Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Author, Mental Health Therapist, Researcher, Expert in Attachment Trauma

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When I walked into the office this morning…

MiaI conducted a training along with my wonderful colleagues Stefanie Armstrong and Cathy Schweitzer here in Omaha yesterday, and the entire group became involved in a discussion regarding how traumatized children and adults over-read anger on faces.  Even facial expressions that exhibit sadness, boredom, or fatigue can be easily read as anger or disapproval.  Voice tones that are monotone or bored are read the same way.   We teach parents the importance of lifting the eyebrows, using a lighter voice tone, being playful and light, as part of developing stronger bonds with hurt children.

I woke this morning a little dismayed about the idea of going into work after conducting a 3-day training here (still jet-lagged from Hong Kong–plus a couple of inches of new snow on the ground to deal with.)  However, when I walked into the office, I was greeted by the kind of scenario that plays itself out all the time here.  My colleagues Cathy and Bonnie were bantering with all the children and the adults in the waiting room.  There was lots of laughter and chaos.  There was a cute, red-haired kiddo lobbying for a good movie for the DVD player.  The atmosphere of laughter and love that we have here immediately lifted my mood and energized me for the day.  Though our group is made up of 10 women who are extremely skilled professionals, there is no pretense, stuffiness, or arrogance in this group. The tone is light, the atmosphere is one of warmth and acceptance.   No wonder so many kids and adults feel immediately at home here.  I am really grateful for this.

2 Responses to “When I walked into the office this morning…”

  1. 1
    Cate:

    During my internship at ATCN I’ve noticed the same thing. There’s a lot of really difficult work going on at the center everyday, but it’s the attitude and professionalism of the women who work there, and the atmosphere they have created, that make that work possible. I’m so grateful to have spent time there learning the techniques, but I’m most grateful for the people i’ve met. It’s truly a special place.

  2. 2
    Debra:

    Thank you Cate, we will miss you. It was a pleasure to have you as an intern at The Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska!

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