Are You An Adult Survivor Struggling With Parenthood?
Although you don’t want to treat your children the way you were treated, do you find it hard to figure out what to do instead?
Do you say or do things to your kids that you later regret?
Does parenting leave you feeling overwhelmed, tired, scared and unsure?
Do you worry your kids are becoming distant, anxious, disobedient or bossy?
Worries like these can block the joy of parenting and leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed.
You may fear that your childhood has stunted your capacity to parent, and at times triggers from your past can lead you to have feelings and thoughts you don’t like.
Although you love your children, because you second guess yourself continually, you may feel tired all the time and crave an escape. Maybe you look forward to moments when they’re at school or busy watching TV, and then feel ashamed of those type of thoughts.
Perhaps you are confused about how to interpret your children’s behaviour accurately, which makes setting good limits and healthy boundaries a struggle.
No matter what the current state of your relationship with your children, addressing the roots of your difficulties– your own trauma– can make a world of difference.
Parenting is a Tough Job — and It’s Harder Still If You Were Abused
Even when you have done lots of work to recover from childhood trauma, parenting often presents new triggers and challenges.
As an adult survivor of abuse, the hurt you experienced happened in a parent-child relationship, so it is natural that aspects of parenting bring old feelings and reactions to the surface.
There is a myth that parenting should come naturally. According to this myth, if you struggle you are really flawed. In reality, we develop a map of how to be a parent from our parents. So, if your parents treated you poorly, you may not have a strong foundation to build from.
The good news is that parenting therapy can help you to both rebuild great parenting skills and let go of the baggage that creates stress between you and your children.
Parenting After Trauma Can Uncover the Parent You Were Meant to Be
Counselling can be remarkably effective in helping you recognize, lessen and overcome triggers and heal from complex trauma. People who work through what happened to them, as it relates to parenting, often become very attuned and skilled parents.
In parent counselling sessions, you can gain an understanding your children’s needs and behaviours, as well as the tools needed to aid you in supporting them in more helpful ways.
Together, we can identify and resolve triggers that keep you from feeling like a good parent. Because every person and situation are unique, the interventions we use will be tailored to your needs. At a pace that is comfortable for you, we can work toward lasting positive change.
I was maltreated as a child, and when I became a step-parent, I was pushed to deepen my own journey to healing childhood trauma. With this lived experience and nearly two decades of training in trauma and attachment therapy, I have a large and diverse toolbox of effective strategies.
Even if you feel disconnected from your children, with the help of an experienced therapist, it is possible to implement healthy boundaries and experience profound growth.
You can have the kind of warm, supportive relationship with your children you really want.
You may still have questions or concerns about parenting after trauma therapy…
How long does therapy take? I need help now.
Parenting counselling is practical, targeted and focused. Together, we can pave a clear direction toward becoming a more balanced parent. As you practice implementing new strategies, you can begin to discover and overcome things that have been holding you back. Often, my clients are amazed at the results and how efficient the process can be. It’s common for clients to see positive changes within three sessions.
I fear being judged about my mistakes as a parent.
I have also experienced intense shame and regret over mistakes I made as a parent. It is all right—none of us are perfect.
What you’ve done in the past is not important. Your willingness to stop making the same mistakes is the focus of our work. Imagine breaking the cycle of mis-attuned parenting once and for all.
I’ve heard that therapy can be expensive.
There may be free or low-cost parenting training in your area. However, therapy that directly targets parenting after trauma is an investment with tremendous payoffs. Imagine seeing your children raising their kids with confidence and ease. Sacrificing one hour a week creates that possibility.
Isn’t video conferencing a weird way to do therapy?
Using video-conferencing is simple. As long as you have a laptop or desktop, high-speed internet and a quiet, private space, you are all set. Because you are in the comfort of your own home or office, counselling can feel safer, more relaxing and save you time.
I try to respond to voicemail and email within 24 hours. I am available to work with people from all over British Columbia; although most of my clients reside in Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, Delta, Surrey, and Vancouver.