10 April 2014

Children's Brain Development: Amazing Video from Alberta Family Wellness

The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative is a non-governmental organization that describes itself as "a multi-disciplinary initiative that connects early brain and biological development and children's mental health with addiction research, prevention, and treatment" which "seeks to translate current research into sound policy and practice on behalf of Alberta families," and is funded by the excellent Norlien Foundation.

The Initiative's website is full of interesting information on childhood developmental psychology and the development of children's brains, with pages on topics including
  • brain architecture and development
  • building cognitive, emotion and social capacities
  • positive, tolerable and toxic stress
  • interventions and treatments in children's mental health
and includes and extensive series of educational videos and print resources that ought to be very useful for parents, family law lawyers and mental health professionals.

In October 2013 — I'm sorry to be late on this — the Initiate published a wonderful animated video on children's brain development. Among other things, the video talks about positive stresses that improve children's functioning and ability to deal with change, and negative stresses, such as from parental conflict, abuse or addiction, that can negatively impact on the development of children's brains with effects that last into adulthood. The problem of children's response to negative stresses is particular important in high conflict families, whether the parents are in an intact relationship, separating or separated. 

The video is incredibly engaging and well worth watching, particularly for parents enmeshed in conflict. If you haven't found the link in the text above, you can find the video here:


Other helpful resources on high conflict relationships include the Parenting After Separation for Families in High Conflict program offered by Alberta Court Services, and the High Conflict Information Program being studied by the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. Judges, lawyers and mental health professionals working with high-conflict families should also get ahold of Bill Eddy's indispensable book, High Conflict People in Legal Disputes.

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