Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D.
My Posts on Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy:
Added Curriculum Vitae.
An article Dr. Becker-Weidman wrote has just been published in Child Welfare, which is the Journal for the Child Welfare League of America. The article is:
Becker-Weidman, A., (2009). Effects of Early Maltreatment on Development: A Descriptive Study Using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II, 88(2) pp.137-161.
Children with histories of chronic early maltreatment within a care giving relationship may develop complex trauma or developmental trauma disorder and experience a variety of deficits in several domains. This study explored the effects of complex trauma on the development of 57 children, as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II. This is the first descriptive study to report on the significant discrepancies between chronological and developmental ages in adopted and foster children. This study found that adopted and foster children with a psychiatric diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder show developmental delays i the domains of communication, daily living skills, and socialization. The average adaptive behavior composite score for the children in this study yielded a developmental age (age equivalency) of 4.4 years, while the average chronological age was 9.9 years. The study describes the various delays in each domain and then discusses the implications for treatment and parenting, schools, child welfare policy, programs, and practices, and for further research.
If anyone is interested, we do have a PDF reprint and can send you the full article. Just go to our Contact Us page, fill out the form and ask for it.
Assessing Children with Complex Trauma and Attachment Disorder
Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD
Click here for more information about this essential resource.
Dr. Becker-Weidman was the Keynote Speaker at the Ontario Adoption Resource Exchanges 50th Annual meeting in Toronto Canada on November 13, 2006. There were over 300 adoption professionals from the province attending the meeting. Staff from all of the provinces Children’s Aide Societies (the Canadian equivalent of U.S. Department of Social Services) and from the private adoption agencies attended. Dr. Becker-Weidman’s keynote address was in the morning was titled, “Clinical Knowledge and Strategies to Assist Adoptive Parents: A guide for Adoption Professionals.” The Keynote address described principles for child welfare practice and adoption placements. The Keynote address used prepared remarks, videotape, and power-point slides.
In prepared remarks, Dr. Becker-Weidman began his Keynote talk by noting,
I want to share with you a few thoughts about our mission and a vision of child welfare. I hope they can serve to frame our thinking today and lead to constructive action tomorrow.
The future of Canada is in your hands. This is an awesome responsibility. A society is only as good as its future generations and that future is our to shape and improve, if we have the six C’s of:
The courage to speak out about what we know is in the best interests of our charges and speak for them. They have no voice. You must be their voice and communicate their needs.
The conviction in our principles and in ethical care. This means putting children first. The best interests of the child must come first.
The curiosity to ask why is it done this way and not that way? Let me pose a very provocative question for you: what if there were no such thing as Crown Ward with access? Would this contribute to more or less permanency, and how? What do parents need to be successful in creating permanent homes for children?
The compassion to care; to let yourself be affected by your client, the child before you. Let me pose a provocative statement. It is through compassion, curiosity, and caring that children heal. When the child feels felt, feels your compassion and caring, and experiences a positive emotional connection with you, that child can heal. When you care, enact, and embody these principles by allowing a real emotional connection to develop, you demonstrate to the child that the child is valued, valuable, lovable, and important. This is the essence of a healing relationship.
I ask you today to join me in considering ways that we can enact and enhance these six C’s and create a better future for Canada's children.
Dr. Becker-Weidman’s closing remarks included the following comments:
I hope you've thought about the answers to these four questions:
What to do parents need to know?
What do I need to know to help support parents before, during, and after placement?
What services and assistance may parents need to help the child be happy and healthy?
How can I support and empower families?
The answers revolve around the use of five organizing principles:
2. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
3. The centrality of relationship.
4. Emotional engagement.
5. Reflective capacity and ability.
We discussed the terrible consequences of early chronic maltreatment and how this affects a child's ability to connect to and relate to caregivers and peers. We discussed how parents, adoption professionals, and schools together can help families stay strong and enable children to join and connect with their families.
It is always about connections, not compliance.
It is always about relationships, not lectures.
It is always about using yourself openly, and not punishment.
It is always about staying emotionally positive and engaged, even in the face of challenges.
It is always about the children.
After lunch, Dr. Becker-Weidman presented an afternoon workshop, “Effective Parenting and the Special Needs Child: A guide for Adoption Professionals.” The workshop presented general principles and specific strategies for parents to use to help children who have experienced Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder heal and develop healthier and more secure attachments with their new family. Participants learned what principles to teach to new adoptive families and foster families and how to assess prospective families to determine whether they can provide the necessary emotional climate for children with trauma-attachment disorders. The workshop used PowerPoint slides and videotapes to present concepts and principles.
The popular set of three videotapes on Attachment Facilitating Parenting is now available on DVD. Purchase online!
The Center For Family Development was selected by the Singapore Ministry of Community Development, Rehabilitation and Protection Division, to be a training site for its senior psychologist. The Ministry is sending its senior psychologist to The Center for a month to learn about Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and how to implement an attachment-based mental health program for children and families. Dr. SIk will observe the operation of the Center as it provides evaluation and treatment services. She will also participate in on-going supervision groups, Master Class, and other educational components of the Center. Dr. Sik and her spouse will arrive in Williamsville, New York on October 28, 2005 and return to her home in Singapore on November 22, 2005.
In early November, Annette Jackson, the Research Manager from the TAKE TWO program at Berry Street in Victoria Australia will be visiting the Center. Berry Street Victoria is a child welfare program in Australia. Berry Street Victoria has been protecting and caring for children and strengthening families since 1877. They exist to increase life chances and choices for children and young people who are at risk, or who have experienced the trauma of family violence, child abuse, and neglect. Ms. Jackson is coming to the Center to learn about our attachment-based evaluation, treatment, and training programs. Berry Street is interested in using attachment-based treatment approaches in its various programs.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's article "Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and
Adolescents with Reactive Attachment Disorder of Infancy and Early Childhood" added.
New article by Charles W Slaughter, MPH, RD and Alika Hope Bryant, MA entitled Hungry for Love: The Feeding Relationship in the Psychological Development of Young Children.
Dr. Art's article entitled Treatment for Children with Trauma-Attachment Disorders has been accepted for publication in the March 2006 issue of Child and Adolescent Social Work.
Dr. Art was elected to the National Board of Directors of the Association for the Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children. Dr. Becker-Weidman's commitment, as a member of the ATTACh Board, is to bring a commitment to and a deep interest in research, improving and promoting attachment-based treatment, and parent advocacy. He will bring to the Board his clinical experience, his background in research, and a strong commitment to parent advocacy and clinical excellence.
Having conducted a follow-up study (submitted for publication) on the efficacy of attachment-based treatment, he understands both the difficulties in conducting practice research and its importance. Research provides credibility for our work, it provides an evidence base that can help parents have confidence in our methods, and it enable third-party payers to fund this effective and necessary treatment.
The results of Practice research can be used to validate our methods, improve our interventions, and promote this treatment. Parents of children with trauma-attachment disorders need support and professional advocates so that their children receive appropriate care in school, treatment centers, and other venues. He will work to help our Association develop a stronger base of credibility so that we can more effectively promote the work of helping families and children heal.
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CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS PAGE
All our upcoming workshops, conferences, and training opportunities are listed here. You can find workshop outlines and registration forms to print and mail.
Master Class, Level, Group Supervision for Therapists
NEW STORIES OF HOPE
Read a mother's inspirational story about her son's journey of healing: "A Child's Journey to Parvuli Dei."
Read Eric's letter to the little prince and his mother's moving poem.
Read about Dan, who is 17 who is graduating high school and will be going into the Air Force. He was 12 when he was adopted, after eighteen homes, and was in treatment for about nine months.
The parents of Sarah, a teenager, sent me this note about her daughter's experience of her first meeting with me as part of the evaluation.
Other inspiration articles written by parents and children can be found on our HOPE page.
See our new Sensory-Integration Checklist.
See our HIPPA compliant Privacy Notice. All changes in our Privacy Notice will be posted on this website.
Support group for parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. The group, which has been meeting for over a year, provides support and insights for parents. While not a therapy group, the support group provides a forum to discuss and problem-solve school issues and other parenting concerns.
Our Parenting Page has stories from parents about raising children with attachment disorders. We have also added a page of helpful and important articles for parents are professionals.
To see a listing of publications and workshops that Dr. Becker-Weidman has provided, go to his Publications & Workshops page.
"Subtle Signs", "Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, an attachment-based therapy: What is it and how does it work?", and Child Abuse and Neglect: Effects on child development, brain development, psychopathology, and interpersonal relationships, are three new articles written by Dr. Becker-Weidman.
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, an attachment-based therapy: An Effective Treatment for Children with Trauma-Attachment Disorders" describes the effectiveness of this approach with children with attachment disorders.
See our Research Page.