About

When my children were babies (a while ago), there were two choices for sleep: cry-it-out or gut-it-out. I knew that if I let them cry, it would go on for hours and they would never give up ever, ever.

 

At the time, there were no other choices. I honestly can't recommend just suffering through it. The wear-and-tear is real.

 

It doesn't have to be this way.

I have a grounding in the research on sleep interventions and temperament and I know that alert/sensitive/intense children need a different approach (and so do their parents).

 

I work exclusively with "little livewires" because I know what it's like. 

Education

  • B.S. in Human Biology, Stanford University 

  • M. A. in Applied Psychology (focus on Infant Mental Health), Antioch University Seattle. Coursework in infant development, attachment, emotional regulation, sleep research, psychopathology, and family systems. 

  • Certificate in Infant Observation, Family Services/Univ. of Washington

  • Postpartum Action Institute Training (with Jane Honikman and Dr. Shoshana Bennett)

  • Senior Lecturer, Graduate Dept. of Counseling Psychology,
    Antioch University, Seattle (2008-present)

  • WA State Certified Counselor (#CL60604117) 

Research

My research topics:

• A critical review of the research that underpins sleep training advice

• A survey of parents' use and perceptions of sleep advice

• A survey about the "upsides" of a challenging temperament

• How elements of temperament affect sleep behavior and sleep training

You can learn more about these on my ResearchGate page

Presented at the following conferences:

  • International Society for Infant Studies (ISIS)

  • World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH)

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

  • Society for Research in Child Development​ (SRCD)

  • Occasional Temperament Conference (OTC)

  • Postpartum Support International (PSI)

Certification in Gentle Sleep Coaching

Certified January 2016

The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coach training and certification program available.  The program involves over 80 hours of training with a faculty panel that includes two medical doctors, a psychologist, an attorney, lactation counselor, postpartum doulas and a family therapist. Each coach must pass an exam and participate in case supervision with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “The Sleep Lady”) who has been helping tired parents for over 20 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach.

Training topics included:

  • Basic counseling and child development

  • Sleep science and age-appropriate techniques to help parents of children age 6 months to 6 years old.

  • Secure attachment theory

  • Support for the breastfeeding mother


The training also consisted of lectures from top specialists, including:

  • Postpartum Depression from Dr. Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression

  • Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children led by Dr. Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Center

  • Reflux and Sleep led by Dr. Anthony Loizides, pediatric gastroenterologist

 

My philosophy about sleep

You get to decide what's a problem

There's no "right" or "wrong" —only what works and doesn't work for you. You may be so tired, you just need things to be "better." I can work with that.

No one's learning anything when they're hysterical.

The notion that learning is taking place when babies are hysterical just doesn't make sense. We want to nudge children into better patterns, not throw them into the deep end. Stepping in to help them manage big feelings is in our parent job description. It's no different with sleep.

Livewires need a different approach.

The usual sleep training advice often just does not work for these little ones. Understanding how they tick can be key in getting them on board with sleep.

 
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