightness of lights, the hum of electric motors, dislike loud noises, be irritated by the feel of clothing on their skins, be picky eaters, sensitive to perfumes and candles, etc. Children can have combinations of both sensory seeking and sensory defending.

There are 4 treatment strategies to help traumatized children with sensory integration issues:

1. Awareness

2. Adaption

3. Exposure

4. Advocacy

Awareness allows parents and children to be aware of their sensory triggers and needs. Adaption provides assistance to the child to get the sensory information they need or takes steps to avoid sensory overload. Exposure, in small increments over time, helps children build tolerance and increase functioning. Advocacy requests support from the child’s academic and social environment so that teachers and friends understand the issues and incorporate adaptations as well.

How To (Re)Wire Your Child’s Brain By Ron Huxley, LMFT

 

Brains that fire together, wire together: Children heal in family relationship that are based on attunement, nonjudgement, and structure. Children act badly because they feel badly about themselves, their world, and caregivers. Traumatized children will re-act out their trauma inside of themselves despite their outer circumstances. You can rewire a child’s brain by allowing them to have new, positive experiences. This requires parents to focus on attachment as well as behavior. When they are in the middle of a meltdown, try to “connect, then re-direct”. Use short, concise words oozing with empathy. Once the child is calm, engage (don’t enrage) the child’s thinking brain to come up with ways they can “clean up the mess” that has been made. There is no shame in this scenario. Just learning how to repair a relationship and build connections. If forgiveness needs to be asked for or given, help the child go through the steps with you or another person. Have them write, draw or act out what “yucky” thought they were thinking and then come up with opposite, more positive thoughts.

Brains are malleable and experience dependent: This may sound confusing but it is a hope-filled statement! No matter what your child’s trauma, he or she can heal. Because malleability means flexible and plastic it can also mean repair through new, healing experiences. Our brains are experience-dependent referring to how they require external input. If they learn negative ways to think and act (surviving), then they can re-learn positive ways to think and act (thriving). This may require that we turn down the sensitivity of the “fight and flight” system in the brain that sees everything as a threat or potential harm. This is why children sabotage good things in their life. They don’t believe they deserve it even if on a subconscious level. We can help them change this perspective by teaching how to repair (connection) after a rupture (disconnection) through forgiveness and “cleaning up our messes”. Faith enters by helping them learn who God creating them to be. Our “orphans” have orphan mentalities that must be rewired!

When we are traumatize, we believe lies about ourselves that are inherently negative. Take these thoughts captive and replace them with new ideas about who they are as “son’s and daughters”.

Get more information on holding a trauma-informed, attachment focused, and faith-based seminar for your organization or association by contacting Ron at rehuxley@gmail.com

Do you have Trauma A or Trauma B?

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 7.38.55 AM

There are two types of trauma: Trauma A and Trauma B. Do you know the difference? Which one has impacted you? One is much more recognized by society but both are important to healing from trauma, managing anger and aggression and improving our family relationships.

(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXWUrRXSSoU)

Get our special report “5 Steps to Transforming Trauma” here!

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Parents: The Source of Children’s Re-sources

 

Children must have a source of satisfaction and security in order for them to re-source their ability to manage themselves and their emotions. A positive parental source responds to a child’s need and satisfies it. This cycle of distress and restoration builds trust, security, and connection. Fortunately, parents only have to be “good enough”. There is no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect child. There are many opportunities in parenting to prove you are a trustworthy “source” of support. This gives children the chance to “re-source” that support in themselves.

Abused Children Similar to War Vets

Children who have been abused or witnessed violence suffer similar trauma to war veterans…

LONDON (Reuters) ­ Children exposed to family violence show the same pattern of activity in their brains as soldiers exposed to combat, scientists said on Monday. In a study in the journal Current Biology, researchers used brain scans to explore the impact of physical abuse or domestic violence on children’s emotional development and found that exposure to it was linked to increased activity in two brain areas when children were shown pictures of angry faces.

Previous studies that scanned the brains of soldiers exposed to violent combat situations showed the same pattern of heightened activity in these two brain areas ­­ the anterior insula and the amygdala ­­ which experts say are associated with detecting potential threats. This suggests that both maltreated children and soldiers may have adapted to become “hyper­aware” of danger in their environment, the researchers said. “Enhanced reactivity to a…threat cue such as anger may represent an adaptive response for these children in the short term, helping keep them out of danger,” said Eamon McCrory of Britain’s University College London, who led the study.