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Parenting Workshops

Connecting Parents & Children

Parenting Workshops

Sand Story Psychology Services is pleased to offer workshops specifically for parents on a wide variety of topics. These workshops are a great addition to conferences, community service agencies, childcare programs, and educational settings.

Some of the more popular topics have included supporting parents as they seek to gain a deeper understanding of behavioural challenges, child anxiety, early parent and child attachment, and the importance of play. Some sample topics are presented below. In addition to these topics, we are able to tailor workshops to the interests of the attending parents. Please contact us for more information.

Previous Workshops

March 30 – May 18, 2017: Circle of Security Parent Education Group

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 Breanna Young in the amazing journey of developing a deeper connection with your child.

Speaker Series of the Caregiver Support Program of PCRS

April 21, 2016: Cultural Connections: First Nations Perspective of Attachment

The implementation of residential schools for aboriginal children tore young ones away from their culture, their roots, and most importantly, their primary attachments. This loss has had a ripple effect on aboriginal child development for generations. Those effects are still felt today. More and more research is revealing the importance of healthy attachments in optimizing children’s development and buffering them in the current “age of information” where the emphasis is on attaching through technology. A review of traditional aboriginal approaches to parenting reveals strong reflections of attachment theory. This workshop will highlight the importance of reconnecting with the traditional parenting philosophies that support healthy attachments, and discuss the challenges of parenting from the cultural void left by residential schools. This is an introductory level workshop intended to raise awareness of the unique challenges facing aboriginal parents and to further a narrative of cultural relevance.

May 19, 2016: Circle of Security Parenting: Where is your child on the circle?

Circle of Security Parenting is an evidence-based parenting program imbedded in attachment theory. The Circle of Security provides parents and caregivers with an easy to understand model of attachment that can be implemented right away to understand and respond to children’s cues. This presentation will provide a simple overview of the Circle and how parents and caregivers can use it to support the healthy development and secure attachments of children.

June 09, 2016: Pulling it all together: Q & A with Dr. Bell

This is an opportunity to come back together and share your experiences in applying what you have been learning in the Speaker Series, to ask questions, and share successes. Not every attempt or every technique we use as caregivers is going to work right away, or even have the response we expected. Every child is unique, and sometimes we can hit a roadblock. This workshop provides you with the chance to talk through what you experienced and perhaps find a different path through to a child’s heart.

Entering the World of the Child: Understanding Attachment

This 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. 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 that can help parents feel more confident and settled in their parent roles.

Beyond Time Out: Parenting through Connection

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 discusses 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.

Temper Tornadoes: Nurturing responses to behavioural challenges

This workshop is for any parent or caregiver who experience behavioural challenges with their children. From temper tantrums to aggressive behaviour, parenting or caregiving comes with many roadblocks that can be difficult to navigate. The Behaviour Storm examines where challenging behaviour comes from with a goal of increased understanding. The more a parent or caregiver understands the meaning of these behaviours, the easier it is to cope with the behaviour. This workshop will look at many types of childhood behaviour and offer nurturing solutions to each one.

What to do with Worry Worms: Recognizing Anxiety in Children

Anxiety is the most common mental health diagnosis in children with 20% of children in BC ending up diagnosed with some kind of anxiety disorder. Typically we can recognize early signs of anxiety in young children that go above and beyond shyness or temperament. However, sometimes these Worry Worms can wriggle in when you least expect it or they can suddenly grow bigger so that they begin to get in the child’s way where they did not before. This workshop teaches parents and/or caregivers about anxiety: the symptoms, where it comes from and how to support children showing the early signs of anxiety.

Holding our Hearts: How to help Children keep you close

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.

Talking Taboos: Teens and Internet Porn

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 Heartbreak Kid: Parenting After Trauma

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.

Recipe for Resiliency: Parenting through Connection

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.