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Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina

Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina

Even in situations where you may not be able to get emergency child custody in North Carolina, the standard custody process is available to ask the court to determine a custody matter.

The post Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Is My Adult Child A Narcissist? When Helping Them Is Hurting You

Is My Adult Child A Narcissist? When Helping Them Is Hurting You

 

Is my adult child a narcissist? is one of the most devastating questions a parent can ask.

Some years ago, I went through this terrible trauma myself.

In today’s Thriver TV I want to help you realise what is necessary for you to know whether or not your child is narcissistic…

…and how to BE your most healthy and powerful, for all concerned, and possibly able to discover that your adult child isn’t narcissistic and is capable of being respectful and loving.

Regardless of the outcome, there is an even more powerful truth that you will need to watch today’s video to understand.

It’s my most heartfelt wish today, if you are struggling with the agony of your child being narcissistic, that this episode will help grant you peace, strength and direction.

 

 

Video Transcript

Many people in this Community have asked this question.

In fact, once upon a time I asked this question myself.

In Today’s Thriver TV Episode, I want to help you understand whether or not your adult child is being narcissistically abusive and, even more than this, I want to help you understand how you need to BE to help yourself regardless of the outcome.

Please listen up, because I know if this is your situation this episode is going to help you a lot.

Okay … before we get started, I want to remind you that if you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel please do. And if you like this video, please make sure you hit the like button.

Let’s get started…

 

What We Thought WOULD Help

First of all, I want to address many of the false premises we often believe as parents that do not help our children in any shape or form.

The main ones are:

That we help our children by giving them all we can to help them.

It doesn’t help!

When we don’t allow our children to experience actions and consequences and disappointments, and by doing so allow them to become self-generative, they don’t have to take responsibility for themselves or get well.

Let me tell you about a father I know called Laurence who had his 23-year-old daughter Emily living with him. Emily, a highly intelligent and capable girl, had been through a lot due to Laurence and her mother’s breakup.

Laurence felt extremely guilty because of this. She lived with Laurence rent free, didn’t contribute any money to bills, and stayed at home all day because she said that she was too depressed to work.

Emily constantly demanded money from her father for cigarettes and her entertainment costs, which Laurence gave her every time she threw a tantrum to get her own way. It could be argued that Emily absolutely was acting narcissistically – the way she talked to her father and treated him was abysmal.

Nothing was changing and Emily did not have to be any different. She had a guaranteed roof over her head and could get pretty much anything she wanted.

Which brings me to the next point…

Our children are never going to be self-generative or respectful and grateful if we try to shoulder them and let them take the easy way out. We may believe that by taking the burden for them we are helping protect them and allowing them to get well. However, really what is happening is that we are holding our children back, just as a mother bird would be by not nudging her babies out of the nest.

When our children have never had to flap their wings and learn to fly for themselves, their self-esteem is diminished and they are held back from branching out, taking risks and growing.

For our children this means that they are likely to be depressed, feel inferior and incapable, and as a result lash out and take it out on the people closest to them.

I went through this too, with my son Zac. Whilst he was depressed, addicted to drugs and stuck at home, with me allowing him to be there and looking after him he didn’t get better. Of course, whilst this was happening I was still lecturing and prescribing – which were my futile attempts to try to get him motivated. It was when I forced Zac to move out at 19 years of age and I started working diligently on myself to stop seeing him as broken and hopeless, that he came into his power and light.

Truly, I was so close to believing he was a narcissist – and yet he is anything but. Rather he was sick and was being enabled by me to stay sick. Also, whilst my son Zac stayed at home, I was receiving the abuse from him that I didn’t yet understand wasn’t my reality.

When I became clear and stood into my power, values and truth for my life, he followed.

 

What Is Necessary When Suffering Trauma From Your Child?

How do you know if your child is narcissistic or not? The truth is you won’t know until you get clear on your own healing, solidness, values and truth.

And I really want you to know this from the very bottom of my heart. If you have an adult child who you suspect is acting narcissistically, you are not going to help them get well or make them start treating you decently and respectfully until you start respecting yourself and take a stand in your truth.

I have seen parent upon parent in this community, as I did myself for a long time too, try to stop the terrible trauma that their adult child was causing them when they themselves (the parent) were still broken and traumatised.

It doesn’t work … I have NEVER seen it work.

I really don’t think there is any time that Quantum Law is more important and more vital for us to get right than when we are dealing with the challenges and heartbreak we are suffering with our children.

Quantum Law is so within, so without.

What does that really mean? It means ‘be the change you want to see’. I think it would be fair to say that we want to see decency, respect and integrity from our children who are hurting us.

This means that you need to be this for yourself for this to show up outside of you as your experience in your experience – from anyone you are struggling with, including your child!

What would decency, respect and integrity to ‘self’ look like?

Let’s go back to Laurence and Emily. To Laurence these things would mean getting money for board and bills, and to only accept non-abusive communication. Also to lay down boundaries and time limits that Emily would need to honour otherwise she would need to move out.

We may not realise at the time that maybe it is our own guilt we are pandering to, or the fear of our children not loving us, rather than thinking about the consequences of enabling our children in their stuckness. Emily wasn’t getting well any more than any of our children do when we leave things the way they are, hoping something will change.

Quantum Law is absolute – nothing changes in your experience that isn’t pleasant until you change who you are being in the dynamic. Laurence wasn’t changing. He was doing the same thing – trying to make Emily change whilst he wasn’t loving and respecting himself.

How was she ever going to love and respect herself and him when he, as her parent, wasn’t being this for himself. She wasn’t and couldn’t. She continued smoking, drinking, refusing to work and contribute, and being abusive towards his father.

Because Laurence was being abused and drained of his lifeforce and resources, he got sicker and sicker. He started drinking as well, to numb out his pain. He couldn’t expand on his business ideas, and had unsuccessful dating experiences, all because he couldn’t be present and healthy in his Life as a result of Emily’s pressure and demands.

This is the deal with our adult children – if we allow them to stay sick we get sick and we drown with them.

There is only one way out and that is to lead the way. And it is only after we do this that we then see if they are narcissistic or not.

In the cases of my son Zac and Emily, they were never going to get well the way things were and neither were Laurence and I. However, I am so happy to report that Laurence and his daughter finally understood what I did.

It was several years after my situation with Zac that I helped Laurence get very clear on what was necessary. This is what I told him, ‘When you know that loving and respecting yourself is the most important thing here, then Emily will have the chance to move up and join you. Otherwise it can never happen.’

Laurence did a lot of work on himself with NARP to shift out of his terrible feelings of guilt and obligation, as well as the fear of losing Emily altogether. Then he calmly and clearly told her she had a month to get a job and that she would need to pay for board and bills from this date on.

She didn’t take him seriously and when the date came, Lawrence told her calmly and clearly to pack her stuff and leave. She called him every terrible name she could think of. He held his ground and did not capitulate. Emily moved in with a girlfriend, who naturally was not going to put up with paying Emily’s way.

Emily got a job in a café within a week. Every time she asked Laurence for money he said ‘No’. Emily stopped drinking and smoking and started saving for the things she needed and wanted.

Today, only three years later, she works as a successful graphic designer in her own business that she loves. She and her father have a great relationship.

When Emily moved out, Laurence said he would hang up or refuse to talk to her if she was abusive – and he did. Two years ago Emily thanked her father profusely for setting those boundaries with her and has apologised liberally for her past behaviour towards him. She loves and respects her father immensely. His door was always open to her when she was being like that!

Emily did a complete 180 degree turn on the way she used to treat her father, because he loves and respects himself.

Absolutely Laurence had to go through a great deal of discomfort and pain – he had to keep holding his boundaries and continually let go of his guilt and his wanting to rescue her. Look at the results – just as it was with my own son Zac. Walking our truth powerfully and calmly, and keeping working on ourselves inwardly with NARP, created the solid healthy inner and then outer template for our children.

Our children often follow and develop into where we go. Emily may have turned out to be narcissistic if Laurence had continued with his own powerless, co-dependent behaviour. As it turned out both he and his daughter ended up being whole, healthy, self-generative people.

Honestly, as parents it only takes us to lead the way.

 

When Your Adult Child Is a Narcissist

I do know many people within this community who devastatingly have suffered a child who is narcissistic. In the case of your adult child being this way it can be terrible, especially if they have children as well. Many a grandparent has had the grandchildren used against them horribly by their narcissistic adult children or step-children.

I want to share with you this story about Jeanee and David whose adult narcissistic daughter Marina was abusing them terribly.

Marina would use her parents constantly for babysitting duties for her four young children. Jeanee and David loved their grandchildren but struggled greatly with their daughter’s demands, accusations, anger and inconsistencies.

Often they went through the gut-wrenching times when Marina would threaten to never let them see the children again. The children, whilst in their grandparent’s care, would tell them what terrible things their mother had said about them. This broke their hearts, especially as Marina expected them to do so much for the grandchildren – things that she wasn’t taking responsibility to do herself.

There was never gratitude, just abuse for their love and efforts.

When Jeanee contacted me, she said that Marina had been difficult all their lives, and now that these four precious babies were in the mix as well it was literally killing her and her husband. I convinced Jeanee that the most important thing for her and her husband, as well as her grandchildren – and even Marina – was for her, Jeanee, to lead the way and get well.

Jeanee worked with NARP, letting go of the trauma within her that Marina was inflicting. She also did healings on her husband and her grandchildren by proxy. Jeanee felt calmer and more confident with what she was dealing with, and saw a bigger picture that she was working towards.

Jeanee started laying boundaries with her daughter, requesting she contact them ahead of time to make arrangements and to end the last-minute demands. And Jeanee stopped allowing her love for her grandchildren to allow her to be manipulated and abused. If they missed a doctor’s appointment or didn’t get to school on time, that was not her responsibility.

At times it broke her heart not jumping to Marina’s attention for her grandchildren, but she understood that often you have to lose the battle to win the war – and she was determined to be the model of love, truth and integrity that she wanted these little ones to become in their lives.

The inevitable happened. With the boundaries she set came Marina’s nasty efforts to rip the boundaries down. That didn’t work and so the next, quite common, thing happened – Marina pulled her trump card on Jeanee telling her she wouldn’t see the children again.

Through a torrent of tears Jeanee shared this with me, and I kept lovingly bringing her back to the Quantum Truth of so within, so without. I said, ‘If you look after emotion first, if you release all of this trauma from inside, the space opens up for positive and healthy change.’

Jeanee got to work, and that is exactly what she did. She got stuck into her NARP Modules daily to keep upholding her truth and strength. A week and a half later Marina contacted her asking her to look after the children. Jeanne responded by saying she would send Marina an email laying out the limits to this – the healthy boundaries Jeanee needed to have respected to be a part of Marina’s life.

Jeanee got an abusive email back from Marina, but rather than reply Jeanee went inwards again to release what this exchange had brought up within her. Two days later Marina sent her an email agreeing to the boundaries.

Jeanee to this day has to walk a determined line with Marina, and has also had to let go of any expectation of having a healthy and happy relationship with her. However, she sees her grandchildren regularly and she and her husband have them during school holidays for extended periods of time, which they love.

The grandchildren are all so much healthier since Jeanee’s shift, and I have no doubt that their grandmother’s dependable, empowered role modelling of aligned values, truth and respect is calling them to follow.

Can you imagine if this hadn’t happened? They would have had even more role models of trauma, powerlessness and victimhood.

 

The Ultimate ‘Lose It All To Get It All’

I remember once hearing the expression about enabling others to hurt us and take from us, is like watering their lawn whilst ours turns brown and dies.

Not only are we not teaching them to be self-generative and inwardly fulfilled, we are killing ourselves in the process. The truth is, if we stay sick and are sick in any dynamic, we are not in a position to help anyone and we only contribute to the toxic sickness.

In Emily’s case, Laurence had to risk her failing at looking after herself and leaving him for good. But something spectacular happens when necessity becomes a driving force – people step up. Something else extraordinary happens when we start to love and approve of ourselves and actualise what that really is in real-time – key people in our life start to love and approve of us unconditionally too.

In the case of Jeanee and Marina, Marina didn’t want to have full responsibility for her children. She needed her mother and was going to treat her as badly as her mother would allow it. When Jeanee no longer allowed that bad treatment, it stopped. More than this – as it is for all of us – when we release the painful trauma of the losses of those and that closest to our hearts, and reach the full resolution of being the example we wish to be, live and see in our world, calmly and lovingly, then we often receive these people and things back in our life.

Gosh, it’s huge. And when our children and grandchildren are concerned it takes everything we have – but what choice do we have when we break it all down and understand the deeper layers of the Quantum Truth of all of this?

If we want to be healthy and have a healthy world, and for our future generations to be well, there is nothing else to do but heal ourselves and lead the way.

So, I hope that this TTV had helped grant you some goals, direction, and power regarding your difficulties with your adult children.

Also please know there are beautiful people in this Community who have had no option other than to let go and go No Contact with their children. We may think that this would be a trauma that would destroy us, yet I promise you that the people working with NARP who have made this decision have been able to get to peace and free themselves to live their full lives. Such is the extent of detoxing from trauma that NARP creates.

It ALWAYS comes back to the same thing – heal ourselves and then all that is healthy can and will follow. We can’t make other people healthy – we can only lead the way by being that ourselves.

Is that clear – does it really make sense?

If so, I want you to write: ‘If my mission is my healthiness, then I inspire all of life in the healthiest of ways.’

If you are ready to make your inner and then outer worlds healthy, for you and your future generations, join me by clicking this link. Today you can start a deep dive into the step-by-step proven formula to make this happen.

And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

And as always, I look forward to answering your comments and questions below.

 

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child custody & vacation

Child Custody & Vacation: How Can Travel Plans Affect Your Custody Agreement?

child custody & vacation

 

Traveling as a family isn’t very complicated. As a duo, you were able to decide on the best location, dates, budget, meals, and packing strategy. In a divorce, traveling with children is a whole new ballgame. Suddenly your plans require extra steps and the law can get involved.

Traveling plans affect custody agreements in a variety of ways. Depending on traveling plans, custody agreements are subject to modification. If you have concerns about your custody agreement and are in search of a divorce lawyer, please refer to your local directory and get the answers you need regarding child custody.

Local lawyers will fight for you and your child’s best interest and will provide you with unique and individualized attention. While there are little-to-no ways of avoiding traveling issues between you and your ex, there are steps that can be taken to ease the process.

Please consider the following step by step maneuvers when dealing with child custody and vacation:

Have a Written Agreement

Needless to say, upon divorce there must be a written document in place that addresses child custody arrangements. There are no defined rules for custody and you and your partner are allowed to modify pre-established agreements. Within this agreement, should be a section designated to special occasion custody circumstances. When undergoing a divorce, it is critical to have in writing, under what circumstances one parent is allowed to travel with the child.

Can the child and parent leave the country? Will they be unsupervised? Is the other parent allowed contact with the child during the vacation? All these concerns and more must be addressed in writing to avoid disputes and serious legal complications.

What is a Controlling Document?

Specific conditions related to travel should be included in a controlling document. There are basic provisions that should be clarified within the document, such as whether the parent must be notified if the parent is taking the child out-of-state.

More specific issues should be clarified as well. If one parent has pre-decided custody for a certain holiday, but the other parent wishes to take the child on vacation during the same holiday, the protocol for those circumstances must be made clear.

Who is allowed to travel with the child and parent and who is not? This should also be included in the document. Who will provide proper travel gear for the children and who will store this equipment? Is the child allowed to miss school days for vacation time? All of which must be addressed in advance. An important issue that must be decided upon divorce is which parent will store travel papers and official documents and how soon must they provide the other parent with that information.

Travel Rules

If your ex successfully takes the children on vacation and then begins violating your previous agreements, you are allowed to sue them for breach of contract. If your ex does not allow you to speak to the children on vacation, you can file a motion with the court and have your former spouse held in contempt of a court order. This notifies your ex that if they continue to breach the agreement, you will take legal action – just because they are not physically reachable, they will face consequences.

Don’t Wait, Contact A Divorce Lawyer Who Can Provide Assistance

There is no way to completely prepare for every possible scenario that may occur upon traveling. The more issues you and your ex are able to address and reach consensus on prior, the better. If you are in search of a qualified divorce lawyer and want legal guidance on custody issues, contact a legal team to schedule a meeting with a passionate professional today and ease your custody concerns.

The post Child Custody & Vacation: How Can Travel Plans Affect Your Custody Agreement? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Laws For Child Custody in Canada

Laws For Child Custody in Canada

There are different types of child custody with different laws, terms, and conditions.

The post Laws For Child Custody in Canada appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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When an Adult Child of Divorce Goes Through Divorce

When an Adult Child of Divorce Goes Through Divorce

What did you learn from your parent’s divorce that will help you navigate your divorce?

The post When an Adult Child of Divorce Goes Through Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Divorce Attorney Elise Mitchell's Private Files Document Blow Jobs to Judges

Reporters: Catholic Church Settlements Link  Family Courts to Child Abuse Sex Scandals and Sex Trafficking Rings Paid By Sales of Family Homes

As mothers, fathers and gangs of reporters continue to sift through private settlements made by the Catholic Church to protect priests who had sexually abused children for decades, a startling link has been discovered that connects judges and family law attorneys to sex trafficking and pedophile rings where children are taken from their families during high conflict divorce cases from California to South Carolina.

Papers and secret sources indicate Judge Peter McBrien reportedly used the prestige of his office to traffic children in Sacramento’s family courts through an orphanage known as Sacramento Children’s Home, but McBrien didn’t stop there, He used his contacts in Napa, Contra Costa, Orange and Santa Clara County to refer families to private judge cases where secret proceedings resulted in lawyers using high asset divorce cases to legally terminate custody of protective parents. These legal proceedings, often held in lawyer offices appear to result in children being sent to live with abusive parents who control their every move and prohibit communication with the parent who sought to expose abuse.

Settlement papers connected to St. Mary’s church in Gilroy California show children were placed in the county’s orphanage describe horrific abuses of drugging, and financially destroying children who were reportedly taken from Child Protective Services (CPS) or from families divorcing in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties. Attorneys Richard Roggia, James Cox and Sharon Roper’s names appear connected to some of the most horrific abuses.

These papers also reveal that in  San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties attorney Bradford Baugh, Lynne Yates Carter, Elise Mitchell, Joseph Russoniello , Hector Moreno and Donelle Morgan appear to be  connected to an auto body shop that was trafficking young immigrant women from Sweden and Italy to act as  “nannies” for Silicon Valley tech executives engaging in some of the worst child and sex abuse cases in the state. 

Funding for the trafficking and child abuse enterprises appears to be coming from the conversation of family home and business equity that is being funneled through California’s family courts and Catholic Church “donations”. 

In Los Gatos. California papers indicate attorneys Walter Hammon, Rebekah Frye  and Catherine Gallagher have been using connections to the local judiciary and powerful real estate developers to raise money through donations made to St. Mary’s and Shir Hadash that have gone to fund supervised visitation centers, reunification camps and unlicensed non- profit groups to brainwash children in order to isolate them from families who could protect them. 

Ten years after the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal broke on the front pages of the Boston Globe, the full extent of harm inflicted on children through the nation’s churches , synagogues and family courts continues to be secreted by lawyers and judges who knew and who allowed these horrific crimes against children to continue. 

Lawyers names associated with these settlements are now being redacted and reviewed in a manner that would allow children and parents to collect monetary awards, which many describe as insufficient given the stolen innocence these lawyers, judges, politicians and religious leaders took as they sought only to profit and advance their own careers. 

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How to Help Your Autistic Child Handle Your Divorce

How to Help Your Autistic Child Handle Your Divorce

Engage your child better through arts and crafts. Remember that whatever you do, the process itself is more important than the end product of your playtime. It also helps in keeping your child distracted enough to deal with the effects of your divorce.

The post How to Help Your Autistic Child Handle Your Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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The Costs of a Child Custody Conflict Case

The Costs of a Child Custody Conflict Case

You can help yourself by researching and understanding the process as well as the costs of a child custody conflict case.

The post The Costs of a Child Custody Conflict Case appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Laws That Protect a Child Witness During Divorce in Nevada

Laws That Protect a Child Witness During Divorce in Nevada

As of 1 March 2019, Nevada has effectuated new regulations regarding the testimony of a child witness in a custody dispute. Here’s how.

The post Laws That Protect a Child Witness During Divorce in Nevada appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Standard of Practice: 2007 Documentation of Court-Involved Case Management

Standards of Practice: 2007 Documentation of Child Therapy Session

This is an actual therapy progress note from February of 2007.  It’s from the intern doing child therapy with a foster care child now adopted, probably about the 3 to 4 year-old age range judging by the treatment interventions being described.

These de-identified treatment notes I’m sharing come from a time before I was involved in the court-involved divorce-related conflict that I’m currently working with.

In those days I worked with kids in trauma and foster care.  We had a two-therapist treatment model, with one child therapist working directly in session with the child, and a second therapist meeting collaterally with the parent, or foster parent, or adoptive parent – whoever was the day-to-day adult caregiver for the child.

This treatment note indicates that I was serving as the collateral therapist for the adults while the intern worked directly with the child.  Our interns typically did the direct child therapy, while our licensed staff did the collateral caregiver therapy work.  Our post-docs straddled the two.  Post-docs are trainees who have earned a doctorate degree and they already have a full year of pre-doctoral supervised internship training, but now they need an additional year of post-doctoral supervised training before they can be licensed.

Licensing in psychology takes two full years of supervised clinical training, one year pre-doctoral and one year post-doctoral.  This note is likely from one of our post-docs, she’s reporting on some sensitive work with the child’s anger modulation system.

I used these de-identified notes in training interns and post-docs on features of treatment and treatment documentation.  For example, one of the things I might use this note for is to demonstrate expected specificity in treatment documentation.  It’s not a long note, but the therapist does a nice job of presenting what happened in terms of therapy. What were the therapy interventions, and what were the results. 

Not in blow-by-blow detail of “he did then I did”; but in an organized description using constructs that have meaning.  For example, the therapist notes that, “client began to demonstrate a turn-taking rhythm” – a turn-taking rhythm is an important feature of anger modulation therapy. 

Anger is explosive and draws the person into a self-engaged focus of venting.  In therapy for developing anger-modulation networks, we want to keep the child socially engaged with us, so that we can help in regulating the child’s anger and frustrations.  Once the child collapses out of the social field, anger is vented.  As long as we can keep the anger contained in the social field, we build the neural networks needed for anger modulation.

The basic rhythm of social engagement is the turn-taking rhythm of back-and-forth dialogue.  It starts with eye-gaze and smiling dialogues of infancy, pre-verbal dialogues of babbling, and into verbal dialogues of speech and the social rhythms of back-and-forth turn-taking conversation and dialogue.

All of this is captured by this intern in that one notation phrase.  Not only did the therapist and client make an important step forward in anger modulation for the child when mid-way through the session the child “began to demonstrate a turn-taking rhythm”  This documentation shows that the therapist knows what she’s doing.  If she’s noting an incident of establishing a turn-taking rhythm, she knows how to build the anger-modulation system of the brain’s emotional networks.

There are two levels of a chart note description.  The first is the reporting the pattern.  The documentation needs to describe the clinical psychology features of note; in this case the turn-taking rhythm.  The second level is the documenting the evidence of the pattern, in this note it’s the specific notation of the child saying “Wait” to manage the back-and-forth rhythm.  Specifics do not exist of their own importance, only related to the pattern they reveal. It’s the pattern of interaction that’s important.  And when the therapist knows what they’re doing, they document the patterns and use details only to support descriptions of patterns.

Notice in the therapist’s description how chaotic the child’s activity is.  The child asks to leave the session to find the mother but when outside the session office the child didn’t seek mom’s therapy room,  but instead began to play with other toys in other areas of the clinic.  The child didn’t want to find mom, the child just wanted – well, that’s not exactly clear – disorganized wants, no clear focus or purpose.

That’s such a classic symptom of trauma.  Disorganization; to behavior, to emotions, to thinking.  The impact of trauma is that we cannot organize our states, any state.  Our arousal level is too high, and in children it’s a “building the brain networks” thing for modulating arousal and anxiety, and anger, and sadness, and love… love is called attachment and empathy in the professional literature.

How does this exceptionally good child therapist respond to the child’s disorganization?  With gently applied containment.  Boundaries by which to establish self and other.  Poor kid.  Someone had so overwhelmed his boundaries that he had none left, he was flowing in a continual sea of chaos and fear management.  The therapist in this note was going into his world to find him, and recover him to us.

The headings for the note structure were mandated documentation format by the county Department of Behavioral Health.  Standard of ordinary practice in foster care world.


MHS: Individual Therapy

Client’s Role (Mental Status/Verbalizations)

Client was accompanied to the session by his adoptive parents.  He appeared clean, well groomed, and was dressed in age appropriate casual clothing.  Therapist was greeted with appropriate eye contact, but no smile. Client willingly accompanied therapist to play room.

Role of Significant Others (Verbalizations)

Client’s adoptive parents were in session with Dr. Childress, and were therefore not present during the session.

Therapist’s Role (Actions/Interventions)

Maintained focus on providing a supportive and responsive relationship with the child to foster his ability to cooperate.  This therapist provided client with craft activities and set limits on what toys client could access to help organize his play.  Actively established appropriate boundaries to help client understand that aggressive behavior is not acceptable.

Client’s Response to Above

Client presented as disinterested in craft activities provided by therapist as evidenced by stating he needed to see his mother.  Therapist followed client, who did not seek his mother, but attempted to retrieve toys from a different room.  When therapist re-directed client to return to the session room client complied.  Mid-way through session client began to demonstrate a turn-taking rhythm with therapist by stating “Wait” when he and therapist were cutting strips of paper.  During this activity the client began to “cut” the therapist’s hand with the child-safety scissors.  When therapist distanced herself and verbally stated that aggressiveness was not OK, client waited approx. 30 seconds while watching therapist and then asked for therapist to reengage stating “I’ll be nice”.  Client watchfulness may be indicative of his monitoring to see if therapist was angry and would abandon him.

Clinical Plan for Upcoming Session

Therapist will continue to introduce minor intrusions into client’s activities to strengthen client flexibility in organizing his behavior around adult directives without aggression and/or opposition.  Will actively maintain appropriate boundaries with client to provide modulated stress experiences that will help the child to reduce his aggressive behavior.



That’s the clinical chart note.  That was a case where the child had been abused, moved into the foster care system, and the abusive parent could not be recovered, parental rights were terminated and the child was adopted.  This was one of those cases.  The adoptive parent is sometimes the foster parent who has been with the child for awhile.

We were untangling all the impacts of childhood trauma.  The child therapist was skillfully working with the child to build social-related networks involved in emotional regulation flowing into behavioral regulation (containment of anxiety).  In a separate session the collateral therapist for the parents (adoptive parents in this case) would be teaching the parent about trauma-informed responding in ways that support the child’s recovery. 

Chart notes need to reflect the treatment plan.  What’s the problem, and how do we fix it.  This therapist clearly understands what she’s doing to fix things, and we can feel the treatment plan concepts that guide her work.  That’s what a chart note should do, document the application of a coherent treatment framework for child and family therapy.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

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