| The Family Attachment Center
Testimonials to The Family Attachment Center
My son at two years old was diagnosed with ADHD. His pediatrician prescribed medication to
assist with his "busyness". After about 3 months we saw no change in his behavior and we
decided to take him off the medication. Our son displayed anger through aggressive and
violent behavior. He mistreated our family pets by pulling their tails and standing on them.
He also punched and kicked holes in the walls in his bedroom. Our son refused to make eye
contact and called himself a "bad boy". He scared the children at his school by chasing them
and growling at them. He would throw sand and hit the other children. Even some of the
parents were concerned about our son. We had taken him to therapists who did play therapy
with him, but the progress was VERY slow. We could not stand by while our only son
continued to destroy our home, terrorize our pets, but also isolate himself from our family
and friends through his vicious, destructive behavior. Without the Family Attachment
Center, I believe that our son would have ended up in jail for a violent crime, even murder.
We learned about the Family Attachment Center through our son's school. They
recommended that we take him in for an evaluation. This was the best thing that could have
happened to the entire family. When we began therapy at the Family Attachment Center,
our son was diagnosed with Reaction Attachment Disorder. He would not make eye contact
and would not allow either parent to hold him even to comfort him. He was violent, couldn't
follow instructions, couldn't focus and certainly could not be trusted.
The challenges that we went through for two years at times seemed unbearable. We didn't
know from one moment to the next what response we would get from our son. Because of
the Family Attachment Center and our commitment to our son, we were able to work
through the challenges one day at a time. I believe that the Family Attachment Center
saved our family. As for our son, the children have already forgotten the boy of last year.
They invite him to be on their team, they ask him to play with them. This is something that
NEVER happened last school year.
Through working with the Family Attachment Center, we learned as a family how to
interact, diffuse the power struggles and most importantly, address the attachment issues
our son had and the behaviors he used to drive a wedge between him and the family. Our
son no longer suffers from Reaction Attachment Disorder. He is a warm and loving four
My life has always been filled with chaos and neglect and violence and I never learned how to
be a productive person much less a loving parent. But God knew this and He has always
guided and helped me through my life. As a child, God helped me survive and as a parent he
helped me parent a different way. Instead of doing things the way my parents did, I went the
other way. I realized that I needed some help.
One day while at church, I noticed a flyer for a parenting workshop so I took the flyer home
and called the number and found the Family Attachment Center . My fiance, who is now my
husband, began parenting workshops once a month for a very reasonable charge. I learned
so much and set-up an appointment for family therapy once a week. God directed us to the
Family Attachment Center and I am glad that He did.
John Trentalange from the Family Attachment Center helped us learn new parenting skills
and they work. He also learned of our dysfunctional childhoods and began to help us see that
from all the dysfunction, we would repeat this cycle with our eight -year old son or any
future children if we did not change the established patterns. It has been a year and a half
and we are still working on it but, we have come a long way.
My ex-husband was abusive, mainly verbally and some physically, and Charlie was being
disrespectful to his mother. Why not? His father had been. He had violent temper tantrums
and had kicked a hole in his bedroom door. And divorce brought up lots of other issues to
explore. John Trentalange helped my son Charlie to acknowledge his feelings not stuff them
and express them appropriately instead of exploding (which is what he learned previously.)
He helped my husband and I learn how to parent calmly and effectively. We are still
learning and it is not perfect but we have come a long way. The cycle of violence is being
actively and purposefully and permanently broken. Our son Charlie gets better parenting
than we received and he is learning that you cannot change your feelings but that you must
get them out to grow and that they must be expressed appropriately and safely. John has
helped Charlie respect his three parents and cope with two different households. Divorce is
horrible for the children and yet now I have the opportunity to show Charlie a healthy
marriage model and to help him learn to respect me. I have to, in order to break the cycle of
abuse. Without the Family Attachment Center it would be like the blind leading the blind, so
It is not easy to change established patterns even when they are very dangerous ones
because that's all we know and it is part of us since we were little. We must get rewired and
not only does this take time but it physically hurts. Our brain gets rewired only with the
help of a licensed and qualified professional attachment therapist and there are so few of
them. This is why I am so thankful that God led me to one. I am thankful that God led me
to John Trentalange and the Family Attachment Center. I had to revisit my past in order to
change my future and my son's. And as I am getting to be a healthier parent all the time, I
know that I respect myself enough and my husband respects himself enough to get help and
grow. We deserve a great life and a great future and so does our son. God wants us to grow
better every day. Thank God for the Family Attachment Center and may God help the
center be able to help lots more struggling families. My son will be a testimony to the Family
Attachment Center when he grows up and is not a batterer or an abusive parent. He will
become a productive man, loving and supportive husband, and a skilled and kind parent. I
will beam with pride! The Family Attachment Center can impact the community greatly by
helping to stop the cycle of violence as I have stated above.
Noemi historically has been a sensitive child and had great difficulty and emotional pain in
separating from me when in new environments and with new people. She was unable to
enjoy new experiences or new people because she was anxious and uncomfortable. When
beginning school for the first time here in Colorado Springs, she would begin getting upset
the night before school. This would involve her becoming tense, emotionally upset, and
persistently talking about how she didn't like school and didn't want to go there. The
scenario would escalate the next morning and while en route to the school. When I would go
inside to sign her in and say our farewell, she would be sobbing, hyperventilating, clinging to
me with her body wrapped around mine. When she was outdoors during recess she would sit
or stand next to one of the teachers, eventually working up to be able to go to the swing set
and swing solo. She would be doing one or the other of those activities when I would leave
and would be doing the same when I came to pick her up.
During our time in working with FACe we became better educated on Noemi's sensitive
trait, as well as activities to help her move toward the ability of functioning well at school
and ultimately to enjoy it. Some significant milestones that she has accomplished are the
absence of anxiety occurring the night before or morning of a school day, being able to say
goodbye at the school entrance and proceed alone, joining classmates in interactive play and
schoolwork, making friends, helping other classmates, raising her hand to offer answers,
and overall excited about school and the work she is accomplishing there.
We feel Noemi's progress has impacted her life in a tremendously positive way. She is
relaxed, happy and eager to learn. Her success with the challenges at school has spread to
general social activities; we now witness her engaging in things such as swim lessons and
scouts with a new air of freedom and confidence. It is doubtful Noemi would've reached her
potential without having worked so hard over the past year to better manage her
apprehension of new people and places. The guidance and support we've received from
FACe has been helpful in allowing our family to grow from these experiences. We feel
society will be better for the changes in Noemi as she is a creative, empathetic and generous
child who is learning how to connect with others and share those gifts.
Before our work with FACe began, Rafael was exhibiting outbursts of anger which would be
triggered in a flash and unleashed in a fury. The deployment of his father to Iraq preceeded
the behavior and it continues to manifest during his prolonged absence. I was becoming
exhausted emotionally with trying to find a way to manage this crisis.
Throughout our sessions with FACe ,we have learned new ways to connect...reconnect, as
well as methods to use when his emotional volcano erupts. It is a continual work in
progress, but I am feeling we are moving in the right direction.
A milestone Rafael has achieved so far during our time with FACe is that he now can
usually circumvent any emotional outbursts and physical manifestations by communicating
his need to be close to me...to need a hug with words versus threatening actions. This is
HUGE! Rather than hugging and being close to each other after thirty minutes or more of
trying to work through the angry outbursts, it often now precedes and thus prevents such a
These changes have impacted our family life tremendously. It was very upsetting to me as
well as Rafael's sisters to watch and hear him when he would become angry. It was
exhausting as well, for all of us. As a parent I would feel hurt by his actions and also
devastated that I could not help him. Currently with our promising progress, I feel better
and the entire family is reaping the benefits too. It is helpful having a plan of action that is
assisting him in choosing better means of acknowledging a need to connect with me.
Ultimately, I feel society will benefit from his journey and skills gained since he has the
potential to become an adult who can manage his anger, use words to express his feelings,
and seek comfort and support from another human.
About eighteen months ago I was introduced to the Family Attachment Center. It has been
a major contributor to the process of my personal healing and growth. The education and
healing I have received has enabled me to continue striving for my goals of being a better
parent and increasing my pro-social skills for the sake of the community I live in.
I was addicted to drugs and chemically dependant for seventeen years. Being ignorant of my
internal issues combined with chemical dependency, I was successful at destroying my
family which consisted of a wife and two children, my relationships with my parents as well
as being a danger to the community I live in. I have been in and out of jail more times than
I wish to count and my children were removed and went to live with their aunt and uncle. I
enrolled myself into a faith-based rehabilitation center on February 10th, 2004.
Two months into my rehabilitation is when my relationship with The Family Attachment
Center started. Since then I have taken twenty-six hours of very empowering parent
education classes. In these classes I gained valuable insight how to be a better parent in the
lives of my children and how to continue healing in my own life as well. I have spent
numerous hours at The Family Attachment Center learning about attachment and how it
has played a major role in the history of my life as well as the positive affect it will play in
my future. The center has helped me to understand my root issues, embrace them, take
ownership of them, and continues to help me walk through and grow in these difficult areas
of my life.
The education I've received about attachment and parenting has been life transformational.
It has truly opened my eyes to the importance of healthy attachment with my children and
the community around me. The stronger the attachment, the healthier the child, and the
relationships we have in the community.
Since my relationship with the Family Attachment Center started, I have successfully
completed a year in drug rehabilitation. I have been sober now for twenty-two months,
which is the longest period of sobriety I've had since I was thirteen years old. I was awarded
custody of my children in August of 2005. We are working diligently as a family to heal the
attachment that was severed with the help of my continuing education at FACe. The change
in the behavior of my children has been phenomenal. My daughter's grades have risen from
D's to A's and our relationship seems to be growing healthier everyday. The attachment
between my son and myself has been blessed by a tremendous amount of healing in a short
period of time. His trust in me is on the continual rise as well as my ability to see what a
privilege his trust is to have. He is in first grade and has scored a hundred percent on every
spelling test he has taken this year. We all continually look forward to our time we get to
spend with each other. It is full of excitement and joy. I've also recently started pursuing a
Bachelor's Degree in Christian counseling at the Nazarene Bible College and am doing well.
I'm convinced that I probably wouldn't have made it as far as I have today without The
Family Attachment Center. It has been a major influence in my life and in the life of my
children, to empower us to take responsibility for ourselves, and how we relate to the
community. I'm excited about the future and am eager to see what a healthy life is really
I would like to sincerely say thank you to The Family Attachment Center.