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

Advertisements

Dance as therapy!

There were two videos this past week that went viral. One was a six years-old girl who was invited to perform at the Zumba conference This young lady had amazing moves, but more remarkable is she has a bone marrow disease. She uses dance as a way to deal with living with this disease. The other was a video of a woman who used dance to deal with labor pains prior to giving birth to her second child. So today, I decided to do a blog on Dance Therapy.

The American Dance Therapy Association defines Dance Therapy as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.” Dance Therapy is used with people of all ages and in all populations to help individuals with developmental, medical, social, physical and psychological impairments. I can remember volunteering for the Special Olympics Prom for DeKalb County in Georgia. One year the prom fell on the same night as the prom of the school I worked at. We had regular education students who chose to volunteer at the Special Education prom over attending the school prom. Dance served as an equalizer between the special education students and the regular education students. For those hours they were one and shared a love of music and dance.

Recent articles have shown that Dance Therapy has successfully been used with clients who have dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, eating disorders, autism, and with people in prisons. There are only a select number of universities in the United States that offer degrees in Dance Therapy, but there are alternative ways in which therapist’s can become certified to use Dance Therapy. You click the link above and go to the American Dance Therapy Association’s website to locate a dance therapist in your area.

I hope more people find dance as a coping skill to use to get through whatever they may be going through.

dance