Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

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

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Dissociation is a normal and self-protective response.

Dissociation is a normal human response to intense emotions or even to boredom.  Everyone dissociates to some extent, but children who have experienced multiple traumas are high risk for dissociative disorders.  As children or adults, they may regularly shut down or space out, or they may become hyper and extremely silly or behave in other […]

Mindfulness is a Lifestyle

Relaxation and meditation are extremely beneficial for reducing stress, reducing cortisol and inflammation in the brain, and calming reactivity.  But mindfulness involves even more than activities that change consciousness.  Mindfulness involves staying present to all of our experiences, including feelings of sadness, anger, hurt, loneliness, or any other emotions.  The practice of mindfulness includes staying […]

Anger Management Is Not the Answer

Many folks tend to think anger management is the answer when it comes to problems with anger and aggression.  Sadly,  I have never found anyone suffering from high levels of anger who benefited much from anger management skills.  I think it’s all about finding what emotions and thought processes are driving the high level of […]

I Never Would Have Guessed….

A child I was working with was having multiple tantrums every day, shortly after her adoption day.  Her mother brought her in, fatigued, defeated, and confused.  The mother said, “I think she is testing us to see if we really love her!”  Certainly, this was a possibility.  But I wondered about grief.  After working with […]

Adoption is Not the Problem.

Adoption is not the problem.  Adoption is a win-win for adoptive parents, children, and birth parents.  Adoption is not a problem, but early attachment losses and traumas are indeed a problem.  Even preverbal trauma leaves an imprint in the limbic brain of young children and creates entrenched feelings of rejection, abandonment, hurt, mistrust, fear, and […]

A common parent statement: “I can’t nurture her until she starts treating me right.”

It makes sense that  parents feel this way when they have experienced intense hurt related to repeated rejection and disrespect from their traumatized adopted and foster children.  However, there exists a real Catch-22:  When traumatized or hurt children do not trust adults as sources of comfort and security, they are unable to trust their authority.  […]

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