Has Trauma Affected the Child You're Caring For?
Just as you prepared your home to welcome a new child, it is important to prepare your heart and mind—especially if the child has suffered from a background of trauma. Perhaps your invitation for love is met with hostility, and you find that this new member of your family rejects connection. If so, then it's critical to acknowledge the effects of trauma on a child's ability to attach.
Mike and Kristin Berry realized this when they became adoptive and foster parents. In their twenty-year marriage, they have had the joy of adopting eight children and fostering twenty-three. They now offer guidance from their own journey to others parenting a child who has experienced past trauma. In Securely Attached, they offer practical insights that are supported by therapeutic and medical facts, so all parents can provide best for the children in their care. You'll learn:
Get the help you need to better care for the children in your home. Discover how you can create a family and home that is safe and supportive so your children can grow to trust and become securely attached.
Praise for Securely Attached
Children grow, develop, and learn in the context of relationships. Based on lessons learned through lived experience and their professional work, Kristin and Mike Berry—with humor, truth-telling, and insight—bring this important message to parents and caregivers of all stripes. I highly recommend this book to all foster and adoptive parents who find themselves in the middle of the night asking, “What do I do now?”
—IRA J. CHASNOFF, MD, President, NTI Upstream; professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Illinois College of Medicine
I want this book put in the hands of all adoptive parents who are not already experts in developmental trauma. Even those who have heard this information before can appreciate the relatable voice with which the Berrys teach. Mike and Kristin are wonderful, quiet leaders and knowledgeable teachers. This book shares beautiful, understandable examples. Readers will feel understood, informed, and empowered to parent through trauma with love.
—BROOKE RANDOLPH, LMHC, Founder & Director, Counseling at The Green House; Certified Brainspotting Therapist & Consultant; Certified Imago Relationship Therapist
Mike and Kristin Berry's new book, Securely Attached, is an engaging conversation between the Berrys and their readers. The Berrys coach adoptive and foster parents, giving examples, scripts, and information in a format that answers typical questions: “Why do they do that?” and “What should I do?” The practical advice in the book runs the gamut of parenting experiences, from an observation checklist to pin down the source of a child's dysregulation, to how to form a safety plan for a child/teen who poses a danger to others. In one of my favorite chapters, the authors describe the “floors” of a child/teen's brain, and how to react accordingly. Securely Attached succeeds in providing straightforward explanations for complex issues. The authors provide plans to reduce the challenges to attachment—trauma, sensory issues, losses, and behaviors. Every reader who is parenting through adoption, guardianship, or foster care will find new methods and insights in this book. Best of all, they will experience the Berrys cheering for their families.
—DEBORAH D. GRAY, LICSW, author of Promoting Healthy Attachments; Attaching Through Love, Hugs, and Play; Attaching in Adoption; and Nurturing Adoptions; coauthor of Games and Activities for Attaching with Your Child
Securely Attached is for every foster and/or adoptive parent. Mike and Kristin have bravely taken the science of trauma and attachment and coupled it with real-life examples, based on their years of personal experience, and made a complete resource full of practical insight. While there are a number of books I recommend to foster and adoptive families, Securely Attached will now be my go-to resource because it presents the information, examples, and applications all in one place. This is a book that I think parents will refer to over and over again.
—JEN DECKER, founder and director, the RE:Conference for foster and adoptive parents
This book is for all parents with children who have experienced trauma, neglect, and/or have been exposed to drugs and alcohol before birth. This will be an inspiration to parents who are desperately seeking answers to really challenging parenting situations. Mike and Kristin share their rich, relatable, and practical insights. This book is full of parenting wisdom! It is a must-read!
—GARY FELDMAN, MD, Medical Director of Stramski Children's Developmental Center at Miller Children's & Women's Hospital, Long Beach, CA
Understanding the impact of early childhood trauma changes everything. It changes how we see ourselves, our children, and the people around us. Mike and Kristin Berry, adoptive parents of eight children, have handed us an amazing lens from which to view the life of those adults and children who have come through early-life traumatic experiences. Understanding the impact of trauma is one thing. Knowing how to navigate through the challenges and needs of children to lead them to healing is quite another. The Berrys have given us both—understanding and the how-to—in this remarkable book, based on solid scientific grounding and their own life experiences. This would make a great book club study for foster and adoptive parents. I highly recommend this book.
—JAYNE E. SCHOOLER, Director of Affiliate Training, Trauma Free World; author of Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families
Mike and Kristin don't just talk the talk, they walk the walk day in and day out with their own marvelously diverse adoptive family. In a way that combines knowledge, heart, truth, and grace they break down complex trauma and attachment concepts in a way that is both accessible to parents and supported by stories of their own parenting experiences. Whether you are a newly adoptive parent or have been parenting for years, you will find precious gems within the pages of this book. If you are a clinician, using this book as a resource with parents will spark rich conversations and begin shifting paradigms.
—PARIS GOODYEAR-BROWN, MSSW, LCSW, RPT-S, founder of Nurture House, director of the TraumaPlay Institute; author of Trauma and Play Therapy and A Safe Circle for Little U
Mike and Kristin's brilliant work brings easy-to-understand and easily digestible language to the complex issue of childhood trauma and its impact on attachment. An absolute must-read for anyone caring for kids from hard places.
—MICHELE SCHNEIDLER, President and COO of 1MILLIONHOME.com
Being able to form and maintain good relationships is critical for healthy development. And it all starts with attachment—the deep early emotional bonds that set the stage for our future relationships. In Securely Attached, Mike and Kristin Berry walk the reader through the basics of attachment—how it forms, how it gets disrupted, and what we can do to help heal it. It's a must-read for all adoptive and foster parents.
—JOSHUA N. HOOK, PHD, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Texas; coauthor of Replanted: Faith-Based Support for Adoptive and Foster Families
Securely Attached is a book that captures the bold but delicate necessity of attachment in a clear and concise way. Parents and caregivers will come away with the opportunity to be open to new understanding about the complexities of attachment, practical ways to take beneficial action, as well as the importance of interactive ways to journal and connect to community along the way. Securely Attached is an educational, experiential, and compassionately composed book. A must-read for parents and caregivers who are raising trauma-impacted children.
—CARRIE BLASKE, Certified Trainer, Empowered To Connect and Trauma Competent Caregiver
Securely Attached is the book for anyone considering foster parenting or adoption, as well as those on the journey of parenting children with a traumatic history! Mike and Kristin Berry paint a detailed description of the struggles parents will face, and provide practical tools to conquer them. The impact of trauma is real in these children, and in their parents! The more information parents have before fostering or adopting, the better equipped they will be to handle the challenges.
—CARRIE O'TOOLE, MA, Adoption and Trauma Life Coach, author of Relinquished: When Love Means Letting Go
This is an incredible resource! Finally, a book that focuses on the importance of developing a secure attachment that serves as a guide for caregivers. Developing a secure attachment is the foundation for how we relate to others. You cannot address trauma without addressing how it impacts attachment. Mike and Kristin have filled this book with real-life examples, practical information, and significant encouragement for the journey. This is a must-read book for any caregiver desiring to help their child experience healing and healthy attachments that last a lifetime.
—JENN HOOK, MA, founder and executive director of the Replanted Ministry; executive director of the Replanted Conference; coauthor of Replanted: Faith-Based Support for Adoptive and Foster Families; therapist and TBRI practitioner
Mike and Kristin Berry have expertly intertwined solid theory and research with life experience in Securely Attached. Their approach makes this book informational as well as engaging, a rare result not often found with books based on attachment theory and trauma. I highly recommend Securely Attached to parents first being introduced to trauma-informed care, parents in need of a little encouragement, as well as those in the community of foster care and adoption: grandparents, friends, and children's ministry workers.
—VALERIE CRANE, executive director of Help One Child, San Francisco, CA