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Provider Spotlight with Melissa Corkum: Blocked Care and the SSP — Helping Parents Regain Compassion

Blocked care is a self-protective mechanism in a parent’s nervous system activated by excessive stress. This can be present in a variety of familial systems and can derive from previous traumas, triggering a lingering fear response for the child, and a feeling of rejection and failure for parents. This suppresses the higher brain functions needed for caregiving, causing the parent’s nervous system to develop a defensive stance towards their child. The parent-child relationship is symbiotic. Parental emotional-regulation systems are often impacted by unmanageable stress levels, causing shame, misinterpretation of cues, and a lack of fulfillment.

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