Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

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

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Archive for Therapy

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 […]

“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 […]

On Being Present

I re-watched the movie Totoro with my grandchildren for the fiftieth time recently.  I want to be Totoro.  Totoro is so very present for the sisters in the story.  His very presence makes them feel better when their mom is in the hospital. Now I do feel I am doing a better job lately with […]

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 […]

When I walked into the office this morning…

I 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 […]

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 […]





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