Reflective Parenting Groups
—Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
Finding Freedom Therapy predominately treats trauma and grief after the events have taken place. However, today there is substantial evidence that parents and caregivers can increase a child’s secure attachment and resiliency from birth. The Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) groups became part of this practice as a means to be proactive, rather than simply reactive. There is a saying, “trauma begets trauma.” Those who have been traumatized are at an increased risk to be traumatized again. For instance, a vast majority of adults who are seen at this practice have a prior trauma or a less than ideal childhood. The purpose of this group is to help caregivers assist their children now so that their children will be less likely to need trauma therapy as adults. COSP groups allow the caregiver to not only explore their own history but to create skills to more securely attach to their children, creating happier and healthier caregivers and children.
It is impossible to bubble wrap our children and keep them from experiencing traumas, but we can provide our children with secure attachment and the tools needed to manage any trauma they will inevitably face.
Understanding Circle of Security Parenting
COSP is a reflective parenting program that was developed to assist caregivers in implementing new insights and skills to better understand their child’s needs and what their child is trying to communicate. It pulls from five decades of attachment research in psychology and puts it into an easy to implement model that assists caregivers in connecting with their children. Unlike many parenting programs today, COSP is not just a theory, but was created while actually working with parents for over 15 years to establish a model that is easily understood and allows for long-term positive change.
Children are hardwired from birth to be in relationships. Connecting with our children doesn’t mean we simply indulge or spoil them. Rather, it is about them knowing we are always there for them when they need us. Through this connection, we can not only help them create healthy social and emotional development, but most importantly, we can help them develop resiliency that will last throughout their lives.
Helping Transgenerational Trauma
Transgenerational trauma, or intergenerational trauma, occurs when trauma is experienced by someone who then inadvertently passes down their own trauma survival behaviors, thoughts, and (as we now know) genomes. The COSP group is a reflective group, not a therapy group. It will not directly address transgenerational trauma, but it will provide the opportunity for you to reflect on your own history, how you were parented, and which skills will benefit your child. It can provide you the space and insight necessary to do things differently and create new interactions with your own children.
―Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
All parents wonder if they are getting it right. You’re not alone. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what your child needs, what their behaviors mean, and if you’re doing right by your child. Imagine what it might feel like if you could make sense of what your child is really asking from you. Circle of Security Parenting™ is an opportunity to join other parents just like you for an 8-week class where you’ll learn how to do the following:
About the Group
The group is 1.5 hours long, once a week for 8 weeks. You will watch videos of actual parents interacting with their children and discuss the interactions you witnessed. Then you will reflect on how what you saw might relate to you and your children. This group will not be teaching you new behaviors, so there is nothing to memorize. However, because each meeting builds on the one before it, you are encouraged to attend each week. If you have to miss a week, please let us know in advance and be willing to arrive 15–20 mins early prior to the next group session.
What Can It Bring Up?
While this is not therapy, it has the potential to bring up a lot of emotions as you reflect on your own childhood and how you were parented. If you would like to process these feelings more in depth, please know we can provide individual therapy sessions or referrals to a therapist upon request.
Is It Still Confidential?
Yes. Even though this is not considered a therapy group, your information will be cared for under HIPAA standards, and all information is considered confidential.