What do parents have to know and do to maintain connection with their adolescent child?
This 9-week psychoeducational course is designed to give parents and caregivers a broad understanding of how attachment dynamics show up in our families and impact our mental health.
April 7 – June 9, 2019
What We’ll Learn And Do:
First thing to know: this is not group therapy.
This is a chance to gain information and concrete skills to support your struggling child. I’ll be giving you a lot of resources, research, and practice exercises to build more trust and a stronger connection with your child, and offer some support for your struggle as a parent.
Along with the educational component, each week you’ll complete a self-assessment worksheet and we’ll do exercises that put theory into practice. These exercises will help stabilize your household.
You’ll learn how to regulate your own nervous system and co-regulate your child so they feel more calm and capable.
You’ll learn how to be a grounding presence for your child, even when you feel irritated, angry, scared, powerless, and uncertain about how to proceed.
You’ll learn about:
Everybody’s got one. How do they form and what do they look like in practice?
Adverse Childhood Experiences
Recognizing and resolving developmental trauma
Working With The Nervous System
Learning to track auto-regulation, self-regulation, and co-regulation.
Working With The Developing Brain
What can we reasonably expect from our teens?
Containment and Consequencing
Establishing boundaries and new patterns in the family.
Repair and Reclaim
Parenting through attachment injury or rupture. Supporting our child (and ourselves) to feel safe, seen, secure, and soothed.
Who Will Benefit
Any caregiver of a child entering adolescence right up to emerging adults, (10 to 24 years old), can benefit from this program.
Folks with interests that converge on Attachment science, trauma-informed practice, and somatically-based healing modalities will be very pleased with the approach, I think.
But if you have little idea what that previous sentence described, no worries! No prior experience or knowledge is necessary, only a sense that perhaps reading parenting books and talk therapy are inadequate to your needs of the struggle at the moment.
In particular, anyone living in a family system where anxiety or depression are present, (whether among the adult or the child members), will find this program especially important and useful.
Anxiety and depression look different for youth and adults. If you or your child suffer from the following, this course is especially for you:
- physical symptoms such as digestive issues (including diagnoses such as IBS and Crohn’s), adrenal and energy issues (including fibromyalgia-type syndromes), sensitive gag reflex or vocal chord dysfunction, chronic sickness or weakened immunity, labile affect (like flooding with tears even if you aren’t sad), headaches or occasional vision impairment
- emotional or disordered eating, orthorexia (highly restrictive “healthy” eating/food control)
- addiction (including work, shopping, exercise, technology)
- constant low or high grade agitation, aggression, restlessness, reckless risk-taking, ADHD
- social isolation or lack of emotional vulnerability in relationships
- gender dysphoria, or heteronormativity/societal expectations as LGBTQIA+
- marginalization (including being part of a minority group, having a visible or invisible disability, or neurodivergence)
- rumination or unkind thoughts
- irrational fears or phobias
- perfectionism or a need to control the environment that impairs productivity (including OCD)
- stagnation, stuckness, lack of motivation, extreme risk aversion
- an experience (or witnessing) of chronic stress or traumatic incidents such as break-up, separation or divorce, illness, poverty, systemic racism, loss, shock, friendship failure, bereavement, abuse or violence
We’re meeting in the digital realm, but our work together is all about real life.
What is connection? How do we break it down into parts or steps? How do we handle resistance and anger? (Theirs and our own!) What if quite frankly we’re not that interested in connection with someone with such a lousy attitude? How do we balance guiding versus nagging? What do we do about too much screen time? How do we enforce curfew? What about…? And…? And…?
Let’s slow it down.
How about we start with just giving attention to the current troubling issue – the fact that parenting is really fucking hard – just for a couple hours each week.
Look, we’re not going to figure it all out in a 9-week course, right? But we can actually figure out a lot in that time.
We can reveal some very critical, previously hidden information that can totally alter the course of your family’s future – information hidden in you and your child’s affect, your histories, your nervous systems, your brains, and your interpersonal patterns.
Information that if you had and knew how to act on, could make positive, permanent shifts in your daily lives.
That’s what we’ll practice each week. We’ll practice evidence-based approaches to build concrete skills.
We’ll cover what you need to KNOW and DO to stabilize the situation within your family.
How I come to this work
Some of what led to this course is professional: I’m a somatic trauma recovery practitioner specializing in attachment and developmental trauma.
What that means is, I work predominantly with folks who grew up in emotionally deficient environments who are struggling to do better in relationships than they were taught to do. I help them recognize the trauma response in themselves (and others), strengthen emotional resilience, develop a greater range of tolerance for both intimacy and self-reliance, and learn how to form healthy, fulfilling bonds with others.
My training is called Dynamic Attachment Re-Patterning, a methodology developed by psychotherapist, Dr.Diane Poole Heller, PhD. I receive on-going Clinical Supervision in this work, (including for teaching this course). You can listen to a conversation with my supervisor and mentor, Patti Elledge, here.
I’m also a Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist. I don’t do behavioural hypnosis like weight reduction and smoking cessation. I teach people how to relax and focus, and touch upon deeper thoughts and feelings than their busy minds usually allow them to access. I help them discern between fear and intuition, and gently guide them to face whatever healing is needed.
The “clinical” part of my hypnotherapy training means I have additional education pertaining to mood and personality disorders, and the DSM V (the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, which I do not necessarily endorse but accept as a given in our medical system at the moment). I don’t offer diagnoses, but I am trained to recognize them and refer clients to the help they need, or work alongside their current mental health team in a safe, complementary way.
Finally, I’m a parent. My son is now 15 years old. Up until he was 13, as far as I knew, he was a girl! Hah ha what? Whoops! Ha ha did I mention parenting is hard sometimes! Like, WTF, amirite? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Oh, those crazy kids! Ok. Anyway…
In all seriousness, I’d say my son and I have quite a close, loving relationship with a high level of Contact Nutrition even though we’ve definitely had long periods of distance and mistrust and hurt and anger.
All of which I will be happy to humbly share, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Commiseration always available and welcome. And, I’ll share the somatic trauma recovery and attachment techniques that have worked for us, and what has worked for the teens I see as clients. (Like “Contact Nutrition”! The secret ingredient to all relationships! You’ll learn all about it!)
There is hope, my friends! There really is, and it’s really worth pursuing.
We’ll draw on the research and work of the following notable experts and therapists for this work:
Diane Poole Heller
Classes will be held over Zoom video conference and last 90 minutes.
Classes will include both lecture and experiential exercises. Some time will be available for clarifying questions. All Classes will be recorded.
Sunday nights, 5:30-7:00pm Pacific:
April 7, 14, 21
May 5, 12, 19
June 2, 9
Office Hours will be held over Zoom and last 60 minutes.
Office Hours are a chance to ask me questions more specific to your situation. If I don’t know the answer, I will offer a resource or to help look for one.
Again, not therapy, but support, coaching, and resources are on offer at this time.
If you can’t be live on the call, you can email me in advance and I’ll do my best to answer in the time we have. You can listen to my reply in the recording. All Office Hours will be recorded.
Wednesday nights, 6:30-7:30pm Pacific
April 10, 17, 24
May 8, 15, 22
June 5 (last Office Hours)
Additionally, we’ll have a closed Facebook Group where participants can share resources and seek support. This group will be lightly moderated by myself. I won’t be routinely answering questions there but will pop in to offer resources if I have them.
“This course reminded me how I want to be as a parent, gave me the evidence to reinforce why it matters how I do, and some simple but impactful tools to connect to myself and my kids.” ~ S.C.
“Feeling overwhelmed with our household dynamic, this class really helped me find where to start and how to build stronger connections and better understanding with my kids in the deep hearted way that we need.” ~ K.B.
After successful payment, you should be directed to a confirmation page where you’ll be asked to enter your email address.
If you are not re-directed, please reach out: crspagnola (at) gmail (dot) com
Refunds available until April 6, 2019. With your registration, you consent to the recording of our video calls. You are not required to have your audio or video on to participate; it is fine if you just want to listen in and observe. Also, you should know in advance that I swear a bit.
Once again, this is not therapy. So please be prepared for me to sometimes answer questions with something to the effect of:
“That’s beyond the scope of this class/the average parent/most humans/OMG how are you even still standing, you poor thing?”
“You would need to consult with a counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist/doctor about that.”
“That’s something we should probably dive into in the context of a one-on-one session.”
That said, I am here to support your parenting journey and I very much look forward to discussion and questions during our calls.