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The Great Behavior Breakdown Paperback – June 1, 2009
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Reviewed by Jackie Grimes (adoptive parent)
I have been a fan of Bryan Post for many years now and have read all his previous books. His new book takes his particular approach to adoptive parenting and repackages it in a way that is more accessible to parents than some of his previous work.
Bryan Post is an engaging writer. He is adopted himself and was a troubled teen, so he speaks from a place of personal knowledge. His experience and empathy for adoptive parents are what make this book work much of it covers the usual difficult behaviors that are discussed in other adoption literature, but you know he's been there and knows what it s like. His ideas are often challenging; he invites us to take on what he calls a Paradigm Shift in our attitudes to our children. He suggests that all behaviors come from a place of either love or fear and encourages us to understand the unconscious motivations behind our children s behaviors. He explains the Stress Model (TM) which is what drives our children s behaviors and makes them dis-regulated.
He also covers the Four Levels of Memory, explaining that 90% per cent of our emotional memory is unconscious for example, and gives us insights into how difficult it is for adopted children to operate as a result. And, perhaps most importantly, he delves into the realm of 'Unfinished Business' that's OUR unfinished business, the baggage we bring to parenting based on our personal past experiences and expectations and dreams. His methods require us to look deeply into ourselves and our own motivations and possibly make changes ourselves. This is a challenging message and one which some people might find uncomfortable.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with the demands of parenting adopted children wants to try something new. It is easy to read and the format makes it simple to target specific behaviors. --Adoption Today UK April 2010
As a librarian who spent 27 years in the mental health field, I have watched or been involved in many, many situations where parents or treatment staff struggled with the slippery slope between a young person/child's behavior. Sadly more often than not, the situation quickly turned into a no-win one.
I read this book with growing interest as I went from chapter to chapter. The author's description of individual situations, suggestions to frustrated parents and their subsequent reports of amazing behavior changes are exciting to read about. How well they work/will work by a parent reading the book and trying to follow them, I cannot say, but I am happy to add this to our library and know several parents who will be eager to check it out and try the suggestions. I will say that as I read through different situations, I found myself reflecting upon how the suggestions and examples might have made stressful interactions with my daughters in years past have a more positive outcome. --Reviewed by John R. Clark TCM Reviews
About the Author
B. Bryan Post is one of America s foremost child behavior experts. Founder and CEO of the Post Institute for Family-Centered Therapy based in Virginia Beach, VA. The Post Institute specializes in working with adults, children and families who struggle with issues related to early life trauma and the impact of trauma on the development of the mind body system. A renowned clinician, lecturer, and author of several books, video, and audio programs, Bryan has traveled throughout the world providing expert treatment and consultation to a variety of groups.
An internationally recognized specialist in the treatment of emotional and behavioral, he specializes in a holistic family-based treatment approach that addresses the underlying interactive dynamics of the entire family, a neurophysiologic process he refers to as, The secret life of the family.
Post contends that these same dynamics become obvious and are visibly apparent in every relationship.
He holds three degrees in the field of social work: a Bachelors of Social Work degree from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma; a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Arlington; and a Doctoral degree in Social Work from Columbus University School of Public Administration.
A maverick in the mental health field, Bryan broke from traditional teachings in the late 1990 s and developed a dynamic theoretical model of human behavior which he coined the Stress Model. When fully understood and applied to nearly any situation the stress model can reveal underlying unconscious expressive states which can transform relationship dynamics. From the Stress Model theory he has gone on to develop both Family-Centered Regulatory Parenting and Regulatory Therapy which both have been taught at the university level, garnering Post international recognition. Of noted interest is also the fact that he has woven his therapy model into breakthrough educational experiences that are referred to as POST Camps for adults, parents, and therapists. These rapid results programs have been changing the lives of struggling adults, parents, and families for the past several years.
Bryan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of Virginia and Oklahoma and is registered to practice within various other states. He lives with his wife Kristi and their 3 daughters in Virginia Beach, VA.
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The book itself is brief, but it doesn't need to be very long. Post does a great job of first explaining the behaviors, un-demonizing the traditional interpretation of the behavior, and giving easy to follow directions on how to deal with the behavior. This will not only allow parents to have better behaved children, but allow the children to heal and communicate to their more empathetic parents. Children who've been traumatized really need understanding and patience. It's also so refreshing to see someone who refers to these hurt children by their emotional ages rather than chronological--which has a lot more impact on behavior.
Someone mentioned this book doesn't have much research (or at least documented research) to back it up, but I don't think that's as important. You don't need huge amounts of statistics in the book. I've definitely used things suggested in the book and they work. The only criticism I have is his half-chapter on self-harm oversimplified it. It could give someone a very basic understanding of it, but self-harm is not something that is easily stopped in a short period of time like some other behaviors.
We are in the same process now, and a child advocate recommended this book/author to us. It is making ALL the difference in the world!!
Anyone working with children who have dealt with trauma in their lives simply MUST read this book. It is a game changer and possibly a life saver--literally!