Founders

Tammy Schamuhn

Co-Founder, Psychologist, Instructor, and Consultant

I am a Registered Psychologist and Registered Play Therapist. I also have a Bachelors of Education from the University of Alberta and practiced as an elementary teacher in Edmonton before going on to do my Masters degree in Psychology. I am also the founder and Executive Director of Family Counselling Centres.

I have been working in private practice for the past seven years in Alberta, primarily with children and their families. I offer clinical supervision to masters-level counselling students, and provisional psychologists. I also include animals in my therapy and have developed canine assisted and equine assisted therapy programs.

I approach my clinical and consultative work with parents and professionals with an attachment and neurobiological lens: all of my work is based on the neurology of the brain and how attachment is integral to adaptive functioning of both children and adults.

I am a passionate, empathetic, and experienced clinician here for my community to help children, teens, and adults heal and grow. I aim to have warm, respectful, and productive relationships with the clients I collaborate with, and I enjoy being part of the positive change that families experience.

I am a Registered Psychologist and a Registered Play Therapist. I completed my undergraduate studies in South-Africa before engaging in a one year, full time internship in Chicago at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. In 2012, I received my Masters of Counselling from City University of Seattle. During my Master’s degree, I worked both on the front lines and as a counsellor with foster and adoptive families who faced a range of emotional, behavioural and cognitive challenges.

Since completing my degree, I have worked in a private practice setting with children, teens, adults and families. I work primarily from an attachment based perspective. This means that I work with clients to explore how early relationships affect how we come to understand our self, other people and the world.

It is an honour to work with clients and families to create a space for lasting change. I endeavour to always approach my clients with respect, honesty, integrity and warmth.

Tania Johnson

Co-Founder, Psychologist, Instructor, and Consultant

Guest Speakers 2021

Jennie Abbot

CYA-RYT200, CYA-CYT, Color Me Yoga, Rainbow Kids Yoga, YogaED Trauma Informed Yoga for Children and Youth

Jennie Abbot is the Founder and Director of Harmony Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Company, the creator of YogaBREAK for Classrooms, Harmony at Home Kits, various Parenting and Educator Workshops and The My Peaceful Play Game for Kids. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (CYA-CYT) with the Canadian Yoga Alliance teaching over 10,000 children to date. Jennie is the co-creator of the Harmony 95 Hour Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher Training Program through the International Yoga Alliance.
Jennie offers Workshops for Parents and Educators in partnership with the Institute of Child Psychology. Jennie is also a Color Me Yoga Children’s Yoga Teacher Graduate, Rainbow Kids Yoga Certified Instructor, with Specialties in Yoga for the Special Needs, Safe Anatomy for Children and Trauma Informed Yoga for Children and Youth through Yoga Ed. In addition, Jennie has taken Mindfulness Training through Dr. Dan Siegel, Author and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute. Jennie has worked with children, families, government, non-profit organizations and educators for over 20 years sharing her passion of bringing happiness and peace into the lives of children through yoga and mindfulness.

Jessica Joelle Alexander

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Best selling Author, Journalist, Danish Parenting Expert and Cultural Researcher. Her book “The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know about Raising Confident Capable Kids” is published in over 28 countries. Her work has been featured in TIME, The Wall Street Journal, BBC World News, NY Times, Huffington Post, The Atlantic and many more. She speaks four languages and lives in Europe with her Danish husband and 2 children.

Morgan Bissegger

Registered Psychologist

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of the Fraser Valley, in British Columbia in 2010. During this time, I also worked in residential care settings with children and youth who had experienced significant trauma and presented with complex mental health challenges. Through a process of seeking support and guidance to best support these individuals I began to learn about attachment theory and the impacts of trauma on development. This knowledge now serves as my foundation. In 2012, I began my Masters in Counselling Psychology at City University of Seattle. While completing this degree, I also worked in a school setting supporting complex mental health in the classroom. Through this work I continued to witness the importance of relationships in the developmental process. In 2015, I completed my graduated degree and began work as a Child and Adolescent therapist at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE), and also began a small private practice. I still hold both positions today and value you the rich learning and experience they provide me. I work primarily from an attachment perspective and believe that relationship is an essential component of healing. I help my clients to develop a sense of safety in relationship in order to create an environment in which they can process their experiences. I also support parents in understanding the impacts of trauma and developing strategies in supporting their children at home. I feel privileged to continually have the opportunity to learn from the children, youth and families that I work with. I strive to work collaboratively with my clients so that I may learn about their unique experiences and support them on their path towards growth and healing.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal

Author, Speaker, Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND is an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders. Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and writer who loves to share her philosophy of wellness in interviews with icons like Jenny McCarthy and many more. She is recognized as one of the top NDs to follow by two independent organizations. Dr. Chris has helped many patients achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. She has written four books on mental health as well as a created a 10-week course for individuals. Visit drchristinabjorndal.com
Jacquie Ganton

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My name is Jacquie Ganton and I have been an educator in Alberta since 2007. I am also a wife and mom of 4 kids, ages 7-13. As an educator, I have been afforded many different opportunities both in the traditional classroom setting and also in distance and outreach education. After a decade of teaching in a variety of environments to a broad range of students across the province, as well as struggling to best support my own children in school, it became clear that parents and caregivers had some universal frustrations about navigating their childrens’ education. Finding minimal resources available on the subject, parents, caregivers and teachers alike seemed to struggle defining their respective roles in raising successful students. With collaboration and support from local professionals in education, psychology and wellness, I developed Evolve Education Consulting, an organization devoted to providing both families and educators with support and resources on the parent role in education. Over the last year I have taken on a new position as well, working as a Wellness Educator throughout schools in rural Alberta. Helping students, educators and families gain skills and tools to improve wellness and educational success, especially during this global landscape of fear and uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19, has been enlightening and extremely valuable. As both a parent and educator, I understand the challenges and frustrations of both roles. I am thrilled to help bridge the gap between home and school by empowering parents, caregivers and educators to better understand their role in supporting students who launch into their most successful lives!
Dr. Ross Greene

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Jennifer Kolari

M.S.W., R.S.W. Child and Family Therapist and Founder of Connected Parenting

Jennifer Kolari (M.S.W., R.S.W.) is one of the nation’s leading parenting experts, Jennifer Kolari is a highly sought-after international speaker and the founder of Connected Parenting. A child and family therapist with a busy practice based in Toronto and San Diego, Kolari is also the author of Connected Parenting: How To Raise A Great Kid (Penguin Group USA and Penguin Canada, 2009) and You’re Ruining My Life! (But Not Really) Surviving the Teenage Years with Connected Parenting (Penguin Canada, 2011). Kolari is a frequent guest on many national morning shows and her advice can be found in many Canadian and U.S. magazines.

Jennifer entertains and educates audiences with her powerful parenting model based on the neurobiology of love. Kolari’s wisdom, quick wit and down-to-earth style helps parents navigate modern-day parenting problems, offering real-life examples, as well as practical and effective tools and strategies. Her highly entertaining, inspiring workshops are shared with warmth and humour, making her a crowd-pleasing speaker with schools, medical professionals, corporations, and agencies throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Deborah MacNamara

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Dr. Laura Markham

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Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How To Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life, and now her latest book, The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook: Using mindfulness and connection to raise resilient, joyful children and rediscover your love of parenting. Dr. Laura Markham earned her PhD in clinical psychology at Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless families across the world. Over 160,000 moms and dads enjoy Dr. Laura’s free weekly coaching posts via email. You can sign up on any page of her website, AhaParenting.com, which serves up Aha! Moments for parents of babies through teens. Dr. Laura’s aspiration is to change the world, one child at a time, by supporting parents. The proud mother of two thriving young adults who were raised with her peaceful parenting approach, she lives with her husband in New York.

Petal Murti

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I am a registered Psychologist in the province of Alberta with experience and background working with children, adolescents and adults. I registered as a Psychologist in 2012 but have been working in mental health with youth and adults for over 20 years. I work with individuals from a variety of cultural/ethnic, sexual, and spiritual identity backgrounds. Some of my experience has been with the Edmonton Crisis Support Centre in walk in counseling and the Suicide Bereavement Program, Addictions Treatment Centre in the young adult program, CASA in the School age services and Trauma and Attachment program, and private practice working mostly with trauma in adolescent, veteran, and first responder populations. I have run several workshops and groups as well as done presentations related to teen populations.

Jocelyn Nand

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As a registered provisional psychologist, I enjoy working with children, adolescents, and adults. It’s always a privilege to meet with clients and hear their life stories. Each client is unique in the experiences they have had and the issues in which they are seeking support. It is my belief that therapy is both a dialogue and collaborative relationship between the therapist and their clients. I aim to establish a safe, trusting and encouraging environment for my clients; however, I also strive towards building resiliency, raising self-awareness and connecting my clients to a greater sense of community. I strive to help clients gain a deeper understanding of the issues that they have self-identified and the richness of our work together is often beyond symptom reduction. I have received post graduate training in play therapy fro the Canadian Association for Play Therapy (levels I, II, III), sand tray therapy, sand play therapy, art based therapy, animal assisted play therapy (AAPT), animal assisted therapy (AAT), child parent relationship therapy (CPRT), circle of security parenting (COSP), Theraplay, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR),Trauma-Focused CBT, and suicide assessment/prevention.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld

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Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 45 years of experience with children and youth and those responsible for them. A foremost authority on child development, Dr. Neufeld is an international speaker, a bestselling author (Hold On To Your Kids) and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm. Dr. Neufeld has a widespread reputation for making sense of complex problems and for opening doors for change. While formerly involved in university teaching and private practice, he now devotes his time to teaching and training others, including educators and helping professionals. His Neufeld Institute is now a world-wide charitable organization devoted to applying developmental science to the task of raising children. Dr. Neufeld appears regularly on radio and television. He is a father of five and a grandfather to six.

Margaret Ndugi Njihia

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Margaret is a Clinical Psychologist and practicing Child Therapist. She holds a Bachelor’s
Degree in Counselling Psychology, a Masters Degree in Child Development – Family Studies
major and is currently a Doctoral Candidate (Thesis writing stage) in Doctorate in Clinical
Psychology (PsyD) at UISU-A.

She is the Co-Founder and Director of Sterling Performance Africa Ltd., a leading
counselling and consultancy firm based in Lavington – Nairobi. She is also the Lead Clinical
Psychologist at Family Wellness Centre (FWC) a branch of Sterling Performance Africa.
Margaret is also an Asst. Lecturer of Psychology at the Technical University of Kenya (TU-K).

Margaret is a passionate advocate of mental health. She enjoys working with children and their families for improved quality of life and overall well-being of the family. She is the outgoing Vice-Chair person of the Aga Khan University Ethics Review Board and
a member of United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) Ethics review Board. She is a mother to two young adults, a mother-in-law and a grandmother to one boy.

Kim John Payne. M.Ed

Clinical Counselor,  Author, and International Speaker

Kim John Payne has been quietly and passionately working to help tens of thousands of people give voice to the feeling that something is not okay about the new normal of overwhelm that so many people are now experiencing. He offers do-able ways to realize the hopes and values we all have for ourselves, and build deep connections with our children that gives families resiliency and simple joy.

A consultant and trainer to over 230 U.S. independent and public schools, Kim John Payne, M.ED, has been a school counselor, adult educator, consultant, researcher, educator and a private family counselor for twenty seven years. He regularly gives key-note addresses at international conferences for educators, parents, and therapists and runs workshops and trainings around the world. In each role, he has been helping children, adolescents and families explore issues such as social difficulties with siblings and classmates, attention and behavioral issues at home and school, emotional issues such as defiance, aggression, addiction and self-esteem and the vital role living a balanced simple life brings.

He has also consulted for educational associations in South Africa, Hungary, Israel, Russia, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Thailand and China. Kim has worked extensively with the North American and UK Waldorf educational movements. He has served as Director of the Collaborative Counseling program at Antioch University New England. He is the Director of the Simplicity Project a multi media social network that explores what really connects and disconnects us to ourselves and to the world. Together with his team they have trained around 1000 Simplicity Parenting Coaches around the world. Kim is the Founding Director of The Center for Social Sustainability, an organization that has trained thousands of teachers, parents and students in the Three Stream Process that gives social, emotional and behavioral support to children who struggle in the school environment.

In addition to authoring the #1 Best Seller Simplicity Parenting© . Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kid, published by Random House Penguin in 2009, he also authored The Games Children Play©, (1996) published by Hawthorn Press ,The Soul of Discipline (2015 Random House/Penguin), co-authored Whole Child Sport™ How to Navigate Child & Youth Sports™. and Being At Your best When Your Kids Are At Their Worst (Shambhala Press 2017). His books have been translated into 27 languages.

He has appeared frequently on television including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox; on radio with the BBC, Sirius/XM, CBC & NPR and in print including being featured in Time Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Parenting, Mothering, Times Union and the LA Times.

Kim strives to deepen understanding and give practical tools for life that arise out of the burning social issues of our time. He lives on a farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.

Dr. Bruce Perry

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Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. is Principal of The Neurosequential Model Network, LLC and Senior Fellow of The Child Trauma Academy, a Community of Practice based in Houston, TX. He is also Professor (Adjunct) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and the School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Dr. Perry is the author of over 500 journal articles, book chapters and scientific proceedings. His clinical research over the last ten years has been focused on integrating emerging principles of developmental neuroscience into clinical practice. This work has resulted in the development of innovative clinical practices and programs working with maltreated and traumatized children, most prominently the Neurosequential Model © , a developmentally sensitive, neurobiology-informed approach to clinical work (NMT), education (NME) and caregiving (NMC).

Patty Wipfler & Tosha Schore

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Patty Wipfler founded Hand in Hand Parenting in 1989. Her 47 years of work with parents and children have given rise to Parenting by Connection, a simple but powerful parenting approach that nurtures the parent-child connection and helps children recover from adversity. Hand in Hand Instructors she has trained work with parents, parent leaders, and professionals in the US and 17 other countries, bringing parents transformative tools and accessible support.

With co-author Tosha Schore, MA, she has written Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges, available in print and audio. She has produced multiple videos, booklets, and curricula for parents that are in use around the world. Patty has two sons. She lives in Palo Alto with her husband, and has three teen grandchildren.

Lindsay Sealey

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Lindsay Sealey, B.A., M.A. Ed., PhD (candidate)is a dedicated educator, a passionate keynote speaker, an empowering consultant, and the author of Growing Strong Girls and Rooted, Resilient, and Ready. She holds a B.A. from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University. She is enthusiastic and dedicated to personal growth and growing girls.

Lindsay is the founder of Bold New Girls ™ and Brave New Boys ™ – teaching and coaching designed to empower growing minds of all ages and with diverse experiences, to be healthy, happy, and confident and to become even more of who they choose to be. Lindsay is passionate about the intersectionality of personal growth and academic success. As well, she is dedicated to supporting parents with both the language and tools they need to support their children.

Lindsay has appeared on CTV’s The Social and CTV Morning Live, Global’s The Morning Show, and Toronto’s The Agenda. As well, she has spoken on NewsTalk 1010 Radio (Toronto), CJAD 800 (Montreal), and CBC Radio (Canada). Lindsay is a contributor to the Globe and Mail, HuffPost Canada, and Spoke. She has been featured in the Toronto Star, Canadian Family, and Today’s Parent. Lindsay is also a regular guest on numerous podcasts and she is launching her podcast, Even More.

Janet Taylor

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Lori Walton

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Lorie Walton is the Founder of Family First Play Therapy Centre Inc, – www.familyfirstplaytherapy.net (established in 2000) in Bradford, Ontario Canada, a centre focused on assisting children and families dealing with attachment, trauma and emotional and developmental issues. Family First has been successfully providing therapeutic supports and services to children and families.

Lorie has extensive training and experience working with children, families, caregivers and parents, who may experience emotional regulation, attachment, anxiety and trauma. Along with her private practice in Canada, Lorie is the Executive Director of Theraplay Canada – www.theraplaycanada.ca (which is an affiliate of The Theraplay® Institute) which focuses on bringing Theraplay training, certification, supervision and membership to professionals across Canada. She is also member and Supervisor/Trainer for of the Canadian Association of Play Therapy and was President of that board from 2005 until 2010. Before training to become a Child Play Therapist, Lorie devoted her life and studies as a Special Needs Resource teacher for children. She has worked with the Ministry of Education Program Standards Unit (Ontario, Canada) as well as for the Ministry of Community, Family and Children’s Services, Special Needs Branch (Ontario, Canada) as a consultant in developing programming for children with Special Needs. Her career focus has always been to teach and support children, parents and professionals with quality, evidence-based interventions that work and stick for the long term. You may reach her at familyfirstlw@bellnet.ca or at lwalton@theraplaycanada.ca.