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The Healthy Parenting Brain

What Neuroscience Reveals about Good Parent-Child Bonding

Dan Hughes

By Jonathan Baylin and Daniel Hughes - Parenting isn’t a cookbook activity for managing children’s behavior: it’s an ancient mammalian mind–heart process, which allows a caregiver to stay engaged and regulated enough to sustain the mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart connections that are vital for a child’s development.

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Getting Unhooked

Optimizing Connection with Teenage Clients by Understanding Your Own Attachment Style

Martha Straus

For a child to develop, adults need to “loan” them their adult regulatory system. But being a self-aware, engaged, and compassionate therapist isn't automatic. To play our part, we must first foster our own capacity to self-regulate before we can demand it of a terrified or furious teen. Attachment is a two-way street: it’s not just about them.

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Temperament: A Factor of Nature or Nurture?

How Therapists Can Help Us Accept and Break Free from Our Dispositions

Marian Sandmaier

New investigations are beginning to shed new light on a question that's hounded psychotherapy for more than a century: what's the relationship between nature and nurture, and what does it mean for the human project of change? As we come to understand more about the complex process of temperament development, therapists may be able to better help clients master one of life's trickiest balancing acts---making peace with one's inborn nature while knocking against its boundaries, in search of a larger self.

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Sensory Integration Therapy for Defiant Children

When Faulty Sensory Processing Affects Behavior

Karen Smith

In our culture, we don't take kindly to children who refuse to do what they are told. We label them with euphemisms, such as difficult, willful or spirited. When these kids show up in my office as early as age 3 or 4, their parents---often tearful, angry, guilt ridden---want quick advice about how to win the battles they are losing. Because we assume that these children are neurologically and physiologically capable of doing what we ask them to do, we may describe them as inattentive, hyperactive or clumsy and complain that they are stubborn, angry or oppositional. In fact, they are all of those things---but for a reason. That reason is faulty sensory processing.

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Using Intersubjectivity to Help Abused Children

Helping Abused Kids Rewrite Their Own Stories

Dan Hughes

Sadly, children who’ve suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of their parents are often convinced that their mistreatment was justified. As a result, they typically grow up with a pervasive sense of shame, struggling with emotional regulation, cognitive and reflective functioning, and the inability to experience positive emotions.

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