In September 2014, Shalem Mental Health Network began a collaborative initiative with the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society (HCAS) to provide a support group for adoptive, foster or kin caregivers. Called Nurturing Attachments, this 18-session support group is based in the theory of attachment and provides support and guidance for parents whose children have experienced trauma and attachment difficulties.
Led by Shalem’s Director of Attachment, Betty J. Broersma Brouwer, and Lisette Heleno of the HCAS, this program takes place at the HCAS office on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 9pm. The intent of this group is to be preventative and proactive as it seeks to help caregivers build capacity, skills and resources to better equip them to navigate the complexities of their unique family situations. So far, it has been a positive experience and it is wonderful to see the group grow together and support one another.
Building on her years of training and practice, Betty is now in the final stage of being certified as a Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) consultant. This will allow Shalem to further expand its attachment services, as Betty will be able to provide supervision in DDP for therapists working at Shalem and elsewhere.
Betty has also initiated a peer DDP consultation group for therapists trained in DDP and those who are interested in this model. Betty is hoping that the group will meet quarterly, giving these therapists a chance to gather and encourage one another in the work that they are doing with the families they see.