Regulation: the key to healthy, adaptive functioning

When an infant’s needs are met in a sensitive, responsive, timely and predictable way, the infant never spends too much time in distress because whenever the infant / child is distressed, the parent responds and the distress is ended. This scenario allows the child to spend most of his life in a contented way. When an infant or child too often is separated from his parent, or frightened, injured, hungry or cold, the infant / child experiences too much distress. In other words, the child’s attachment system was frequently activated to try to get the parent to meet his needs and the parent did not. This scenario may have long-term consequences to the child’s regulatory systems; the child may become too easily distressed or not distressed enough. Failure to thrive infants give up on activating their attachment system because that behaviour was ineffective in getting their needs met. Other children may remain easily dysregulated. The role of the parent is to respond to attachment behaviours before the child becomes distressed; or if the child is already easily dysregulated, the parent will need to create an environment that will facilitate low levels of distress. Let’s break this down a bit. Continue reading

Psychotherapy for Children and Families

I am a Registered Psychotherapist, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapist, and Play Therapist in private practice in southern Ontario, Canada. Serving Toronto and South-Western Ontario.

I specialize in supporting and enhancing attachment in children, bonding in parents, and resolution of early losses, trauma, war trauma and neglect in children. I work with parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, customary care parents and their children. I am a provider through Non-Insured Health Benefits-Mental Health for Indigenous persons.

Areas of Expertise

  • Attachment disorders and difficultiespapaandbaby
  • Developmental Trauma
  • Early Trauma and Neglect within the Care-giving environment
  • Loss and grief
  • Separation from Care-givers
  • Bonding and Attachment in adoption
  • Bonding and Attachment in foster care
  • Advocacy for Attachment and Bonding
  • Childhood developmental and emotional difficulties
  • War Trauma
  • Treatment of Refugee and Immigrant Trauma
  • Acculturation Difficulties
  • Expert Witness in Attachment, Trauma and Child Development
  • Consulting with schools

Advocacy and Community Work

  • Member of the Developmental Trauma Action Alliance, chair of the Provincial Campaign Committee
  • Past President of the Association for Training in the Treatment of Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh) Minneapolis MN, and now member of the ATTACh Advisory Committee
  • Trainer for the Permanency and Adoption Competency Training (PACT) for the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Adopt4Life, Chair of the Mental Health Committee.