Jean Clinton, MD
Dr. Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, division of Child Psychiatry. She is on staff at McMaster Children’s Hospital with cross appointments in Pediatrics and Family Medicine, and an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Sick Children’s Hospital. She is also a senior scientist at the INCH (INfant Child Health) Lab at McMaster University. In addition she is a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy. She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for almost 30 years. Dr Clinton was recently appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education.
Dr Clinton is renowned locally, provincially, nationally, and more recently internationally as an advocate for children’s issues. Her special interest lies in brain development, and the crucial role relationships and connectedness play therein. Jean champions the development of a national, comprehensive child well-being strategy including a system of early learning and care for all young children and their families. She is equally committed to ensuring that children’s and youths’ needs and voices are heard and respected.
Norah Fryer is a retired Early Childhood Co-ordinator who specialised in and still contributes to professional development programmes for teachers. Her current participation in the MEHRIT Centre international project and the IMHAANZ affiliate of the WAIMH involves the neuro-scientific research studies surrounding the contribution of positive and meaningful human relationships.
Growth fostering connections form the foundation for the development of resilient strategies, which in turn create relational competence. Relational competence can elevate us to feel safe within our human community where real resilience resides. Future research needs to view resilience as a relational phenomenon rather than a personality attribute; which in turn could lead us to deepen our understanding and significance; of the value and positive power, within our daily human growth fostering connections, for supporting curiosity, openness, responsiveness and respect.
“Movement towards empathic mutuality is at the core of relational resilience” (Jordan, 1992)
Keri J. Heilman, Ph.D.
Keri J. Heilman is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Heilman received her PhD in Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience) from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2006. Working with her advisor and now colleague, Dr Stephen W. Porges, Dr Heilman has focused her research on the neurophysiology underlying the expression of social behavior, specifically within the framework of the Polyvagal Theory. Many of these studies evaluate interventions designed to promote state regulation and adaptive social engagement and communication. Dr Heilman is currently collaborating on local and international research studies designed to evaluate biobehavioral characteristics of individuals who have difficulties regulating behavioral and physiological state (e.g., Prader-Willi Syndrome, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, alcoholism). She is also involved in research evaluating a Polyvagal-informed intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), on autonomic activity and behavior. In addition to teaching regular workshops on research methods involved in the collection of cardiac data and analyses of cardiac rhythms, she also serves as a consultant and data analyst for studies incorporating heart rate variability in mother-child dyads and studies of children with fetal alcohol syndrome and adults with depression and/or anxiety. Since 2016, Dr Heilman has also regularly lectured during Trauma-Informed Yoga Therapy Trainings (Sundara Yoga Therapy), focusing on the neurophysiology of self-regulation, how trauma disrupts regulation, and strategies to optimize interventions and treatments based on principles of Polyvagal Theory.
Sonia Mastrangelo, Ph.D
Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University in Orillia, Ontario, Canada and is also a certified Miller Method therapist for children with autism spectrum disorders. She teaches primarily in the areas of educational psychology, special/inclusive education, and the early years. Over the past four years she has worked closely with the MEHRIT Centre in obtaining her foundations and facilitator certifications in Shanker Self-Reg™ and she now shares her passion for self-regulation both at the pre-service level at the Faculty of Education and with practicing teachers throughout Ontario and abroad. Dr. Mastrangelo is the recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connection Grant for a project on self-regulation which allowed her to host the first Spring Symposium on Self-Reg at Lakehead University Orillia. She is currently working closely with the Simcoe District School Board on the Full Day Kindergarten program with a focus on literacy, inquiry and self-regulation. Dr. Mastrangelo consults nationally and internationally with parents, children, school teams, and clinical staff and more recently worked on developing a teacher education project in Peru with UNESCO. She has worked alongside teachers, administrators, parents and their children in: the Kingdom of Bahrain, South Korea, the Philippines, New Zealand, New York, New Jersey and Texas. Dr. Mastrangelo has published widely in the area of play, autism spectrum disorder, self-regulation, and family quality of life. She served as a member on the board of directors for a sustainable housing development project for young adults with autism spectrum disorder with Habitat for Humanity. She is also editor of the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development.