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“I can’t change my feelings, I have something wrong with me” (Carlos, age 7)

When a child is stuck in a pattern of disbelief and feels he can not change his feelings, we begin the sessions by looking at how this mindset is embodied and what purpose this state serves him.

I asked, “what is this problem doing for you.”  The body posture turned from a tightened posture, held arms, flat facial affect to a melted drooping clump. Carlos, folded in half and slowly moved around the floor as if he was searching for an answer. He didn’t make eye contact as he did when he first stated his “problem.”

Just in the moment of watching his body I could see that he had developed a pattern to seek problems as a way to control his surroundings. If he wasn’t working on a problem then he felt he might not be seen or taken care of and that felt very chaotic and scary for him .

I had him stay in this “melted way” and instead of fixing it- we expanded on it. We became messier, we intertwined with materials (holding scarves to mix color, shape, direction). Ultimately, Carlos found a way to independently create new ideas and follow suggestions with hope and excitement instead of discontent or conflict.

He relayed feeling more connected and he couldn’t think of a problem in that moment. He said, “I kind of feel fixed”. We laughed as if he had ever been broken and smiled knowing he now had options to repair and grow from within and between relationships. 

Do you know a child that takes life with rigidity, always seeming to have a problem? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to help them improve their lives and find solutions with embodying flexible thinking. Email me at therapy@drloribaudino.com or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.

Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.

Special Thanks to The Andrea Rizzo Foundation. Dreasdream.org

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