Here is an example a young boy from birth to about 5

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Here is an example: A young boy, from birth to about 5 years of age, is in a home with one older brother, and their mother. She is addicted to drugs, and often leaves the children alone, or in the care of others who are also addicted to drugs. The little boy is sexually abused, is often hungry for days at a time, and then his mother (who wants to be a good mom and feels guilty about what she is doing) overfeeds the boy. Fast forward 16 years. The boy is now morbidly obese, and eats whenever he can. This is a neurological response first, and then a psychological response. The pathways in his brain that regulate the perceptions of being hungry and being full are being formed in the first year of life.
12 Chapter One | Relational Skills Student Workbook © 1975 – 2017 The Mandt System, Inc. S.2 His behavior, as a child, to eat whenever he can, works for him in an environment with limited food. When he is removed from the home and placed in residential care, food is plentiful! But he does not know how to regulate his behavior, and he uses the behaviors that kept him safe and alive in ways that actually cause him harm now. These behaviors and others that he developed become behavioral challenges later in life. He ends up in psychiatric hospitals and jails often, due to the constellation of behaviors he uses to keep himself safe, from his perspective. The behaviors, however, end up isolating him from his peers, and he has no “place” in his community, he does not belong. This feeling of being unknown, of being invisible in a sense, takes away from his dignity and respect, and he engages in behaviors that harm himself, and others. He will not trust the people who work with him until he tests them, and the test is this: “If you can handle me at my worst, then and only then, will I trust you with my best. When I trusted people before they hurt me, and I don’t want to be hurt anymore. So I am going to test you with my behavior, and I am going to push and push and push until I know you will not hurt me.” This man has been served by an organization using The Mandt System ® in Canada for over a year now. In the year prior to The Mandt System ® services starting, he had 31 police involvements, and since becoming part of this organization he has had 3. Previously he was hospitalized 1-3 times a month. In a year after the services started, he was hospitalized once. The Mandt System ® was part of the package, part of the resources that provide healing. The core, however, was the caregivers who during the time this man gave them his worst, gave back to him their best. They did this be responding to him, and not reacting. Caregivers must earn the trust of individuals, and to do this, they must consistently treat people with dignity and respect over time. April 2015 he started his own business building bird houses, and will sell them at local flea markets.

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