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Are you an adoptive parent? Are you parenting a child who has experienced trauma, neglect or is living with attachment challenges? Have you read a lot of literature and yet still find days challenging and stressful? Do you long for some support but don’t have the time to find it & are not sure where to go? Do you wish you could talk with someone who could understand or provide support?

If you answered yes to a number of these questions you may want to explore this new 6 week group for parents being offered by Dianne Mathes and Dawn Tracz at the Centre for Connections.

Sometimes the needs of parents get lost while caring for children and yet we know that healthy, happy parents are essential to create what children need to feel safe. At the Centre for Connections we believe that taking care of parents is just as important as taking care of their children. Every adult has their own story and their own attachment experiences.

Parenting children with attachment challenges will often confront and bring to the surface thoughts and feelings that parents did not know they had … and may wish they did not have.
The group will use different approaches and opportunities for parents to receive support; connecting with each other, as well as approaches like mindfulness, art therapy and gentle restorative yoga. Parents will learn ways to understand their own experiences in attachment and how to support each other. The approach, uses playfulness, curiosity, acceptance and empathy as its base, it provides parents with the tools to enjoy being a family again.

Having worked with many parents and children and having raised biological and step children, we know from personal experience that not all of us come from families that were equipped or had the skills to base relationships on a model of relationships that focuses on Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity & Empathy. Yet most research supports the notion that the best indicator of creating a secure attachment for children is for their parents to display secure attachment. Anyone making positive changes in their life will be most successful if they have a relationship with one person where they feel accepted unconditionally in positive regard. There is only so much about attachment that we can learn through books and online.

Given that only 35% of adults have a secure attachment history, many of us parent without knowing or understanding how attachment experience affects all the individuals in a family. This bi-weekly group provides an opportunity for parents to explore and understand what they need to reconnect with themselves, each other and the reasons they chose adoption, which can become lost in the challenges of parenting children with difficult histories. A group experience can be a safe and supportive way to find compassion or skills that are required to parent children whose early history has been compromised. Adults need to have the same opportunities we give children to make sense of their attachment experiences and through that understanding we can become more solid in ourselves; in all of our relationships, especially within our families.

This group is set to run on:
Tuesday February 9, 2016, – Tuesday April 19, 2016
6:30 – 8:30PM
Snacks will be provided
COST $90/person; $170/couple for all 6 sessions at The Centre for Connections 4894 Dundas St. W #205, Toronto M9A 1B5

To register for this group contact Dawn or Dianne at the Centre for Connections; 416-487-2404 or email or Dianne Mathes R.S.W. and Dawn Tracz B.S.W., R.S.W (MSW Candidate) are offering a support group for adoptive parents using P.A.C.E. This approach is based on Dr. Hughes’ experience working with children in foster care and adoptive families and those who love them. Dr. Hughes is a world renowned psychologist and author.  Dianne Mathes is a therapist with over 35 years’ experience working with children and families as well as many years’ experience in teaching, training and group facilitation. Dawn Tracz is a social worker with 24 years’ experience working within the child welfare system supporting children and families, training new adoptive and foster parents, providing attachment focused therapy and facilitating groups. Both Dawn and Dianne have trained with Dr. Dan Hughes.