Tracy Lamperti

www.tracylamperti.com

Introducing Alison Weiner

Please welcome Alison Weiner. Ali will be joining Lamperti Counseling & Consultation for the summer as a Student Intern. In addition to being a high honors Psychology Major, Alison has studied abroad in Italy, raised over $5,000 for breast cancer awareness and worked with inmates in a high security prison. She brings skills of photo-journalism, computer systems, working with special needs, mentoring and children. We are very excited to have her for the summer!

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A “WOW” GIVEAWAY”

No question about it…Family Movie Nights bring families together, and popcorn makes it really rock!

Be on the lookout to enter this giveaway.  Entries start early next week and the winner will be chosen mid February!
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Winner gets;
Popper, popcorn, spices, oil, popcorn cups and bowl, three DVDs pictured!

You won’t want to miss this one!

Tracy Lamperti,
Psychotherapist
Consultant

Becoming Equipped for the Very Important Task of Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse

Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse

Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse

Save your spot by signing up here!

https://www.bookfresh.com/index.html?id=976a6784ebeddd591a991c1bae931158&class_id=142dd4480fd57f54b9a662d27a95ee86&view=buyer_flow

Talking to Young Children about Death

Talking to children about death

Talking to children about death.

 

My son Noah was very close to his great grandparents.  My mother took care of him while I worked and she also provided a lot of care for her parents, so he spent a lot of time with his greats.  He was just a young toddler and I knew that one day he would experience the death of a loved one.  Grandma was getting quite aged and I wondered how I would explain to someone so young about death when that day came.  These two books, and others in the Little Blessings series became among our most loved bedtime books.  They are darling books, in poem-like style and with inviting illustrations of a group of multicultural children.

The whole process had me asking my own questions about what I believed about death.  Do I have a guardian angel? Does everyone go to heaven?  Is my father in heaven?  Will I see my father if he is in heaven?  What is heaven like?  It can be a wonderful thing to have to explain something to a child, when we ourselves have to dig deep for the answers.

I had identified myself as a “Christian” for most of my life, yet I didn’t even know the answers to these questions, that are pretty clearly outlined in the Holy Bible.  The Little Blessings books tell the story and provide specific scriptural references at the end of the story to address the truths that are claimed on the pages.

Now, I realize, not everyone is a Christian and their are many theories about deep issues such as this.  I have no interest in telling anyone what to believe.  I just can say that I believe the scriptures in the Holy Bible.  I am a student of the Bible, so I don’t claim to understand even the majority of it.  Some things I understand and believe.  Some things I don’t understand, but I trust. Some things I have no clue, but rely on my Father in Heaven to reveal to me in His perfect timing, AND my brothers and sisters in Christ to help me understand.

Back to my son…and my grandmother.

The day drew near that she would be passing to Heaven.  There were very few questions from my toddler.  There was the trust of a child who had learned about Heaven and that God would supply perfect peace if we would trust in Him.

So often, a parent brings a child for therapy with me who has experienced the loss of a loved one.  The parent describes to me, “I don’t know…I just told him Grandpa’s in heaven.  I didn’t really know what to say.”  The child begins to ask a lot of questions and in everyone’s grief, words meant to be comforting are spoken; “You’ll see Grandpa again.” “Grandpa is looking down on you.” “Grandpa is your guardian angel.”  Sometimes parents give the child a symbol or even a pendant with Grandpa’s ashes so that they can “hold on to Grandpa.”  There are so many emotions during times of loss.

I encourage every parent to dig deep and really explore what they believe about death.  From pets, to “road kill,” to strangers they hear about on the news, or any of the dozens or hundreds of people (even children) who die every year by tragedy, to Grandma or Grandpa, your children will experience death and they will have questions.

But I can’t leave without sharing the ending of the story of my son and his great grandmother.  My mother had gone to be with my grandmother as she was dying.  That night at bedtime, my son wasn’t coming when I called.  I went to see what had caught his attention and he was sitting on the stairs.  I asked him what he was doing and he said, “Great Grandma is dancing in heaven with a yellow dress.”  It was just a sweet moment because of course, she was dying.  When I talked to my mother the next morning and she told me at what time my grandmother died, it was right at the time that my son paused on the stairs.  Great Grandma never wore a yellow dress that I knew of, and I’m not typically a person who thinks supernatural things are true, but though I tried, this one I could not deny.

One of my favorite verses, John 14:2-3 (NIV) My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Tracy

 

 

 

Tears

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One might expect that as a psychotherapist, I see more tears than the average person.  In actuality, I see quite a bit of anger, frustration, hopelessness and worry, but not as many tears as might be expected.  Today my schedule was full, and there were tears in almost every hour.

Why This is a GOOD Thing

Dr. William Frey II, Ph.D. found that emotional tears are very complex.  They assist us in shedding stress hormones; toxins that reduce our ability to function.  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201007/the-health-benefits-tears

Crying has also been linked to the release of endorphins.  Endorphins numb pain and improve mood.  Generally after crying, our breathing, sweating, and heart rate decrease, and we enter a more relaxed state.

In my experience, crying is often a sign of openness.  While there are different states that go along with different types of crying, in it’s purest form it demonstrates a vulnerability and connection where the crier is open to letting others in to their personal world.  This sincere connection serves to heal emotional scars.

So, do I feel sad about my day that was filled with tears?  Not at all.  I feel humbled that others allowed themselves to let me in to their pain and that together in a healing relationship we can build newness in the core of who they are and what they experience.

And as a young child with hands full of splinters,

my neighbor lovingly said,

“You can cry.”

And I cried.

We Had the Same Rainbow Sneakers

70s Rainbow Sneakers

70s Rainbow Sneakers

In the mid to late 70’s it was really “in” for girls to have Nike-like sneakers with rainbow stripes on the sides.  In my last post I talked about how I am nothing more than anyone sitting on the couch across from me.  This fact hit me square in my brain and heart all at once on a particular day at work, early in my career.

As a brand new Social Worker for the Department of Social Services, with not even two full months of experience behind me, based on urgent circumstances, I was required to go to the home of a young mother and father, with the police and remove their newborn and the baby’s 2 year old sibling.

In the months and years to follow there was a great deal of chaos and pain, from domestic violence, drugs and everything in between including another infant removed from this mother a few days after birth.  I spent countless hours with this mother and father, much more with the mother.  I brought her children to her every week for supervised visits, sat with her (but in opposition to her) at court every 3 months for the Judge to review the case, and took many calls from her.  Her emotions were very frequently out of control, between her mental health diagnosis and drug abuse.    On one occasion I found myself sneaking out of the crossfire between her and her boyfriend whipping crack pipes at each other; very chaotic indeed!

Her life was extremely turbulent and dangerous and she subsequently lost each and every one of the nine children she gave birth to.  She was someone who was usually completely out of control.  Anyone who knew her could easily tell that she was not capable of caring for a child.  Her relationships with other adults and her children were very disturbed.  Of course, there were moments that seemed very sincere and where a glimpse of “normal” could be seen.  Not only did I learn a great deal from her, but I liked her very much. And even though she hated me so often, I think she really liked me too.

On this one particular day, she and I were sitting in her house, just the two of us.  Somehow, I was given permission to look through the photo album on her coffee table.  As I turned though the pages I came to a photo of her.  She was at a school, or town ball field, probably 10 years old, wearing her softball team hat, with the letter of her town on the front, in her uniform and wearing nike-like rainbow sneakers.  I was frozen!  Racing through my mind was the simple fact that (she and I were very close in age), there is a photo album in my family home, with a picture of me, in my softball uniform, with my letter hat and rainbow sneakers!

I was dumbfounded!  “She and I are the same.  I could be her.  She could be me.”

As I thought deeply about this after leaving her home that day, I thought, “What’s the difference between she and I?”  Well, not that I didn’t experience hardship, betrayal and other challenges growing up, but the difference, I wasn’t being raped nightly by my father, with my mother standing by helplessly.  I wasn’t experiencing my father beating my mother up at least once a week.  I wasn’t being manipulated by my mother hating me one day and “loving” me the next.  Yes, by 10 years old she had suffered atrocities under the care of her mother and father that by 10 years old I didn’t even know existed.

This is not to say that she should be excused from abusing and neglecting her own children, doing drugs, violence and other criminal acts.  There certainly is consequence.  Losing your children and eventually ending up in long-term housing for the homeless/mentally ill is pretty significant.

However, when you are looking on at another mother, saying, “I could never do that to my children!” or “No way! Never!” just pause for a moment and think, “Was she dealt a different hand than me?”

This is also not to say that judgment is wrong.  This woman was certainly judged, and thankfully so for her children’s sake.  Without judgment, known dangers abound.  Without judgment these children may have died.  But when you judge, pause for a moment and think, “Is it my place to judge this person, or do the proper authorities have that covered?”  Pause for a moment and consider, are you judging this person for the purpose of condemning them?  Do you seek to criticize or make yourself bigger and better in comparison to them?

Or are you judging them in order to identify a problem.

Condemnation or identification?

Identification is necessary.  When we don’t identify anything as good or bad we have no standard, we have no guidepost, no direction for our children.

When Uncle Henry shows up at every family event drunk, there is a judgment to be made.  You could condemn him to your children, “Uncle Henry is a drunk.  Stay away from him.  He’s disgusting!  What a loser! Don’t go near him!”  Or you could identify him to your children, “Uncle Henry has a problem with alcohol.  We love all of our family members but Uncle Henry is making really bad decisions.  Because of his bad decisions, it’s not safe for you to be around him.  Alcohol makes people behave in ways that they wouldn’t usually do when they are not drinking it.”  Judgment for the purpose of identification is necessary.

*Details that might identify a former client are intentionally omitted or changed in order to protect confidentiality.
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Is it appropriate for a psychotherapist to let their clients or prospective clients know they are of one religion or another? In fact, is it really even wise for a company that sells a product to make that information available? “Still, it’s risky for brands to affiliate themselves with a religion directly.  Since it’s just […]

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