Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

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

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Understanding the Problems of Parents and Children Through the Lens of Attachment

The Advantages of a Secure Attachment  The research in the field of attachment opens up a whole new world for all of us in understanding the problems of parents and children.  Attachment is the emotional connection between any two people.  However, life’s first attachments are by far the most important, as they set a template […]

The Trauma Couple

Most traumatized adults are not conscious of the profound ways in which the past permeates their thoughts, emotions, decisions, and actions on a daily basis.  Nor do their partners recognize the way the trauma of the significant other dictates their own lives.  It’s natural for all of us to see only that which is directly […]

Attachment in the Digital Age

My friend and colleague, Joan Lovett MD, said to me not long ago, “I think there will be a syndrome resulting from infants and children attempting to interact with their parents while the parents are talking on their cell phones or playing on their ipods.”  I am afraid she may be right.  There is so […]

“Trauma Time”

Trauma survivors live with a difficult phenomenon that is sometimes referred to as “trauma time.”  Trauma Time is a phenomenon that has grabbed and deceived almost every survivor of trauma at one point or another. Traumatic memories are stored differently than normal memories.  They are encapsulated in unmetabolized form in the limbic, or emotional region […]

Talking Back to Your Emotional Brain

Distressing events from earlier life are stored in the emotional part of the brain along with negative thoughts and beliefs that were present at the time of the trauma.   Old negative beliefs naturally get triggered for any of us when we are feeling vulnerable.  Pay attention to your thoughts.  You may notice yourself thinking, “I’m […]

Catch-22 for Victims of Trauma

 I work with trauma victims, young and old.  It is an honor to be allowed to walk the journey of healing with individuals facing challenges brought on by traumatic stress. Although most people sympathize with victims of abuse or violence when they hear about such events in the news, the symptoms experienced by traumatized individuals […]

Attachment in Adulthood – Early Bonding Contract

Infants are born with a natural instinct to bond.  There is an innate fear that without a loving adult present, they will die.  Separation anxiety grows stronger throughout the first year of life, as the infant becomes more attached and feels even more dependent upon one or two primary attachment figures.  Although an infant does […]

“Now that I understand this is dissociation, I’m not mad at him anymore,” said his mother.

Dissociation in children is poorly understood. I have always had mixed feelings about speaking with parents about signs of severe dissociation in their child, because I have been afraid that the discussion would lead the parents to pathologize the child.  Yet, this is a real phenomenon, and when dissociation is not recognized, affected children can […]

When feelings are the trigger…

Children (and adults) who experienced inadequate comfort and nurturing as infants and toddlers are frequently unable to manage any sort of emotion – positive or negative – without becoming dysregulated. Early deprivation leaves inadequate connections in the prefrontal brain.  The prefrontal brain is like Grand Central Station, connecting the higher and lower regions of the […]

What are your child’s triggers?

Homework?  Being told no?  An angry face or voice tone? Bedtime? Getting up? Holidays?  If you can identify his triggers, you might be able to make an educated guess regarding the negative beliefs driving his or her behaviors. Some children have the stuck belief, “I never get what I want!”  Children who have suffered losses […]

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