Whole Lotta Love and Crazy...

My beautiful family is a dream come true.  Like most dreams, the reality is more complicated than imagined! Adopting children from the foster care system always means there is some level of trauma. Each of our four children displays this truth in varying ways.

In the three years since our eldest children were placed with us, our understanding has increased hugely, and our patience has been just as hugely tried!

It is a demanding journey to find ways to turn the lead of we two, plus the sibling group we found, into the gold of family.

I am excited to delve into a course of learning that may bring competence into areas of chaos in our family!
Neurofeedback is one of the only particular treatments that has a measurable effect on the traumatized brain. 

I have been working with our local psychiatrist to find Neurofeedback resources and following these efforts, there will be a training course available on the small island I call home, in December.

Brainwave biofeedback, or Neurofeedback is brain training. It is very similar to going to the gym to develop particular muscles that need strengthening, and balancing the muscles and structures of strength to operate harmoniously with the weaker muscles and structures, through repetition and training.

Our brains have different areas which are responsible for particular functions. And within the brain's activity there are various frequencies of brainwaves which are helpful (or hindering) in differing ways in the particular areas of the brain.

Neurofeedback has been around for several decades, and is only now coming into its own and being recognized as a clearly effective way of treating the effects of trauma, and many other dysfunctions like ADHD, seizure disorders, and autism, to cite only a few. The technology can be fairly simple to use without the need for extensive training. 

I have found a neurofeedback group, Brain Trainer, that was established in part, by a woman whose interest in neurofeedback began, like mine, through wanting to treat her own children. This group is a source for training,equipment and ongoing support in the learning process of practising neurofeedback.

Now I need to go beyond the reading I have so far pursued, and add face-to-face training and hands on practice with my own equipment.

And the one thing that is lacking for this to proceed is $ money $.

We are committed to the path of neurofeedback training
. One way or another we will make it happen. It would be an incalculable blessing to avoid the stress and other difficulties associated with carrying a noticeable debt load.  Reducing stress in all areas of our family life is an ongoing practice we must maintain for our family's health and balance! We are hopeful that there are some people who are both willing and able to help us with the financial challenges.

Before the course begins, I need to purchase the equipment .  I have just ordered it, on a monthly payment plan for $840.00/month for 7 months ($5880) - this includes ongoing mentoring.
And the course itself, which is a two day intensive small workshop course, will cost $700.

Also, a faster computer than our older model family laptop will be required. I have been quoted $825 for something that would fit the specifications required.

In a perfect world I would be able to continue developing my skills and understanding through other courses. The one recommended to me by Bessel van der Kolk is offered in California this January, or at a later date in Saskatchewan, at a cost of $1375US.

Although my initial inspiration and excitement for following this path is based on my hopes to help our children's various challenges, I have also been encouraged by the knowledge that there is a need for neurofeedback in my broader community. The effects of trauma are ubiquitous, it seems. So many of us have been profoundly challenged by damaging events in our lives. And neurofeedback is a surer way of treating PTSD than any other single treatment. The psychiatrist in my community recognizes the value of neurofeedback, had early on recommended it to me in treating our children, and is eager to have practitioners in the community.

This past summer, I participated in a course on trauma, the body and the brain, presented by Bessel van der Kolk, (author of The Body Keeps the Score, besselvanderkolk.com) at Hollyhock. Bessel strongly recommended neurofeedback to me, as a primary treatment for the challenges experienced by children who were adopted and thereby experienced trauma.

We have been doing (and continue to do) all the other things that are recommended by anyone who knows about reducing the effects of trauma, and building healthy secure attachment: cuddling,  rocking, eye contact, play together, eat together, sing together, talk together, massage, Reiki, yoga, beachball games, almost zero screen time, counselling, lots of outside play, time spent in nature...  And  we need something more as well.

We have had assessments  and recommendations from pediatricians, counsellors, psychiatrists, social workers, teachers... and it all seems to point to neurofeedback.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child.  This doesn't mean that all the villagers get to come into your home and tell you and your children how to do things! Or that they should all be offering childcare services! Rather, it means that parents need all manner of support so that they can support their children's various needs.

In our case we are hopeful that our "village" can help us follow this path of neurofeedback brain training, as we try to untangle the mysteries of our children's , and our own brains, and help them to be who they may wish to be, letting go the tangible challenges they currently carry in their brains.

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Breffni O'Reilly 
Whaletown, BC
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