Understanding Relationships and their Importance
to Early Childhood Development
Within this presentation, we will discuss how children develop within the context of their primary relationships and the way in which our formative relationships contribute to the development of resiliency and vulnerability. By enriching a child’s relational opportunities, we can shift the trajectory of a their development toward a life of physical and mental health. Together, we will consider the lifelong impact of early exposure to toxic stress and trauma, gain a deeper understanding of the immense protective value of attuned, supportive relationships, and identify practical ways to apply cutting-edge research from the fields of psychology and neuroscience to your daily work with young children and their families.
By the end of the course, participants will:
- Gain knowledge in the relational foundation of the mental health of young children
- Be able to describe the impact of exposure to trauma in early childhood via current research on brain development, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study, etc.
- Increase ability to hone in on the underlying relational, emotional, and developmental needs that contribute to behavioral challenges
- Be better able to advocate for mental health needs of young children in the child welfare system
Dr. Mike Sherman
Mike Sherman, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and NAPA/UC Davis Infant-Parent Mental Health fellow, Dr. Mike Sherman has expert training and experience in the field of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. For more than 15 years, he has worked at the nexus of community mental health and child welfare programs, including direct service provision, supervision, training, consulting, program development, and administration. Dr. Sherman’s training, clinical practice, and administrative experience have given him a deep understanding of the needs and barriers in our systems of care. Dr. Sherman is the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Clinical Manager within the Zero to Three Safe Baby Court program. His goal is to broaden the capacity of providers, programs, and systems to foster children’s social, emotional, and behavioral health and development.
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