Setting the Foundations

This month's blog was written by Chaddock Residential Clinical Supervisor Amanda Becks. Amanda is in her 20th year at Chaddock. She has had a variety of roles during her service with the organization, most spent in the DTAP program, teaching and training staff about our model and how impactful Chaddock’s mission is. Amanda has been married for 19 years and has two children. She likes to spend her free time with family at the lake, pool, or beach, and more importantly, "the older I get the more I also enjoy reading and pajama time!"


When I deliver trauma and attachment training to new employees at Chaddock, I talk to them about building a foundation. That foundation is the base of our Developmental Trauma and Attachment Program® Treatment Model and underpins all that we do at Chaddock.


Foundation is defined as “a usually stone or concrete structure that supports a building from underneath/ something (such as an idea, a principle, or a fact) that provides support for something.” At Chaddock, it refers to creating a solid foundation of felt safety and security before we can build upon the relationship and give it a solid structure. That structure can refer to many things – the structure of treatment, relationships, professional development, teamwork and success.


If we don’t have a solid foundation of felt safety to build upon, we don’t have anywhere to grow. If we don’t feel safe, our brain will not let us be open to new experiences such as learning how much of an impact we can have not only with the families we serve but with each other. A solid foundation is the basis of a career, of hope and healing, and of leadership.


My foundation of safety is Chaddock. Over the past 19 years, I have had numerous opportunities for growth that would not have been possible without the solid foundation provided by mentors, experience, knowledge and of course relationships. This work is ongoing as we are always striving to teach, heal and make a difference in the lives of those we serve. We can not do any of these things if we don’t have a solid foundation.

Editorial Note:

“Even if you’ve accumulated a house full of nice things and the picture of your life fits inside a beautiful frame, if you have experienced trauma but haven’t excavated it, the wounded parts of you will affect everything you’ve managed to build.” – Oprah Winfrey

In their recent book “What Happened to You” Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey dig deeper into this idea that you can try to fill a house with nice things but if the foundation isn’t solid it will all eventually come tumbling down. At Chaddock we also know and understand this to be true, which is why we focus on the importance of creating felt safety with our children before we do anything else and to always come back to this when challenges arise. This solid foundation is the key to healing trauma and re-discovering hope.


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