Our advanced-degree, parenting and child development specialists are passionate about the science and sharing it with you to help you solve big and small parenting challenges
Ruth Freeman, LCSW
President & Founder
Ruth is a psychotherapist in private practice who has taught parenting education to hundreds of parents annually over the past 30+ years. She is co-founder of the Connecticut Parenting Education Network and lead author of Building Family Futures, a University of Connecticut train-the-trainer parenting education curriculum. Ruth has also served as the Family Services Director for The Cove Center for Grieving Children, Family Services Manager for EASTCONN Head Start and Primary Therapist at the Newington Children’s Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Services. Ruth’s approach to parenting education incorporates her clinical experience with children and families in crisis, as well as key concepts synthesized from a wide range of sources. Ruth freely and humorously shares the real-life blunders, challenges and successes she has had applying positive parenting as a bio mom, stepmom, foster mom and “Nana.”
Aaron Weintraub, MS has thirty years of experience in supporting families of children with special needs. Aaron’s approach is focused on recognizing strengths in the child and family system and draws from experience working in settings from infant development centers, public schools, university instruction, adult day services, private practice for children with special needs, and everything in between. Aaron has three children whose ages range from an adult daughter to a young son. Aaron is serving as both a teacher of live online classes and virtual parenting coach. He is the director of Kids Cooperate in Tolland, CT and the family specialist at CLICC supporting parents who are incarcerated.
Originally from South Carolina, Acey has lived in New England for 20 years and received her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. A licensed professional counselor (LPC), Acey has worked at Wheelock College in Boston, MA and Eastern CT State University in Willimantic, CT. She is currently working for Holistic Health and Healing in West Hartford, CT as a psychotherapist. Acey’s work is highly influenced by relational, attachment, and developmental theory. She believes in the power of relationships to facilitate growth, healing, and views herself as a partner with, and not an authority over, the individuals she works with. Acey is the mother of 3 middle school-aged children and lives in Storrs, CT. She is successfully co-parenting with her former wife and believes her experiences as a parent and co-parent have only deepened her compassion and awareness as a therapist.
Amy Alamar, Ed D has worked in the field of education as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, parent educator, and education reformer for over fifteen years. She currently teaches graduate levels courses in teacher preparation and curriculum design and implementation. Her first book, Parenting for the Genius: Developing Confidence in Your Parenting through Reflective Practice (Genius Press) is a comprehensive guide to becoming the most thoughtful and confident parent possible, applying practical strategies based in educational research. She was an invited guest of Michelle Obama at the White House for a conversation about kids’ health in 2016 and was the host of Parenting from the Trenches on Yellowbrick.me. She is a contributing author to the Disney parenting website, Babble and Psychology Blog, Hey Sigmund. Her second book, The Parenting Project: Build Extraordinary Relationships with Your Kids through Daily Conversation (Fair Winds Press), focuses on communication strategies. She serves on the boards of the Watkinson School and the Avon Education Foundation, dedicated to promoting and enhancing excellence in education. Amy is the married mother of three children whom she learns from and enjoys each and every day. She provides online classes and coaching for Peace At Home Parenting.
Anna Koehle, MA is Human Services Board-Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) with over 17 years of experience in human services and family building. She is an innovative, collaborative, trauma-informed child welfare subject matter expert and adoption and infertility consultant. She works collaboratively with state and local child welfare leaders, federal partners, community service providers, and those with lived experience in human services systems to implement and sustain effective change and process improvements. Anna is the owner of Xona Consulting, LLC. specializing in adoption, infertility and lifestory consulting and coaching. Anna is a Peace At Home teacher and consultant. Of the many roles that she holds, her most important are wife and mother.
Autumn Cloud Ingram, LCSW truly enjoys supporting families and helping them to adapt to the challenges of parenthood. Autumn is Certified School Social Worker, Certified Parent Educator, Evidence Based Birth® Instructor, and Doula. Autumn is passionate about working with adolescents and has done so for 10 years in school, therapeutic, and home based settings.
In addition, Autumn is a strong advocate for maternal mental health and improving birth outcomes. Autumn is the founder of ParenTechnique, LLC which provides therapy to families from conception through postpartum with a specific focus on birth trauma and terminations. She also loves empowering families through pregnancy and birth by teaching the Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class.Autumn is the founder of ParenTechnique, LLC which provides therapy to families in the perinatal period as well as childbirth and postpartum education and consultation. Autumn’s area of specialty is working with families who have experienced a traumatic birth or a termination. Her passion lies in reproductive justice and improving health outcomes for birthing people and their babies. She has supported diverse families through a variety of pregnancy outcomes. Autumn continues to serve as an advocate for evidence-based pregnancy and postpartum care and educating families on their right to informed consent.
Bradford Wiles, PhD grew up on the small farm in Indiana where he was a ten-year 4-H member. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Indiana University and worked in Silicon Valley developing emerging technologies at a genomics/biotechnology company. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Human Development. Bradford is currently Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at Kansas State University School of Family Studies and Human Services. He focuses his research building resilience and health in vulnerable families by providing rural, low-income, parents with knowledge, skills, and decision-making strategies to make a positive difference in children’s lives. Bradford’s vision is to reach all families with children and assist them in applying research based practices in the domains of brain development, physical health and activity, and social-emotional health. Bradford enjoys all manner of outdoor activities and especially playing with his two young children and wife. In addition to his love of the outdoors, Bradford loves playing just about any kind of music and is proficient in guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, ukulele, and all sorts of percussion instruments. He has a small recording studio where he serves as recording engineer, mixer, tech, and even the talent. Bradford is a Peace At Home Teacher.
Catina is a widely recognized, passionate and award winning advocate for vulnerable children, adults and families with a focus on social justice, cultural intelligence and community organization in diverse settings. She served as a bilingual, bicultural public school social worker in Windham, Connecticut for 26 years where she was a senior facilitator of Race/Cultural seminars and provided professional development training on a wide variety of topics including child development, family dynamics and mental health. She was Connecticut’s School Social Worker of the Year in 2008. Catina currently teaches Field Advising at both the University of Connecticut Graduate School of Social Work and Eastern Connecticut State University Bachelor in Social Work program and is serving as a member of the Windham Public Schools Board of Education with a focus on Policy and Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Catina served as Program Director of Latino Family Services at United Services, Inc., a nonprofit behavioral health center providing mental health and social services in Northeast Connecticut, where she developed the first multicultural parent support center in the region. She is co-author of the Connecticut Commission on Children’s Parent-Leadership Training curriculum, an award winning program that has been replicated across the US. Catina founded the Windham, Connecticut Task Force to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect. She serves on the Connecticut Health Foundation Community Advisory Board and is a Health Leadership Fellow. She is also a Liberty Bank Foundation Director and served on the Windham Memorial Hospital/Hartford Healthcare Eastern Board of Directors as well as the Governor’s Partnership to Prevent Substance Abuse. She is a member of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families Racial and Cultural Issues Advisory Board and Racial Disparities Advisory Board to the Commissioner. Catina is the recipient of numerous awards including Big Brothers/Big Sisters Victoria Soto Memorial Award, University of Connecticut Outstanding Woman Scholar, Liberty Bank Community Diversity Award and Eastern Connecticut State University Latin American Award. She is a Peace At Home teacher and advisor.
Cora Megan, MA is an early childhood specialist and parent educator who has worked with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families for over a decade. She is currently the director of The Nest Shoreline Campus, an early learning center located in Branford, CT. Cora is a trained Circle of Security Facilitator, a member of the Connecticut Association of Infant Mental Health and teaches Early Childhood Development at the University of Connecticut. She views her work with families through an attachment lens, and provides support and guidance that promotes secure and positive parent-child relationships. Cora is especially passionate about infant and toddler social and emotional development. She is a Peace At Home Parenting teacher and coach.
Neal’s focuses on relationships and culture to help clients thrive within traditional and nontraditional families and in their community. He is a Certified Licensed Professional Counselor and National Board-Certified Counselor, with experience as a therapist in private practice and mental health consultant. He teaches Trauma Informed Counseling at Carlow University in Pennsylvania. Neal also holds a certification in drug and alcohol counseling. He works with families who have experienced trauma and helps clients to process their identity as trauma survivors as well as strengthening the parent-child bond. Neal helps families understand how sexual orientation, gender identity issues, and societal pressures can cause individuals to feel disconnected from those they love. His work also supports clients dealing with men’s issues, life transitions, chronic illness, and conflict resolution. Neal is currently the Director of Community Services for OUTMemphis where he enjoys creating and fostering community collaborations and partnerships. He is often featured as a guest speaker on National Public Radio and 90.5 WESA radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, discussing mental health stigma and normalizing therapy for individuals and families. Neal also provides workshops to mental health and healthcare agencies about how to enhance work life balance for employees. He believes in incorporating play and laughter into his life with his husband, six godchildren, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bingo. He enjoys cooking, working out, meditating, reading, and traveling. Neal is a Peace At Home teacher and coach.
Dana Asby, MA, M Ed, is a developmental and educational psychology researcher and author, as well as a mindfulness, growth mindset, transformational leadership, and instructional educator. She is the Project Specialist for the National Federation of Families.). Dana recently co-authored a book called “Compassionate School Practices” with her colleagues at MHTTC. Dana also founded a parenting education service called Parent in the Moment. As a trauma-informed yoga teacher and neuroscience researcher, Dana understands how mindfulness can change the structure of the brain to help heal the effects of attachment disorders, mental health challenges, trauma, and toxic stress. Dana is a Peace At Home teacher and parent coach.
Denise Parent, LMFT has been a licensed family therapist for over 22 years, experienced with a wide range of populations including children, adolescents, young adults, high conflict co-parents and most recently, aging adults suffering from chronic mental illness and addiction. She works from a strength-based and cross-systemic perspective, helping individuals and families to communicate with each other and collaborate on mutual solutions. She believes that her job is most often to help her clients, their families and their community supports to say what can’t be said and hear what can’t be heard. Denise has also had multiple training roles spanning almost 30 years. She worked in domestic violence prevention, developed courses and taught as an adjunct instructor in the graduate Counselor Education at Fairfield University and was the Director of the University of Connecticut Graduate Marriage and Family Therapy training clinic. In her spare time she dabbles in the arts, cooks with varying success, delves into American history and make fruitless attempts to discipline her cat Ed.
Denise received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University and worked as an early childhood educator for 25 years. In 2002 she received a Master of Science in Nursing from Yale University and is a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In 2015, she earned the CT Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement in Infant Mental Health (IMH). For the past 19 years Denise has been actively involved in the much admired, evidence-based “Minding the Baby” (MTB) Program which aims at limiting the effects of chronic stress and enhancing physical and mental health in young families facing adversity. She maintains a part-time clinical caseload while taking an active role on the MTB training team. Denise worked with the MTB team to develop an introductory training on clinical approaches for reflective parenting programs that has drawn participants from around the world. In this role she serves as a primary presenter and co-authored accompanying training materials. Denise also serves as a consultant for the MTB program replication in New Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford, Connecticut; and multiple municipalities in Denmark. She serves as a Peace At Home teacher and coach.
Hanna Brinkhaus, MA, LCSW has focused for the last 25 years on supporting families throughout their parenting journey. Hannah is especially interested and experienced in working with the impact of life’s transitions and medical issues such as post-partum depression, pregnancy loss, diagnosis of a disability, divorce or geographical moves on families and children, especially from pregnancy to age 5 years old. She has worked in Head Start programs from Detroit to rural South Louisiana as therapist, mental health consultant and curriculum developer. Currently, Hanna has a full-time private practice in Connecticut where she works with individuals and families in her office, clients’ homes and school settings. Hanna holds a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood in addition to her master’s degree in Social Work. She offers strength based, relationship focused support to young children and the adults who care for them. She works with caregivers to increase awareness and understanding of the unique challenges and gifts these early years bring. Hanna serves as an early education specialist and coach with Peace At Home Parenting
Heather Kobylinski, MA (she/her) is a certified Student Assistance Counselor at Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey, where she is a member of the District Crisis Management Team providing counseling for groups, individuals, parents and colleagues. She facilitates group counseling for students requiring support for anxiety, social skills, bereavement and depression. Heather is also the coordinator/case manager of the High School Intervention and Referral Services and Section 504/ADA committee. She holds a masters degree in counseling with a concentration in substance abuse and is trained in Psychological First Aid and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Heather is Board Certified Coach and owner of Resfeber Coaching LLC. She also serves on the Lead Response team for the Rutgers UBHC Traumatic Loss Coalition of Essex County. She additionally provides support in the areas of mental health, academic planning, bereavement and parenting. She is a trustee serving the Glen Ridge Municipal Alliance Committee, Juvenile Conference Committee, and the Essex County Chapter of the Association of Student Assistance Professionals.Heather and her husband are parents of two young adults and she serves a Peace at Home Coach.
Jennifer Dealy, PhD, LMFT is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Faculty Academic Advisor at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut. She recently graduated from the University of Connecticut’s doctoral program in Human Development and Family Studies with concentrations in Marriage and Family Therapy and Intervention, Prevention, and Wellness. Jennifer’s research has focused on community and school-based interventions with at-risk populations, therapeutic paradigms for parents and children, and high conflict divorce in families served by the Court Support Services of the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. Jennifer also works with high conflict co-parents in a group private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Norwich, Connecticut. Jennifer is a Peace At Home coach.
JoAnn Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized researcher on parent-child relations and young children’s emotional development. JoAnn is a retired university professor where she served as director of early childhood studies and has more than 80 papers published in scientific journals on supportive interventions for vulnerable families. She has been part of investigative teams studying parents’ perinatal well-being and mental health for 30 years. Her published research focuses on the outcomes of supporting parents throughout pregnancy and early childhood. JoAnn served as co-investigator in nationally recognized research efforts, including the national study of Early Head Start and the Nurse Family Partnership where the benefits of home visiting on parent-child relationships and child development were demonstrated. Also of note are investigations she co-authored on the benefits of kangaroo holding for mothers, fathers, and their preterm babies. Recently, JoAnn has consulted with international organizations about supporting parents of infants and toddlers caught up in the world refugee crisis. She is also a mother and grandmother. When not traveling around the world to research and teach about infants, young children and families, JoAnn serves as a Peace At Home teacher and coach.
Joe L. Freeman, MDiv, LCSW, Founder and Curriculum Adviser has worked in a variety of settings with children and adolescents struggling to meet the expectations of adults. Clinician and parenting educator in psychiatric hospitals, residential programs, & community-based programs.
Joyleen Albarracin, MA is a specialist in bilingual curriculum and instruction as well as a seasoned and inspiring bilingual, bi-cultural parenting educator. She has served widely diverse families in Windham, Connecticut for the past two decades as Assistant Director of Quinebaug Community College, Program Coordinator for Windham Public Schools Even Start, and Family Services Coordinator for Windham Head Start. Joyleen is a statewide trainer for the CT Parenting Leadership Institute and “Lees y Seras,” a literacy outreach campaign targeting Hispanic families. She is the proud mother of two daughters and very happily recently became a grandmother. Joyleen serves as a Peace At Home Parenting teacher and coach.
Kimberly Barton, Ph.D. is a Clinical Child Psychologist who has been in private practice in the Storrs, CT area for almost 15 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas and completed her internship and post-doctoral residency at Hartford Hospital/The Institute of Living in Hartford, CT. Prior to opening her own private practice, she worked in a variety of settings including community mental health agencies, medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and special education schools. She has specialized training in psychotherapy with children and teens with co-occurring medical disorders, play therapy, and severe psychiatric diagnoses.
Martha Staeheli, Ph.D., is a social and behavioral public health researcher focusing on school-based mental health and recovery and resilience-oriented health care. Martha is a former high school English teacher and is on the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry faculty, where she leads the School Mental Health Initiative at the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. She writes and presents on school mental health, equity in health services, and community psychiatry. As a yoga teacher, health researcher, and parent to a teenager, Martha understands how important it is for parents and educators to access evidence-based education on social emotional skills, adolescent development, and the well-being of youth, parents, and educators in challenging circumstances.
Na Zhang, PhD, MEd is a family scientist and prevention researcher at the University of Connecticut who specializes in child and adolescent development, couples, parents, health, wellbeing and prevention. She directs the Family Resilience and Mindfulness Empowerment lab where she focuses on mindfulness, self-compassion and self-regulation as well as resilience in youth affected by traumatic stress or adversities. Na studies negative and positive parenting and emotion-related parenting and investigates how effective parenting may lead to resilience outcomes in children from at-risk families. Her current program of research focuses on mindfulness training as an intervention strategy to strengthen and optimize parenting programs. In particular, Na has expertise in grief and family bereavement. Na enjoys teaching and translating scientific knowledge into engaging parenting workshops for diverse parents and caregivers. She is a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, trained at Brown University. She speaks Mandarin and English.
Poshi’s career has focused on improving the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youth and their families, and is considered a subject-matter-expert in this field. Poshi has worked in multiple arenas, including LGBTQ research, legislation, advocacy, and training, as well as lead authorship on several statewide LGBTQ reports. Poshi has facilitated LGBTQ trainings for mental health providers, medical personnel, teachers, students, and parents. Poshi has also coached a wide spectrum of parents/caregivers ranging from those still struggling with their child’s LGBTQ identity to those looking for ways to affirm their LGBTQ youth.
Sophie Hornick, MS, CCLS holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and is the founder of Ready, Set, Cope! As a Child Life Specialist, Sophie is an expert in child development who is trained to help children and families cope with difficult healthcare encounters. Child Life Specialists aim to decrease the anxiety, stress and fear often associated with unfamiliar medical environments and processes. Applying interventions such as age-appropriate preparation, therapeutic play, psychosocial education, and parent support, Sophie serves as a hospital-based Child Life Specialist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in both the ambulatory and inpatient pediatric unit. Previously, she collaborated with the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center perioperative interdisciplinary team to provide procedural support, preparation and therapeutic activities to young patients facing medical interventions and surgeries. While at the hospital Emergency Department, Sophie helped create a streamlined and therapeutic process for pediatric psychiatric patients and contributed to a Pain Management Initiative. During her time at New York Presbyterian Sophie also supported children in navigating a parent’s illness such as Cancer or Covid-19. She presented at a national conference on the challenge of supporting patients with autism in the operating room. Sophie is now an independent practitioner who supports healthy coping with healthcare experiences such as dentist and doctor’s appointments, surgeries, chronic illness/injury, grief and loss and other child and family challenges. Sophie is also a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. She is a Peace At Home teacher and consultant for families with children facing medical challenges or experiencing losses related to medical issues.
Stephanie Rondeau, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, CHC is a certified health coach with a background in sports medicine and fitness training. She is the founder of Rondeau Health and Wellness, offering private health coaching and small group coaching. Stephanie is a licensed and nationally certified Athletic Trainer with a MS in Nutrition, She has been working in sports medicine field for over 15 years and is currently an Orthopedic Technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She has worked for years with the athletic population to diagnose and treat orthopedic injuries resulting from physical activity. Stephanie also contributes freelance health and fitness content for various websites and has written her own health and wellness blog since 2012. A busy mom of two, Stephanie helps other busy moms find their healthy “sweet spot” through fitness, nutrition, and general wellness coaching. Stephanie currently lives in Sharon, MA with her husband and young children.
Dr. Eaves is an Assistant Professor of Social Work, Fairfield University Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. Dr. Eaves has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fairfield University, a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Eaves has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 20 years, and holds the CT Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Specialist. Her professional experience includes: child and family guidance clinics, early intervention programs, early childhood mental health consultation, policy work, parent-infant psychotherapy, and training/consultation with home visiting clinicians. Dr. Eaves research investigates individual and organizational factors related to work-related stress management amongst frontline and supervising infant mental health practitioners.