Preventing Our Children From Developing Demons (And Healing Our Own)

The book I am reading at the moment has got me inspired and excited. It’s called Healing Developmental Trauma by Laurence Heller, PhD and Aline LaPierre PsyD. If you’re interested in working on your demons it’s definitely a recommended read.

For the next few posts I’m going to look at the book and make some suggestions as to how we, as parents, can prevent (or make less severe) the major issues this book raises for our children. As I’ve been through this horrid winter of discontent where I’ve faced and worked through many of my own shadows, I will also mention some of the things the book suggests we can do for ourselves.

As a taster:

The writers suggest it is both our experience of  physical connection with our own bodily sensations and the emotional connections we have with others, which make us feel truly alive. When we have an impaired connection in either of these areas, due to (unaddressed or poorly addressed) trauma or developmental events, we have a diminished experience of living. Sadly, many of us are unaware of what our internal roadblocks are – although we probably suspect something is holding us back from having the lives we desire.

One of the things I really like about this book, and the approach suggested, is that it acknowledges our past but it doesn’t focus on it. Rather, it looks at how the strategies we developed in our childhood to cope with a less than ideal environment (according to human biology) have been retained even though they no longer serve our best interests as adults. Alongside our past and these retained strategies, it also acknowledges the life-force (elan vital, chi, prana, reiki, essence) as real surges of energy which we often label as emotions or feelings. These can be useful, or not, depending on how we have learned to process them. It talks about this (unprocessed) energy becoming locked in our bodies as physically tight muscles or illnesses.

The really great thing, though, is that it celebrates our strengths, capacities, resources and resiliency and focusses on supporting our increasing capacity for connection to our bodies and to others. It is empowering and practical.

Looking forward to some great discussions!

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About Karyn @ kloppenmum

kloppenmum is me, Karyn Van Der Zwet, mother of three and ex-teacher. I'm part of a revolution in parenting, with the aim to raise mature (not sophisticated) and self-assured children. I also know some stuff about adults. I have also had articles printed in The Journal for The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Children and Young People) and the US parenting magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness, as well I regularly write for World Moms Blog (named as one of the Forbes 100 most useful blogs for women 2012 &2013). You can follow me on facebook (kloppenmum) pinterest (Karyn at Kloppenmum) and twitter (@kloppenmum). I'm also vaguely on LinkedIn (Karyn Van Der Zwet). Thanks to Joe (Mr Hare) for taking the photo. Cheers, son: xxxx.
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21 Responses to Preventing Our Children From Developing Demons (And Healing Our Own)

  1. You and I share this interest. I can’t wait to hear more about your perspective on this. And I’ll blame you if I find myself buying another “must have” book!

    • It’s worth the money, Laura! The writers build on Levine’s trauma work and there were some real, ahhha, moments as I read it. I’ll look forward to hearing what you think when you’ve read it.

  2. sarah says:

    Yes 🙂 Trauma psychology offers so much for the general population too. There are so many wonderful documents of research and philosophy in the trauma field and I’m glad to hear about this one too 🙂

  3. Team Oyeniyi says:

    John is reading two books at the moment, one about raising teenagers and the other about raising sons. Given what our children have been through, this book may be a very good read for us.

    • I think you’d get a lot out of it, Robyn. It outlines five key areas of development which need to be addressed in order to grow up emotionally healthy. Trauma can have an awful affect on us, long after the event(s) – as I’m sure you know. This gives some pointers as to which areas need to be addressed and a few about how they can be addressed. Let me know what you think, if you get a chance to read it.

  4. Nicole says:

    This sounds interesting. We have a foster son now. We hope to adopt, but if we can’t we will have had him for about a year. My daughter is 5 and very attached. I am terrified she will be traumatized if he leaves. Do you think this book would help us deal with our situation?

    • It could help, Nicole. Often it is just having a sense of story with the emotional tags which is enough for well attached children to get through these situations. (If you check out my autobiography post, it has some ideas you could use.) The book is more aimed at adults making sense of their lives, but you could use it to identify behaviours that could be indicators of problems. I’d wait, I think, if I were you, and see if the next few posts seem useful – then you might have more of an idea if you need more detail from the book. (Hope the adoption goes through and you don’t need it.)

  5. Linette says:

    Hi Karyn
    Sounds interesting. I wonder if you will be able to make links to the information in “The highly sensitive person” book. It has helped me so much to understand myself and to find ways of coping with areas that I have struggled with being a mother ie feeling overwhelmed by the childrens noise etc.
    I have just received Laura Weldon’s book as per your recommendation and it is a wonderful read. It gives me so much courage for our home school journey. I will have to put “Healing Developmental Trauma” on my reading list for the moment but I am looking forward to your next few posts.
    Hope you are enjoying as much sunshine as we have had this week.

    • Hi Linette,
      I am pleased you have Laura’s wonderful book, she will be thrilled to know that it is helpful for you. I found the The Highly Sensitive Person to be very useful too. I am working hard on the next few posts, and hope to have one up tomorrow or Weds. The weather had been marvellous here too, but has turned cold and windy again today. Our water tanks could do with a bit more water in them, so I am very ambivalent about impending rain – I guess I’d rather have it now and have a decent summer, when all said and done. Lovely to hear from you. 🙂

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