Arthur Becker-Weidman

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: An evidence-baesd treatment

Presentation on Complex Trauma for Value Behavioral Health

I’m in Pittsburgh now, November 17, 2011. I’ll be doing a presentation for Value Behavioral Health about evaluating and treatment Complex Trauma tomorrow. VBH manages the Medicaid contract for the State of PA for Western PA, so there will be about 350 providers at the training.

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, IEP, Legal Issues, Parenting, Psychology, Special Education, Treatment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Becker-Weidman in Saratoga Springs

Dr. Becker-Weidman will be presenting a community workshop, “Complex Trauma: A Community Approach”- Implications for Treatment, Parenting, Child Welfare, Family Court and Education”
in Saratoga Springs on October 20, 2011.

September 25, 2011 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Brain, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, Legal Issues, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attachment Focused Therapy Video

The Association for the Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children has a wonderful new video about Attachment Focused Therapy. You can view it here. This video is a must see for parents and professionals. It describes the latest information on evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatments for Complex Trauma, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and other disorders of attachment. The speakers and presenters are internationally recognized experts in the evaluation and treatment of these conditions.

See the video here.

July 15, 2011 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Brain, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, International Adoption, Legal Issues, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education, Treatment, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reactive Attachment Disorder: For Educators

he following is a handout that a colleague produced for Educators. You may find this valuable.

A few references that may also be helpful:

Becker-Weidman, A., 2010, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: Essential Practices & Methods, Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson.
Becker-Weidman, A., & Shell, D., 2010, Attachment Parenting, Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson.
Becker-Weidman, A., & Shell, D., 3rd printing, 2011: Creating Capacity for Attachment.
Becker-Weidman, A., 2006, Principles of Attachment Parenting, DVD, order from Amazon.com

FACT SHEET FOR EDUCATORS
by
Connie Hornyak, LCSW
chlcsw@pacbell.net

Children with disorders of attachment are the victims of abuse, neglect, abandonment, physical illness, multiple placements and/or in-utero drug/alcohol exposure. Their problems are rooted in the first five years of their lives, when trauma occurred. Stable attachments cannot be formed when a child experiences frequent changes in daycare or foster care, or when the child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs are unmet.

While many children with disorders of attachment have grown up in foster care and/or adoptive homes, these disorders occur in children who are growing up with their biological parents as well. It is estimated that one-third of elementary school children in the United States have some form of an attachment issue, if not the full blown disorder, due to divorce, inappropriate daycare programs, and multiple caregivers. Children who have experienced medical events such as hospitalization, placement in an incubator or a body cast can also develop these disorders.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, there are two types of Reactive Attachment Disorder. In the Inhibited Type the child persistently fails to initiate and to respond to most social interactions in a developmentally appropriate way. The child shows a pattern of excessively inhibited, hyper vigilant or highly ambivalent responses (for example, frozen watchfulness, resistance to comfort, or mixture of approach and avoidance). In the Disinhibited Type, there is a pattern of diffused attachments. The child exhibits indiscriminate sociability or a lack of selectivity in the choice of attachment figures. For example, the child may be extremely charming and friendly with those who are not trying to be his or her parents, while acting violently toward parents who are attempting to become emotionally close to the child.

What is a Disorder of Attachment?

A person with a disorder of attachment has difficulty forming loving, lasting, intimate relationships. These individuals are unable to be genuinely affectionate with others, have not experienced conscience development, and cannot trust others. Attachment is necessary for the development of an emotionally healthy person who has conscience development, experiences empathy, attains full intellectual potential, thinks logically, copes with stress and frustration, becomes self reliant, develops healthy personal and business relationships, and handles the ups and downs of everyday life. Attachment Disorder is Helen Keller.

Children with disorders of attachment do not respect authority, especially that of their parents. They are sometimes oppositional and defiant in the school setting, although many of these children behave perfectly with those who are not parenting them. It is not uncommon for a child with a disorder of attachment to be a good student as well as the most helpful child in the class. The same child may go home and threaten his mother with a knife, set fires, and/or kill animals. Children with attachment disorder have been so damaged that they cannot trust. Their behavior meets their subconscious need to keep those who love them most at a distance. They are fearful that, if they become emotionally close to their parents, they will somehow be hurt again as they were in the past. These children are terrified of closeness, and will do anything they can to create distance between themselves and their parents. One way this is manifested is in children’s ability to triangulate; that is, to pit one adult against the other. Children with disorders of attachment frequently lie to their teachers, accusing their parents of emotional abuse, physical abuse or neglect, and lie so convincingly that their teachers believe them. Many parents have been erroneously reported for suspected child abuse when school personnel have listened to the child without checking the facts with the parent.

What’s a teacher to do?

• Develop and maintain constant communication with the child’s parents. This will greatly increase the chance of all adults being consistent in the child’s life at home and at school. Be sure to check with parents if you suspect that the child’s story could be untrue. Ask parents to do the same for you. For example, if the child comes home and says that his teacher hit him, yelled at him or otherwise behaved inappropriately, please ask the parents to check out the child’s story with you before acting upon it.
• Children with attachment disorders need a tight, loving, structured environment where the rules never change but the consequences often do.
• These children need a tightly structured environment in order to feel safe. They do not need an overly permissive environment which makes them feel unsafe. Please respect the need of the parents to be the primary attachment figures in this child’s life. While many teachers, especially in younger grades, tend to hug children and openly display affection for them, this type of treatment is inappropriate for a child with a disorder of attachment. If this type of treatment is given in the school setting, the child will simply triangulate, manipulating the teacher into thinking that he or she is an important attachment figure in a child’s life, and using the teacher’s affection to manipulate the parents at home.
• Follow through on any and all consequences. The child’s safety and that of others depends on it.
• Hold the child responsible for his or her actions. Understand that, until the child’s behavior becomes more positive, he or she will have an extremely depressing life. Even though the child has problems and may have a painful past, it is important to hold the child responsible for his or her actions and not excuse those actions because of the child’s previous trauma.
• Remember that these children are superficially charming with strangers and others who are not their parents. These children lack the ability to have true closeness with their parents and other family members.
• Please understand that if this child criticizes his parents and asks to go home with you, this is a means of distancing from closeness with the parents. The child is fearful of closeness with parents because previous parents have left the child or traumatized him/her.
• Children with disorders of attachment need to regress and experience being infants and toddlers, as well as young children, before they can behave in an age-appropriate fashion. Please realize that there are days when the child may need to stay home from school in order to receive therapy, or because the child simply needs to be close to his or her parents. Once attachment issues are resolved, the child will have plenty of energy to make up for lost time at school.

For more information about disorders of attachment, please access the following web sites: http://www.icfd.net and http://www.attach.org.

4/26/11

May 28, 2011 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, International Adoption, Legal Issues, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education, Treatment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

The workshop covers all the “Required Core Training Content” necessary to enter the practicum to become a Certified Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy therapist. The use of SKYPE will allow remote participants to fulfill the requirements to become Certified Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy therapists. Participants may register for the full 56 hours or for Part A or Part B alone.

The workshop uses a combination of SKYPE workshop sessions, group discussion, independent study, and case presentations.
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is an evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatment that is grounded in current thinking and research on the etiology and treatment of Complex Trauma or Developmental Trauma Disorder and disorders of attachment. Treatment is primarily experiential and there is an important teaching element as well. Teaching parents about attachment-facilitating parenting methods and the importance of attunement and responsive, sensitive parenting is essential. Direct work with the parents regarding their own family or origin issues is another component of treatment. Finally, intensive emotional work with the child in a manner consistent with sound treatment principles is vital.

The workshop is led by Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, who is a certified Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapist, Certified Consultant, and Certified Trainer by the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute.

SCHEDULE
Starting dates and SKYPE sessions scheduled based on your availability and convenience. Assignments independent study occur at your pace.

A. 28 hour First half
* Patterns of attachment
* Engaging and working with parents
* Intersubjectivity & use of self in practice
* Experiential components of training
* Components of Practice
* Phases of Treatment
B. 28 hour Second half
* Differential use of components of
* Practice in different phases of
treatment
* Treatment with different populations and
circumstances
* Experiential components of training
* Consultation
Sections A & B cover all the required core training content for training to meet the DDPI requirements to apply for the Practicum to become a certified DDP therapist. Therapists may make application after completing section A.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is an evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatment. Two follow-up studies with control groups found clinically and statistically significant reductions in symptoms of attachment disorder, aggression, anti-social behavior, thought disorders, attention problems, mood, and social relationship dysfunction. Over 80% of the children treated had previously been in treatment on three or more occasions, without any noticeable improvement. Treatment averaged 23 sessions over approximately ten months. (Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D., Child & Adolescent Social Work, vol. 23, pp.137-171, 2006)

SUGGESTED READING
You will find the following list of books helpful. It is strongly recommended that you read the first two books before the workshop begins. This will ensure that everyone has a solid foundation of common knowledge.

1. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: Essential Methods & Practices, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D., Rowman, Lanham, MD, 2010.
2. The Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Casebook, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Rowman: Lanham, MD, 2011.
3. Creating Capacity for Attachment, Eds., Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D., Deborah Shell, MA, LCMHC, Wood ‘N’ Barnes, 2005/2008.
4. Attachment Parenting, Ed., Arthur Becker-Weidman & Deborah Shell, Rowman: Lanham, MD, 2010.
5. Attachment-Focused Family Therapy. Daniel Hughes, Norton, 2007.
6. Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook, Norton: NY, 2011.
7. Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications. Edited by Jude Cassidy and Phillip Shaver. The Guilford Press, 2008.
8. Building the Bonds of Attachment. 2nd. Ed. Daniel Hughes, Ph.D., 2006
9. Attachment Across the Life Cycle. Edited by Colin Murray Parkes, Joan Stevenson-Hinde, and Peter Marris. Routledge, 1991.
10. A Secure Base. John Bowlby, Basic Books, NY, 1988.
11. John Bowlby & Attachment Theory. Jeremy Holmes, Routledge, NY, 1993.

PURPOSE OF WORKSHOP
This workshop is for therapists who want to learn how to treat trauma-attachment disordered children. Participants will learn effective therapy principals for helping traumatized children. Participants will learn:
1. Initial work to determine parent readiness.
2. The components of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and the phases of treatment.
3. The differential use of components in different phases of treatment.
4. Effective therapeutic techniques to use with traumatized and attachment disordered children and their families.
5. Effective parenting principals.
Participants will have the opportunity to view videotapes of actual therapy sessions with traumatized children that demonstrate therapeutic principals and present their own video tapes or cases.

REGISTRATION
NAME:
ADDRESS:

Degree:
DAY PHONE #: ( )
E-MAIL:
AGENCY NAME (if applicable):

A.: B.: BOTH:______
Fee is $500 (US$) for Sections A or B and $950 for both. A refund, minus a $95 administrative fee, will be given for cancellations. No refunds will be issued beginning course. A $150 deposit is required and full payment is due by the time you being.
$500 or $950 (U.S. $) fee enclosed.
OR
$150 deposit enclosed, balance due before starting.
Purchase Orders: include $25 fee. Payment in full must be received prior to starting training.

Registration fee includes workshop information packet, and Certificate of Attendance for 28 or 56 CEU’s.

To register send application form and check to:
CENTER FOR FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
5820 Main Street, Suite 406
Williamsville, NY, 14221
Website: http://www.Center4FamilyDevelop.com
E-mail: Aweidman@Concentric.net
Phone: 716-810-0790 Fax: 716-636-6243

March 20, 2011 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Brain, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, International Adoption, Legal Issues, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education, Treatment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Empathy Be Taught?

Empathy is an essential ingredient for good parenting, good treatment, and good psychotherapy. Empathy allows one to see the world through the eyes of the other, walk in that person’s shoes, share emotions, and build common experiences. Intersubjectivity, share emotions, share attention, and complimentary intentions form a core of empathy. It is these shared experiences (when concordant) that can help form the bedrock of stable, secure, safe, and positive relationships.

Many people are aware of “mirror neurons” as a neurological component of empathy. Mirror neurons are activated when one observes another’s actions and the same motor neurons in the observers brain are activated as the ones in the “doers” brain that are necessary to carry out the action. Mirror neurons are activated in the emotional centers of the brain when we observe another and share affect.

While all this interesting and informative, it is not prescriptive. The question is, “is there some way to teach or enhance empathy?” Well, it turns out there are a number of ways. One of the easiest, simplest, and best ways is simply to listen and listen carefully. This is one way to get into another’s head, so to speak.

Traditional views of the communication process held that speech and listening happened in two different parts of the brain: Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Yet studies show that communication partners unconsciously change their grammar structure, their speaking rate, and even their body postures to that of their partner. One could say that their communication changes show empathy for each other; some call this establishing a common ground. Studies by Dr. Hasson at Princeton University and graduate student Lauren Silbert demonstate this. The study involved having Ms. Silbert talk about emotionally meaningful events, tell stories from her life, while in a functional MRI. Then subjects were put into the f-MRI and listened to the recorded stories.

The most attentive listeners’ key brain regions “lit up” in a f-MRI before her words came out. This suggests that the subjects anticipated what Ms. Silbert was going to say; empathy.

So helping parents, professionals, and therapists listen more carefully, more fully, and more deeply will increase their empathic capabilities. Listening is a skill that can be taught, improved on, and mastered.

For more information see:
Center For Family Development

Useful books & DVD’s are:

Attachment Parenting

Principles of Attachment Parenting

Creating Capacity for Attachment

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: Essential Practices & Methods

Introduction to Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

January 9, 2011 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Brain, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, International Adoption, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education, Treatment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook Page

The Center For Family Development now has a facebook page. Take a look and comment.

January 8, 2011 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, International Adoption, Legal Issues, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education, Treatment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Institutional care and adoption

What happens when children from severely-deprived institutional backgrounds are adopted into caring families?

Many children adopted internationally have spend months or years in institutional settings. Orphanage care can, at best, be described as neglectful. There is often multiple caregivers and little consistency in care. The opportunity for a caregiver to develop a sensitive, attuned, and responsive relationship with the infant/child is limited or non-existent.

We are finding some answers to these questions bit by bit, as the English and Romanian Adoptees (ERA) Study continues to follow a group of over 300 children adopted from Romanian orphanages in the early 1990s. The ERA researchers are in the process of comparing the Romanian adoptees to non-adopted children as well as to adopted children who never had institutional care. This work is enormously time-consuming and complex, and involves repeated measurements and interviews at different ages, plus delays associated with analyzing, writing, and publishing the results of each phase of the investigation.

A recent presentation of the children’s characteristics up to age fifteen has been published by Michael Rutter and co-authors as “Deprivation-specific psycholcogical patterns: Effects of institutional deprivation” (Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, Serial No. 295, Vol.75, No. 1, 2010). The 252 pages of this monograph are absolutely packed with information.

An aspect of the monograph that will be of interest to many is the question raised in the title: whether there are psychological patterns that follow severe social and other deprivation in early life. The ERA investigated a group of characteristics that seemed more likely to occur in post-institutional children than in other adoptees. The following items were included:

1. Quasi-autism: A behavior pattern not identical with autism, but including rocking, self-injurious behavior like hair-pulling, unusual and exaggerated sensory responses, and tantrums in response to changes in routine, as reported in parent interviews (Gindis, B. [2008]. Institutional autism in children adopted internationally: Myth or reality? International Journal of Special Education, 23, 118-123).

2. Disinhibited attachment, as shown in unusual friendliness toward strangers and failure to show strong preferences for familiar people in threatening circumstance. The monograph describes disinhibited attachment as including “inappropriate approach to unfamiliar adults, a failure to check back with a caregiver in unfamiliar settings, and willingness to accompany a stranger and wander away from a familiar caregiver. It is often associated with a lack of appropriate physical boundaries, so that children may interact with strangers intrusively and even seek out physical contact… there is sometimes inappropriate affectionate behavior with strangers and undue physical closeness” ( Monograph, p. 58) .

3. Cognitive impairment, including problems with “mentalization” or the ability to understand what other people might believe or feel about a situation.

4. Inattention and overactivity similar to attention-hyperactivity disorders.

While by no means all children who had come from institutions displayed these problems, even those who had spent more than 6 months in a Romanian orphanage, the ERA group reported that over 90% of those who still showed the behaviors at age 15 had spent more than 6 months in severe deprivation. Those who persisted to age 15 with these problems had often improved (for example, become more likely to be helpful or comforting to others), but odd behaviors still occurred. Some children “annoyed other people but did not know why, and difficulties making or keeping friends were common… In a few cases, … inappropriate remarks included excessively outspoken sexualized use of language” ( Monograph, p. 86). Some children were reported as fascinated with collections, including those of “useless rubbish” like chocolate wrappers.

December 7, 2010 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Brain, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, International Adoption, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education, Treatment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Institutional Care, Adoption, and Delays in Exeuctive Function

Previous research has shown that children who have spent at least some part of their life in an institution tend to have problems with executive functions. Executive functions are higher brain functions such as working memory, the ability to inhibit one’s behavior, forward planning, the ability to move from one task to another, impulse control, the ability to start or initiate, and attention. Instruments such a the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function can be used to measure executive functions.

Past research has concentrated on children aged between six and eleven so researchers at the University of Pittsburgh studied 418 children who had been adopted from institutions in Russia where they had been psychologically, but not physically, deprived. 130 of the children were pre-school age while the rest were older. The study found that the older the age the children had been adopted at the worse their executive function was and that those who were adopted after they were 18 months old had worse executive function than those who had been adopted when they were younger. The onset of adolescence was associated with a greater increase in executive function deficits for children adopted after 18 months than for those adopted when they were younger.

Merz, E. C. and McCall, R. B. Parent ratings of executive functioning in children adopted from psychosocially depriving institutions Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02335.x

A study using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales found similar delays, lags, and problems among a group of adopted children.
Becker-Weidman, A., (2009) “Effects of Early Maltreatment on Development: A Descriptive study using the Vineland,” Child Welfare, 88 (2)137-161.
Also see The Center For Family Development for very useful information.

November 12, 2010 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Brain, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, International Adoption, Legal Issues, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education, Treatment, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Wiki: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

There is a new Wiki devoted to Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy that readers may want to view.
Click on this link to get there.

The url is: http://dyadicdevelopmentalpsychotherapy.wikia.com/wiki/Dyadic_Developmental_Psychotherapy_Wiki

The Wiki has just started, but already has many articles about Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and related topics that readers will find quite useful and interesting.

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Adoption, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Brain, Child Abuse, Child development, Child Welfare, Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, Dr. Becker-Weidman, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Education, Empirically supported, Evidence-based, IEP, International Adoption, Legal Issues, Parenting, Psychology, Research, Special Education, Treatment, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment