Family Consultations – Client Example 1 - Sarah and Gareth – Adoptive Parents of Two Toddlers
When we first met, Sarah and Gareth were the proud but emotionally and physically exhausted parents of two adopted toddlers. Their children had experienced considerable attachment-based trauma prior to adoption and were, at times, challenging to care for. Sarah and Gareth had also been through a gruelling journey in becoming parents and yet they were highly motivated to provide the absolute best care possible for their children, reading every attachment-focused and trauma informed parenting book out there!
Sarah and Gareth were experiencing a range of complex emotions and thoughts. They were lacking confidence in themselves as parents, they were hurt by the rejection that came from parenting children that struggled to trust adults, and they missed the support and time together as a couple.
How many consultations and who attended?
What did we do in the consultations?
- Time and space – to think, discuss and reflect together away from the children.
- Adjusted roles and responsibilities – we worked towards the grandparents caring for the children more to give Sarah and Gareth time together away from parenting. We also structured the days and weeks to allow each parent individual time.
- Attachment and trauma informed parenting approaches – to help Sarah and Gareth create more boundaries, develop compassionate leadership, and firm parenting, alongside the empathic and gentle approach they had already been using. This helped the children to relax more and have more confidence in their parents.
- Addressing old family pains and patterns – Sarah discussed and processed historic pains, experiences and assumptions from childhood that were being triggered for her in parenting. She was sensitive to rejection and prone to self-criticism making it difficult for her to stay grounded and think rationally sometimes.