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A Petaluma360 Blog

Peters Perspective

Thrive in today's world

Parenting Styles

I’m seeing several families in my practice now with adolescent sons. Adolescence is a challenging time for kids from even the healthiest of families. It’s a time when teens begin to separate from their parents and establish themselves as individuals. To successfully transition into adulthood, teens need to learn how to take on the tasks of adult life, including job skills, relationship skills, and self- discipline. These can be almost impossible tasks for teens from families with misguided or deficient… Read More »

“Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma” – by Catherine Woodiwiss

List articles are popular on the internet, some more helpful than others. Catherine Woodiwiss’ “A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma” from the Sojouners website is better than most I’ve found on the subject. Catherine has done a good job of translating her experiences with trauma into wisdom and insights worth taking in. Below, you’ll find her first point, “Trauma permanently changes us.” Follow the link at the end of this post to read her entire article. 1.… Read More »

Self-Pity and Grief

I had an almost identical word-for-word exchange with two of my patients last week. Both of these patients experienced significant early childhood deprivation and abuse. Both continue to be haunted by the pain from their distant pasts and yet they cut themselves off from feeling that pain.   This is not unusual. Disconnecting from pain—what I call dissociating—happens frequently with trauma survivors. No one likes to be in pain, particularly if they feel like there’s nothing that can be done… Read More »

Good Parent, Bad Parent

Last week I wrote about reparenting in psychotherapy. I’ve used it as part of my practice since the beginning, about 45 years ago. Reparenting places a sizable burden of responsibility on a therapist, because it means committing in every way to being a loving parent to often deeply troubled people.   My patients have often grown up in families with neglect or abuse of one kind or another. In crucial ways, they didn’t get the help they needed to become… Read More »

Reparenting

I think the best description of how I approach being a psychotherapist is to say that I “re-parent” my patients.   When I was training in psychotherapy in the 70s, reparenting was part of the classic model. I believe our profession has moved away from taking on this role but I can’t imagine doing what I do in any other way.   The people who come to see me usually have significant problems. Their traumatic issues and experiences cut deeply… Read More »

Lost

Families of service members killed in the line of duty have suffered the ultimate loss of their loved ones. Their sons or daughters, husbands or wives, fathers or mothers, will never come home. Their loss and grief are real and tangible. But many families of service members who do return from active duty also feel that they have “lost” their loved one. To a lesser degree – but still significantly – the service man or woman they knew before deployment… Read More »