Birth Trauma and Behavior Change for Children

Is Child Behavior frustrating you?                         (return to home page)

Is your child hyper sensitive, or has Sensory Processing Disorder? Are you worried your child has Reactive Attachment Behavior(RAD)?

Did your child have birth trauma or post-birth trauma? Was your child conceived with artificial reproductive technology methods (ART)?

It is surprising how the earliest of events can pattern behavior. This happens through the survival part of the brain, which is awake during prenatal time. The good news is we can work with early experience. Our therapists know how at The Brook Institute. We can help you.

Overcome Birth trauma and change your child's behavior
Children’s struggles can be exhausting and can relate to Sensory Processing Disorders or Birth Trauma
  • Do you feel controlled by your child?
  • Are you exhausted trying to get it right?
  • Is your child hypersensitive?
  • Does your child struggle with sensory-processing issues
  • Are they on the Asperger’s or Autism Spectrum?
  • No matter what you do, does your child complain, act out, or have melt-downs?
  • Are you pulled into emotional drama or power struggles with your child?
  • Is your relationship with your spouse suffering?

Children with birth trauma or conception trauma are often hyper sensitive. They engage in the “Power Fear Triangle” and pull you into it. The key is understanding the origins of this power struggle, helping them to regulate sensation, and getting off the power fear triangle.

We go from Victim to Persecutor to Rescuer and it goes round and round. This stable emotional drama will not give up. Learn the skills to disengage and reframe emotions in order to “get off the triangle!”


Learn to get off the power triangle
Power struggles are exhausting

I am confident you are a good enough parent. But, children with birth trauma or conception trauma can engage in constant power triangles with themselves and with you. They can refuse to enjoy life, be controlling, anxious, hyper-sensitive, or exhausting to be around. Their experience of birth was loaded with danger and they don’t “know” it. Nothing soothes that sense of danger without professional intervention. When their stress increases, these children act out.

Does your child…

  • Push you away
  • Try to control you or others
  • Have unusual demands or sensitivities
  • Ignore your limits
  • Need your attention all the time

What’s really going on in Difficult Child Behavior?

The Hidden Story Behind Difficult Behavior is often the story of Birth Trauma 

Children with Birth Trauma fear no one will protect them, or hear them, just like at their birth

Crying baby

Children create power struggles in an attempt to be more powerful than what they fear, or to repeat their birth story. Children with Birth Trauma fear no one will protect them or listen to them, just like at their birth. If your child was taken away from your protective arms, induced, conceived in-vitro, born c-section, rescued by suction, or experienced pain medications given to mother at birth, they will have an internalized fear and reactive behavior. They will act out this story in play and social settings.

They are testing you to see if you are strong enough to help them, but it is a test that never ends.

Children re-create this power struggle until you can help them release the fear and shock held in their primitive brain or cellular memory. Birth and stressful conception experiences imprint an infant’s cells and brain. Infants remember and carry this fear into childhood until it is addressed.

Children are trying to tell their story, do you know how to listen?

Hidden stories behind power struggles

A child can engage in “sneaky power.” This manipulative and secretive need for power looks like “bad behavior” which brings negative attention from parents. This creates the power fear triangle, and reinforces negative identity beliefs established at birth. Beliefs such as “I’m unsafe, unloveable, or need to control others in order to be safe” appear in children with birth or post-birth trauma.

We Can Help Children and Their Parents

As a parent, here are four things you can do to get off the power fear triangle:

  1. When upset, stop in your tracks and breathe
  2. Know that their behavior is a test and don’t take it personally
  3. Slow down your thought process and re-orient to your own body, thoughts, and immediate surroundings
  4. Learn to identify and get off the “Power Fear Triangle” in a controlled supportive environment

Getting off the Power Fear Triangle

In our practice we’ve rescued families and had success in reducing drama, getting to the roots of distress, and changing behavior. Our treatment methods include:

  1. Identify the destructive beliefs
  2. Bring your child’s deep-seated fears to the surface: “ I am unloveable, unsafe, you will leave me, I must protect myself, and control others”
  3. Help your child’s brain regulate sensation and respond normally
  4. Help your child feel safe and powerful in their body
  5. Find the strengths hidden within difficult behaviors
  6. Identify sneaky fear-based power and turn it into useful power
  7. Acknowledge your child’s emotions and link those emotions to their early fear and need for protection.

We do this protocol in a structured environment that develops the special skills you need as the parent of an adopted child.

Commitment of 10 months, 3/sessions/month plus progress evaluations (45 hours)

  • At least one parent must attend every session
  • One hour skype or phone progress evaluation (every 2 months)
  • One hour group call (x3) for Q and A for adoptive parents
  • Parents must send simple email progress notes between sessions
  • Attend at least 3 warm water pool sessions
  • Parents must be open to feedback and support
  • Parents must read educational materials provided around shock and trauma

The first step in getting relief is contacting us today!

Call: 303-530-1503 or 720-839-4332
Email: Email Subject: Adolescent Birth Trauma Recovery

“Shawna” and I stayed regulated the rest of the day and had a wonderful day. The day was very focused around “taking care of a baby”, so we did a lot of pretend loving a baby and nursing a baby. Also, in a connected moment I asked, “If you were to not be in control, would you get really scared?” She replied, “Yes.” I then asked her why and her response was, “A big scary monster will come and kill me.” I told her that mom and dad are big enough and strong enough to protect her from the monster and she said, “No you are not. The monster will kill you too”. I thought that was a very telling perspective. When Dad got home we surrounded her and told her repeatedly that we were indeed strong enough to kill the monster. She apparently came up to Dad later in the day and told him that she believed we were strong enough. Anyway, we have had very few power battles today and for the most part she has been really responsive to our requests and very cuddly 🙂

…CK, a mom’s notes following a session with her 4 year old daughter working to integrate and re-organize her c-section experience