Monday, November 16, 2009

Family Sculpting

In a couple of my classes we have learned a technique called family sculpting. Now remember I am still just a student and not a professional so this is mom advice. It is not professional advice or opinion. Family sculpting is when you have the family all stand together in one room. You have a family member have every one stand in the room in a place that represents how close they emotionally feel to them.

My husband and fish were out of town. I took Bear and Taz to Dairy Queen. Bear is 17 and refuses to talk about how he feels about any of us. He just says "There is nothing wrong with our relationship." He is extremely defensive and extremely explosive. I decided to do a mini version that is less emotional. The first method of actually standing in spots can bring up very strong emotions in a person so may be too much for any kid with RAD. I don't know. We used our cups. One the table at DQ we named our cups. I am Diet Coke! : ) I had Bear arrange us how he sees us. He put us all close together and put Taz way off to the side. I don't think he believes this but you can't correct or criticize if you want to hear their thoughts. I know he was thinking where he actually stands even though he did not arrange it that way. So then you say "Explain where everyone is standing." After he explains ask "How do you want it to look?" That was more interesting because I think it was more honest. Ask them to explain how that would feel and what they would like about it. Then have them put them back to where he started them and ask "What do you need to do to take one step closer to where you want to be?" Taz did the same little exercise with the cups.

We chose a specific time of day. At our house mornings have been awful for 11 years. We chose morning time to work on. I helped Bear come up with 2 specific behaviors that he does that are very defensive in the mornings to not only stop doing but also not talk about. Two also for Taz. The easiest action to explain was that when I wasn't looking Taz would use the broom as a gun every time Bear walked by. The fights from this one action were huge. This was Friday. They have both not only successfully stopped the 2 actions but mornings have been wonderful!

First realize that Taz has made huge progress in his attachment to me. I would no longer say he has RAD but that he has some attachment issues. Bear has many issues besides RAD so he is a complicated guy.

After the conversation at home Bear had a major blow out. He screamed that he hated me. That he hated Taz. He pounded on the floor with his fists and said he could not wait to get out of this house. It was one of those moments when I was able to stay calm and not take it personally. I love those moments. I went in and sat with him and started rubbing his shoulders and said I was so sad for him that there was so much anger. I said I wished I could help him deal with his anger. We once again talked about a balloon that bursts when it is too full and that anger inside is the same. The only way he was going to get rid of the anger is too start talking.

He started talking about his social problems and we talked about that for another 15 minutes. I don't think it is the root of the problem but we went with what he wanted to talk about. Empathy. I told him that I didn't like high school either and that when he gets out it will be easier. I didn't want him to think that life would be like this. I told him I'd always be here for him to talk too and that I felt bad for him. Hug. Attaching moment. Progress......


Life's Mom said...

That sounds like wonderful progress! I am so happy for your family. Mornings are the worst for us too. We also had a happy morning - which for a Monday morning is extremely unusual. Yea for progress!!

BT said...

So many great ideas and examples in just this one post! Thanks.

Feel free to include my blog in your Adoption/RAD category.

Brenda said...

Life's Mom~ Thanks and Congrats on your progress too!

BT~ Thanks to you too and I added you. I feel bad because I don't think I've visited your blog. I will be checking it out! Thanks!