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Close Up Radio Spotlights Dr. Teresa Lear of CATS

  • Broadcast in Parents
Close Up Radio

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Springfield, VA – Dr. Teresa Lear is the executive director of Center for Attachment & Trauma Services, a nonprofit outpatient therapy center dedicated to promoting healthy relationships from the prenatal period through infancy, childhood, adolescence, and all stages of adulthood.

Dr. Lear and her team specialize in working with families to build healthy connections and form secure attachments. The center works closely with local departments of social services to serve children in the foster care system and adoptive families, as well offer support and psychoeducation to parents and foster parents as they manage any number of maladaptive behaviors in the children they are raising.

“Many of these children grew up in their earliest years really fending for themselves,” explains Dr. Lear. “For these children, it actually feels unsafe to accept a parenting control, and so we work with them on the experience of feeling safety.” In these cases, the ‘bottom-up’ approach works best. This means the therapy is geared toward addressing the client’s sympathetic nervous system reactivity, as opposed to a traditional cognitive approach.”

“We're asking parents to learn how to do things that they never really learned through their own experience of being parented. We provide the entire package for parents. We model how to engage with these children, how to calm them down, how to keep themselves calm during an outburst. We don't prescribe, obviously, but we work with prescribing physicians, when necessary, for the best outcome.”

“I have to believe there's hope for every child, if not for a full recovery, but for some improved level of functioning,” says Dr. Lear.

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