Stories from ARC Providers
Anna*, In-home clinician, New York:
David*, a fifteen year old boy, and his mother, Julie*, were referred for in-home therapy to address David’s escalating behavioral issues, aggression, and intermittent suicidal ideation. Both mother and son have experienced traumatic events. Julie grew up in a very violent home and spent several years in foster care. She also had a series of abusive relationships, which David was also exposed to as a young child.
Anna*, an ARC clinician, met with the family regularly and implemented various ARC interventions. At first, the work focused on helping the David identify his feelings, where he felt them in his body, and his triggers (Identification). They also developed a toolbox with him, as well as coping skill cards, to help him identify ways to manage his emotions (Modulation). Anna helped Julie understand how her own trauma could be impacting her parenting, as well as triggering her son’s negative behaviors (Psychoeducation & Caregiver Attunement). Anna also assisted Julie in developing structure in the household (Routines and Rituals). As a result, the family began having consistent times for homework, chores, dinner and bedtime. Not only did this help manage her son’s behaviors, but it also allowed them to spend quality time together as a family. Due to significant progress, the family was discharged from the program successfully, and David’s concerning behaviors diminished.
Sandra*, Parent consultant, New York:
Karen*, a single mother of three, began treatment with an ARC provider. The family had recently experienced many stressful life events, domestic violence, and overall lack of basic resources. Karen, who has been chronically depressed, was also having many medical issues that affected her mood and her ability to provide care for her children. At the start of services she did not have a primary doctor, a medication provider, mental health counseling and could not discuss certain topics without becoming overwhelmed with emotion.
Sandra*, an ARC clinician, focused on several ARC building blocks including Caregiver Affect Management, Self Development and Identity and Affect Identification. She utilized activities that included helping the mother have an individual identity separate from that of a domestic violence victim. Sandra also assisted the Karen in identifying her feelings which assisted in her having greater control over her emotions. At the close of services she had a primary doctor, a medication provider, mental health counseling and had utilized skills to cope with her over whelming emotion that allowed her to function daily.
Valerie*, Residential treatment provider, Massachusetts:
A youth was presenting as extremely dysregulated, feeling triggered likely from moving to the new program and missing his family. He was displaying unsafe behavior, yelling, and wanting to hurt himself. Initially responses included attempting to verbally regulate and process the situation. With direction from the ARC consultant, staff were prompted around the frontal lobe going “off line” and instead incorporated co-regulation through vocal rhythm, followed by sensory regulation strategies. The sensory integration included a heavy stress ball, with which the youth was offered the choice of which hand to hold it with, and together the team was able to scaffold to self-regulation throughout the de-escalation process. The youth was able to connect with his body, regulate very quickly, accept cold water and process the situation once his frontal lobe came back online. He was able to collaboratively reflect on his ability to “calm his body” and his control over his body was highlighted with positive feedback and praise.
*These stories were submitted by practicing ARC providers. Please note that all identifying information has been changed to protect the privacy of the children and caregivers.