Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

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

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP RSS Feed

Archive for Parenting

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 […]

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 […]

Kansas lawmaker proposes legalizing spanking to the point of bruising…

As someone who works with helping children and adults recover from the devastating effects of child abuse, I find this Kansas lawmaker’s proposal extremely distressing.  A disorganized attachment style is observed in children who fear their parents.  This is due to the following double bind:  The person to whom the child wishes to run for […]

Adoption allows me to experience success as a trauma therapist.

Last week I was in Hong Kong training and consulting for a group of dedicated and talented psychologists, and I discovered that the abused children in their care had an additional obstacle to their healing.  Adoption is not a part of the culture in Hong Kong. Although I don’t have statistics regarding the prevalence of […]

“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 […]

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 […]





Send me email notification of new posts