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Monday, January 19, 2015

Attachment Therapy

I hate using the term attachment therapy, because it's not exactly that, it's not the rebirthing, holding, etc that tends to get lumped in with attachment therapy.  We've restarted attachment therapy as a booster, it's exercises led by an attachment specialist that promote bonding between child and parent.

Our facilitator is very well versed in attachment disorders and attachment healing and works with families and children on a regular basis. She's a fan of Marshak methods.  Before we got started, she talked to kiddowith us and asked her what her thoughts were and why she requested this. She said she didn't feel as close because we don't do as much together and she's on her trampoline or swing. Then she admitted she tells us to go away when we try to engage, and said she doesn't want to be like that.

What we did tonight:

  • me, daddy and kiddo formed a "circle" and one of us would put a beanie baby on our head and signal to the one that we were going to pass it to next with our eyes and drop it into that persons hands, who would put the beanie baby on their head and pass to somebody, it had to be random.  why it helps: eye contact and playing with each other
  • simon says with a twist: daddy and kiddo would have a pillow between them while momma would go thru simon says "go forward, turn clockwise, go backward, whatever, as long as it was something you could do with a pillow between you". If you messed up, you had to start over. Then daddy led and kiddo and momma did that.  why it helps: listening skills, physical closeness, working as a team (if one messed up and the other didn't, the pillow would hit the floor)
  • wrapping feet with aluminum foil. Both daddy and I had to wrap her foot up with aluminum foil. why it helps: physical touch plus some giggles if her foot is ticklish
  • momma read the book "The Runaway Bunny" to kiddo.  It had a very relevant message obviously, with what all has been going on and showed how momma's would do anything to keep their babies.  With the pictures, it also gave us room for dialogue and comparison and I get close to her when reading and speak in voices appropriate for story. why it helps: communicates in non threatening method, closeness
  • Momma and daddy traced kiddo's hand on a piece of construction paper and signed it for kiddo.  She got tickled at the differences in both the way the hands looked and the way we sign, but touching her hands were the whys.
  • Kiddo put lotion on our hand liberally and pressed our hand on a piece of construction paper, lifted softly and sprinkled powder on our handprint.  Pressing and putting the lotion on created the touch, but lifting softly helped train to be gentle.
  • She had to wash our hands and we washed her hands, then we shared an individual bag of doritos, feeding each other.  Touch and nurturing.  
After all that was done, we sent kiddo for a walk around the office and talked a little bit.  The specialist asked what we noticed about this time vs last time.  I said she seemed more gentle this time than before. She said yes, and that was the #1 key in telling progress was the feeding exercise.  She's very optimistic that she's well on her way to bonding and that this is a temporary setback. She also said she noticed she treats us differently and more gentle with me, but that she's still better with daddy than she was with either of us previously, so it's a huge deal.

Feeling good about things. I think kiddo  is too. She was happy on the way home, and not one of those fake happy things.  

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