How to Support the Healing of Your Child

I am apart of a powerful women’s entrepreneurial group where we read a book and have a discussion about the impact the book had us. Our first book is Iyanla Vanzant’s Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What Your’re Going Through. This book is an autobiography where Iyanla explores her past trauma and the generational pathology of her family. One of the questions posed by one of the group members was “which adult from Iyanla’s childhood we thought was in the best position to protect her and make everything alright.” My response to the question was  “The adults in her life were not in a position to make everything right as they had never dealt with their issues and trauma. I run across so many families who want us (therapists) to “fix” children when the real issue is the parents. And when I say the real issue is the parents, I mean they have never dealt with their issues and that effects the way in which they parent continuing the passing down of generational issues.” Her response to me was “I see! Wow. Heal the parents which would enable them to support the healing of the child.” I thought, “Exactly! Somebody gets it!”

The first step to caregivers helping their children through issues that require therapy is to first deal with their own issues. One of the statements I make to the parents of the children I treat is “In order for me to help your child, you have to be a part of the treatment. That means there may be times when you have to meet with me alone where we may have to address things from your past that are impacting your relationship with your child. I cannot help your child without also helping you.” Many caregivers do not realize how their past issues have seeped into their current relationships and coping. Ignorance is not bliss! Ignoring what has occurred in your past is the breeding ground for pathology.

Caregivers for the benefit of the children you are raising, please face the issues from your past. Therapy is not for “crazy people” as it has been stigmatized in the past. Therapy is for everyone who is willing to face their past and want to change.

Man and woman holding hands at a table

Close up on a man and a woman holding hands at a wooden table

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Completion

So it has been a long time since I have blogged. Things have been crazy since the last time I wrote. Let’s see I was in a car accident while training for a half marathon. Then I got a promotion at work that turned into full time way earlier than expected. So I would say the last part of 2016 was a time of transition for me. But now we are in 2017 and I am at a place in my life where I have to learn to not just focus on just seeing clients and making it through the day, but I have to learn to maintain all aspects of my personal life at the same time. Which includes being more consistent with blogging. So here goes!

My first blog of 2017 is about what I am already learning for 2017 and not about my goals for 2017. My word for this year is “Completion.” God gave me this word because there are several things that I have allowed to be carried over into 2017 that should have stayed in 2016. For reasons of fear, procrastination, and just being busy I allowed these things to enter into a new year which is unacceptable. I can continue to make excuses or I can do something about it. I am choosing to correct my mistakes. Also, there are new opportunities that I will encounter in 2017 that must be completed in 2017. As I refuse to continue to make the same mistakes.

This year I am not going to publicly reveal my goals list, but as I go throughout the year I will share different things that are on my list and my personal journey to completing them. I will still be an advocate about issues that are important to me. And share the life lessons that I learn along the way. I look forward to the journey of 2017 and my continued growth. I hope each of you join me on this journey of completion!

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HOPE

As I sit closing out the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and the 50th Anniversary of the Selma march, I can only think of one word “HOPE.”

Last week I had the opportunity of facilitating my first cancer support group that was filled with men and women of all ages in various stages of their cancer fight and their caregivers. Our theme for that night was “HOPE.” I was inspired by their strength and moved by their individual stories. I was inspired by the group of people who wanted a place to belong, to share, cry, laugh, and learn. During that group I brought up the quote by the late Stuart Scott:

stuart scott

The members of this group were also inspired by his words and encouraged to keep going even as some faced upcoming medical procedures. I left that group feeling honored that they are allowing me to facilitate that group.

Throughout last week and this weekend their message of hope even facing life threatening and/or terminal illness has remained with me. This weekend has been filled with messages of hope as the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Selma March and the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. The people who marched 50th years ago with Dr. King did so on hope. Hope for a better future. Hope for equality. Dr. King stated:

MLK Hope

I would agree. Nothing can be accomplished without hope no matter the situation, circumstances, or person. We have to have hope that things will change. Hope that we will accomplish our goals. Hope that we will survive. This does not mean that we do not walk out principles and steps to do what needs to be done. Hope is an action. Having hope allows us to wake up every morning and get out of bed. Hope allows us to push through the obstacles that come our way. Hope allows us to respond with love when those around us and close to us hurt us. Hope allows us to continue mentoring and teaching even when it seems like no one is listening or paying attention.

Today I rest in this verse and pray this prayer over all who reads this blog:

Hope Romans 15.13

May we all continue to have hope as we move through the journey of life no matter what obstacles may come our way. Amen.