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Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

New events coming soon! Please check regularly for new and upcoming events.

Past Workshops:

Circle of Security Parent Education Group

January 12th – March 16th, 2016, At Sand Story Psychology Services, Vancouver, BC

Circle of Security Parenting© implements decades of attachment research in an accessible step-by-step process for parents of young children. This 8 week course teaches parents how to recognize what their child’s behaviour is telling them, and how to respond to their children to optimize their early development. Increasing the security of the attachment to your child promotes healthy relationships, better self-regulation, greater school readiness, and increased empathy. This is a course not to be missed.

While all parents can benefit from the Circle of Security parenting approach, this course is mostly geared towards parents of children under the age of six.

Join Certified Circle of Security Facilitator, Dr. Deborah Bell, R.Psych and Doctorate Candidate Melanie Oliveira in the amazing journey of developing a deeper connection with your child.

Seeds of Hope: Creating Change by Building Connection and Capacity in Community

January 30, 2016, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. The Early Years Conference: Nurturing Developmental Wellbeing – Strengthening Children and Families
The Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 655 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC

The Seeds of Hope Program was developed as an ecological/transactional model of intervention for the First Nation of Long Lake #58, Ontario. Dr. Bell and Mr. Phillips were invited into this community to support and increase capacity in an intervention focused around the students of the Junior Kindergarten class, their parents, teachers, elders, and community. The Seeds of Hope Program, with school/center-based, community and parent services, represents a culturally sensitive, integrative approach to early intervention with multi-risk families to assist young children and their families during their formative years to promote optimal social, emotional, and cognitive development based on current research and understandings of intergenerational trauma, brain development and attachment.

This presentation will cover the model of the intervention, and the delivery of the program over the two years. The journey of how the program was received by the community and how the work evolved and grew over time providing a model of community-wide change that spans the generations will be shared for discussion.

Parenting Through Connection: Nurturing Responses to Behavioural Challenges

January 2016. At Lord Byng Elementary School, Richmond, BC

In today’s parenting world it can be easy to get lost in the “age of reason.” Parents find themselves endlessly trying to reason with children who are too young to care the reasons. This is a frustrating endeavour: the parent gets pulled into pulled into the power struggle of reason and experiencing non-compliance in their child. Parenting through connection brings parents back to the heart of parenting– the love and connection, or attachment, that exits between parent and child. This workshop is a continuation of the morning keynote, to move beyond the theory into the practical. Dr. Bell will discuss how to hold your child close while re-directing and side stepping the power struggles; and how to parent with sensitivity to developmental age and stage. This workshop is also applicable to those in in caregiving roles.

Crying, Colic, and Comfort

November 9th, 2015. At the Childbearing Society, Vancouver B.C,
Guest Speaking presentation

Recipe for Resiliency: Parenting through Connection

April 12, 2014, 9:40 am – 10:40 pm as part of the Alisa’s Wish Child-Focused Public Education Event, at Maple Ridge Baptist Church, 22155 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge BC

Parents hear a lot about the importance of raising children who are “well regulated,” and/or “resilient.” But what does that mean? And how do we do it? A resilient child is one who thrives even in the face of negative circumstances. These circumstances can come from bullying, home stress, or abuse. Many factors contribute to resilience, but time again research indicates that one of these factors is more important than the rest—having a deep and meaningful relationship with at least one caregiver. The more parents are able to Parent through Connection, the more they are in touch with their ability to provide the solution to their child’s problems—the more resilient children become.  Join Dr. Deborah Bell as she explores the concept of resiliency and shares how to raise resilient children.

Dr. Deborah Bell is a registered psychologist who has specialized in empowering children and parents for over 15 years. She has a background working with children and adults who have histories of abuse and trauma. Deborah takes great joy in working with the relationships between infants (ages 0-5) and their caregivers and seeing the resiliency build as their caregiver gains confidence and understanding. Deborah has extensive training in play therapy and attachment-based therapy approaches. Deborah enjoys sharing her love of clinical work and the spirit of children through teaching and supervising practitioners in their clinical work. She is an experienced presenter and supervises clinicians at all levels of career development.

Early Identification of Risk and Protective Prenatal and Postnatal Factors Influencing Mother-Infant Attachment

February 21, 2014, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm as part of the Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies: New Research and Best Practice Conference, at Coast Coal Harbour, 1180 W Hastings St, Vancouver BC

Presenting with Dr. Sonja Vellet, R. Psych. This presentation will focus on using a decision-making tree for professionals to identify key social-contextual risk and protective factors influencing mother-infant attachment. In addition, this presentation will outline attachment-based interventions to foster healthy infant and child development and mother-infant attachment relationships. Participants should have a working knowledge of attachment theory.

Registration closed.

Talking Taboos: Teens and Internet Porn: A Workshop for Parents

February 11, 2014, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Adler School of Professional Psychology as part of the Skills for Mindful Living Series, 1090 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC

Join Dr. Deborah Bell, Registered Psychologist and Mr. Shaun Phillips, Registered Clinical Counsellor from Sand Story Psychology as they explore the intimidating word of internet pornography. This issue is important for teenagers, who are exposed to (and may seek out) intense and disturbing imagery; and, recent research suggests that online pornography is negatively impacting the sexual health of young adults. However, there’s very little support and dialogue for parents. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the subtle impacts of online pornography on this generation of boys, how to talk with your kids about what they see online, and how to help your child thrive and flourish in this new online world. There will be ample time for questions, and participation. Please join Deborah and Shaun as they take down barriers to create a comfortable environment for parents to discuss this important taboo.

Registration closed.

Beyond Time Out: Nurturing Responses to Behavioural Challenges

February 7, 2014, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm as part of the 2014 Sea to Sky Early Childhood Conference, at the Blue Shore Environmental Learning Centre (Classrooms 1 & 2) Squamish, BC

In today’s parenting world it can be easy to get lost in the “age of reason.” Parents find themselves endlessly trying to reason with children who are too young to care the reasons. This is a frustrating endeavour: the parent gets pulled into pulled into the power struggle of reason and experiencing non-compliance in their child. Parenting through connection brings parents back to the heart of parenting– the love and connection, or attachment, that exits between parent and child. This workshop is a continuation of the morning keynote, to move beyond the theory into the practical. Dr. Bell will discuss how to hold your child close while re-directing and side stepping the power struggles; and how to parent with sensitivity to developmental age and stage. This workshop is also applicable to those in in caregiving roles.

Registration closed.

The Heartbreak Kid: Parenting After Trauma

February 1, 2014, as part of the Early Years Conference 2014 Shaping Childhood: Factors that Matter Conference, at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 655 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC

The experience of trauma in early childhood can have devastating and pervasive impact on healthy development. Types of trauma include physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse; as well as divorce, death, or an acute accident. However the trauma occurred, children that have experienced trauma require special support from their caregivers. Provided with developmentally sensitive contexts, traumatized children show tremendous capacity for resilience. This workshop is directed towards any foster parent, caregiver, educator, or other front line worker who works with children that have experienced trauma. A brief overview of the effect of trauma on the brain and the importance of attachment will be provided, along with strategies that promote healing of the child. Many of the strategies presented are applicable across the many different contexts that we work with children. How this approach is culturally sensitive and supports Aboriginal cultural practices will also be addressed. A working knowledge of attachment theory is recommended.

Registration closed.

Talking Taboos: Teens and Internet Porn: A Workshop for Parents

November 7, 2013, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at St. John’s School, 2215 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Join Dr. Deborah Bell, Registered Psychologist and Mr. Shaun Phillips, Registered Clinical Counsellor from Sand Story Psychology as they explore the intimidating word of internet pornography. This issue is important for teenagers, who are exposed to (and may seek out) intense and disturbing imagery; and, recent research suggests that online pornography is negatively impacting the sexual health of young adults. However, there’s very little support and dialogue for parents. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the subtle impacts of online pornography on this generation of boys, how to talk with your kids about what they see online, and how to help your child thrive and flourish in this new online world. There will be ample time for questions, and participation. Please join Deborah and Shaun as they take down barriers to create a comfortable environment for parents to discuss this important taboo.

Beyond Time Out: The Importance of Attachment

Professional and Parenting Workshop, October 19, 2013 / Exploration and Discovery 2013: The Sunshine Coast Child Care and Parenting Conference

In today’s parenting world, it can be easy to get lost in the “age of reason.” Parents and caregivers find themselves endlessly trying to reason with children who are too young to care about the reasons. This is a frustrating endeavor: The parent or caregiver gets pulled into the power struggle of reasoning, and they experience non-compliance in the child. Everyone recommends time-outs, but it does not seem to be working.

Parenting through connection brings parents and caregivers back to the heart of caring for a child-the love and connection, or attachment, that exists between parent and child. This workshop discusses how to hold a child close while re-directing and side-stepping the power struggles; and how to care for a child with sensitivity to developmental age and stage. The importance of this approach goes beyond the emotional health of the child, but also has a real and direct impact on the brain and optimizes a child’s developmental momentum.

This workshop is applicable to both parents and those in caregiver roles, and is open to the public. Contact the Sunshine Coast Child Care and Parenting Conference Committee for more information.

Holding our Hearts: How to help Children keep you close

October 17, 2013, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm for the Steveston Working Moms Network at Steveston Community Centre, 4111 Moncton Street, Richmond, BC

Our children go through many transitions—back to school, losing friends, making friends, mom going to work. What these transitions equate to is separation. Separation from a child’s major attachment figure, even for a short time, sends the brain into overdrive. For some children this separation alarm is particularly intense. Managing separation is one of the key developmental milestones your child will face. Recognizing the separation and learning how to address it, can make a huge difference to a working parent, or parent who has long absences from their child. This workshop will provide insight into what motivates your child’s behaviour, and how to support your child’s transitions and separations. This is an active and inclusive presentation to honour the wisdom of all moms in doing what we do.

* Registration closed.

Talking Taboos: Teens and Internet Porn: A workshop for parents

May 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at #240-3355 West Broadway, Vancouver

A joint presentation by Brain Boost Education and Sand Story Psychology

Join Dr. Deborah Bell, Registered Psychologist and Mr. Shaun Phillips, Registered Clinical Counsellor from Sand Story Psychology as they explore the intimidating word of internet pornography. This issue is important for teenagers, who are exposed to (and may seek out) intense and disturbing imagery; and, recent research suggests that online pornography is negatively impacting the sexual health of young adults. However, there’s very little support and dialogue for parents. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the subtle impacts of online pornography on this generation of boys, how to talk with your kids about what they see online, and how to help your child thrive and flourish in this new online world. There will be ample time for questions, and participation. Please join Deborah and Shaun as they take down barriers to create a comfortable environment for parents to discuss this important taboo.

The workshop is free; however space is limited. Please register by calling 604.723.0904.

Beyond Time Out: The Importance of Attachment

Keynote address, March 2, 2013 / The 16th Annual Partners in Parenting Conference, Rock Creek, BC

This keynote address introduces a deeper understanding of children, how they think, and what makes them feel connected and thus, content. Workshop participants will learn about the theory of attachment and it’s developmental progression, why attachment is important, and how to support healthy attachments. Warning signs of a breach in the attachment relationship will be explored, as well as how to nurture a deeper and more fulfilling attachment with a child that benefits both child and caregiver. This is a pivotal piece of raising children of all ages that can help parents feel more confident and settled in their parent roles.

Beyond Time Out: Nurturing Responses to Behavioural Challenges

Workshop, March 2, 2013 / The 16th Annual Partners in Parenting Conference, Rock Creek, BC

In today’s parenting world it can be easy to get lost in the “age of reason.” Parents find themselves endlessly trying to reason with children who are too young to care the reasons. This is a frustrating endeavour: the parent gets pulled into pulled into the power struggle of reason and experiencing non-compliance in their child. Parenting through connection brings parents back to the heart of parenting– the love and connection, or attachment, that exits between parent and child. This workshop is a continuation of the morning keynote, to move beyond the theory into the practical. Dr. Bell will discuss how to hold your child close while re-directing and side stepping the power struggles; and how to parent with sensitivity to developmental age and stage. This workshop is also applicable to those in in caregiving roles.

Parenting Through Connection: The Importance of Attachment

Presentation, Date: February 5, 2013 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Sponsored by the New Westminster Infant Development Program and Sand Story Psychology Services. Location TBA

This introductory workshop is directed towards parents who want a deeper understanding of children, how they think, and what makes them feel connected and thus, content. Workshop participants will learn about the theory of attachment and it’s developmental progression, why attachment is important, and how to support healthy attachments. This is a pivotal piece of raising children that can help parents feel more confident and settled in their parent roles.

Bullying: A Public Town Hall Meeting

November 7, 2012 7:00 pm at the Renaissance Hotel, 1133 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Mary Zilba and Fiona Forbes host a Town Hall Meeting on Bullying. Parents, educators and Students please join local legislators and celebrities to discuss the bullying epidemic facing our youths in the school system. Dr. Bell is pleased to take part of this important discussion panel. Come and show your support. Free tickets at eventbrite.ca/event/4749334387

Beyond Time Out Part II: Parenting Through Connection

Full Day Presentation, Date: January 26, 2013 Sponsored by Ridge Meadows Early Childhood Development Committee, Maple Ridge BC Location TBA

This workshop will be a continuation of 2011’s workshop. Parents and Caregivers will have the chance to review and discuss their experiences with parenting through connection to solidify and support ideas and experiences with the introductory material. Concepts will be elaborated and expanded providing a richer understanding and experience of parenting from the perspective of the attachment relationship that exists between caregiver and child. This workshop is open to those who attended Part One, as well as newcomers.

Beyond Time Out: Nurturing Responses to Behavioural Challenges

Full Day Presentation, March 10, 2012 | West Kootney Child Care Resource & Referral Centre, Nelson BC

In today’s parenting world, it can be easy to get lost in the “age of reason.” Parents and caregivers find themselves endlessly trying to reason with children who are too young to care about the reasons. This is a frustrating endeavor: The parent or caregiver gets pulled into the power struggle of reasoning, and they experience non-compliance in the child. Everyone recommends time-outs, but it does not seem to be working.

Parenting through connection brings parents and caregivers back to the heart of caring for a child-the love and connection, or attachment, that exists between parent and child. This workshop discusses how to hold a child close while re-directing and side-stepping the power struggles; and how to care for a child with sensitivity to developmental age and stage. The importance of this approach goes beyond the emotional health of the child, but also has a real and direct impact on the brain and optimizes a child’s developmental momentum.

This workshop is applicable to both parents and those in caregiver roles, and is open to the public. Contact the West Kootney Child Care & Resource Centre for more information.

Beyond Time Out: Nurturing Responses to Behavioural Challenges

Half Day Presentation, March 13, 2012 | Trail & Castlegar Child Care Resource & Referral Centre, Trail BC

This shorter version of the Beyond Time Out presentation described above will cover the basics of Parenting through Connection. Parenting through connection brings parents and caregivers back to the heart of caring for a child-the love and connection, or attachment, that exists between parent and child. This workshop discusses how to hold a child close while re-directing and side-stepping the power struggles; and how to care for a child with sensitivity to developmental age and stage.

This workshop is applicable to both parents and those in caregiver roles, and is open to the public. Contact the Trail & Castlegar Child Care & Resource Centre for more information.

Parenting through Connection: Alleviating Working Mommy Guilt

Evening Presentation, March 29, 2012 | Professional Women’s Networking Meeting

Working moms often find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of trying to find the balance between our parenting roles and work roles. Often, working mothers are besieged with guilt about leaving their children for the workplace. Is there a way to balance both roles? We hear a lot about quality time. But what does that mean? Is it going to the aquarium, or playing at the park? The truth is, while those times are important, the route to holding on to our children’s hearts is more than just doing activities with them. It is the in-between times, and the day-to-day caretaking, that matter the most. By being mindful about the approach that we take in those daily moments of teeth brushing and bedtime stories, we can have the close relationships we want with our children, whether we work full-time outside the home, or in the home.

By parenting through connection, we can let go of the guilt of the working mommy, and raise children who are resilient, secure, and connected. Join Dr. Deborah Bell in an interactive and fun discussion of parenting, working and maintaining our parent roles in ways that feel strong, connected and loving.

This event is by invitation only. Email info@sandstory.ca to request Dr. Deborah Bell to speak at your event.

Parenting the Gifted Child: Nurturing the Mind and Heart

October 12, 2011 | Choice School, Richmond BC

Parenting a gifted child brings with it special joys but also special challenges. Children with a “gifted” cognitive profile often also struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, sensory sensitivities and other challenges. Parents can often fall into the confusing maze of how to manage the child’s emotional needs for the child’s developmental stage versus how to manage the cognitive needs which are higher than the developmental stage. This workshop addresses how to walk the maze of parenting the gifted child. How to nurture their heart, and ease their worries while still challenging and honouring their strengths.