The Art and Science of Evaluating Very Young Children in a Relational Context

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Date(s) - January 13
9:00 am - 4:00 pm


Dates, Times, and Topics:
Friday January 13, 2017  from 9am- 4pm

Recent research has provided evidence that trauma during the critical period of development from ages 0-5 years-old derails the course of normative development. Very young children count on their primary caregivers to establish healthy regulatory processes, a positive sense of self and modulation of emotion leading to the ability to explore the environment and learn. When young children are unable to develop the appropriate expectation that that their parent will protect them from harm their developmental processes are disrupted due to the interplay of the parental mistrust and the young child’s traumatic responses. Very young children’s responses to early traumatic experiences need to be understood as the early expression of the long-term risks to the child’s unfolding development. It is important to understand the child’s current state of development through assessment strategies equipped to understand the child’s responses through both a developmental and relational framework. This enables the creation of the right treatment and goals to help support recovery.

The comprehensive assessment of children 0-5 years involves a unique skill set that is often taught only in specialized settings or with specialized training. Our very youngest children require different instruments to accurately understand their dynamics as well as assessment in the context of their most important relationships. This presentation will cover specific assessment techniques that infant and early childhood mental health clinicians can utilize to accurately assess children ages 0-5 years old. These techniques can be used to assist in making recommendation for home-based or center-based dyadic treatment, custody evaluations, and work with children in the child welfare system; preventative service or foster care, etc. The instructors will teach and explain how to utilize several different evaluation tools and techniques for assessing children 0-5 years of age including instruments such as the Still-Face Paradigm and modified Crowell Procedure. In addition they will identify and describe interviews with the caregivers that provide a fuller picture of the attachment and family dynamics impacting the young child. Participants will leave with understanding of how to use data collected, interpret and make recommendations.

About the Instructor

Mindy Kronenberg, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in private practice in Memphis, Tennessee, specializes in infant mental health and the assessment and treatment of trauma across the lifespan. She completed the Irving Harris Infant Mental Health Fellowship at LSU Health Sciences Center where she previously served as Assistant Professor. She is currently adjunct professor in psychology at the University of Memphis.  Dr. Kronenberg provides national trainings on evidence-informed assessments, interventions, and treatments including Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Psychological First Aid, and Relationship-Based Assessment. Dr. Kronenberg consults to Tennessee’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as Young Child Wellness Partner for Tennessee’s Project Launch grant. Dr. Kronenberg is a member of the Founding Board of the Association for Infant Mental Health in Tennessee. She is an affiliate member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and currently as the co-chair of the Zero to Six Workgroup.

Amy Dickson, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the medical school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) where she has been on faculty in the Department of Psychiatry since 1999. At LSUHSC Dr. Dickson is the director of the Orleans Parish Infant Team, which treats children under 6 years old in the foster care system. Dr. Dickson coordinates the Harris Infant Mental Health training program directed by Dr. Joy Osofsky which is a year-long intensive training program teaching clinicians to become infant mental health practitioners. She is a trainer for Child-Parent Psychotherapy and is part of several learning collaboratives teaching mental health professionals about infant mental health and how to work in the court system. Dr. Dickson also is the child coordinator of LSUHSC psychology predoctoral internship program; she teaches medical students, social work trainees, psychology trainees, and child psychiatry residents; and she is the deputy director of the Psychology Section in the Department of Psychiatry. In addition, she provides consultation in a federally qualified primary care clinic. Dr. Dickson treats a wide variety of adults and children and specializes in trauma work and infant mental health.

Adelphi University, Garden City

Early registration (on or before December 16, 2016): $105
Regular registration (after December 16, 2016): $115
Adelphi Full-Time Student:  $65.00
Adelphi Full-Time Faculty:  $90.00

*Continental Breakfast and Lunch included

This program has been approved for the following continuing education credits:

  • Social work (6 hours)
  • CASAC renewal (6 hours pending approval)
  • Education (6 hours)
  • Psychology (6 hours)
  • NBCC (6 hours)

Register Today

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