Momenta’s Clinical Director of Child & Family Services shares her background and experience in this week’s employee spotlight. We’re so grateful to have such a talented and passionate individual on our team!
“I came into the mental health field 6 years ago excited and eager to work with the youngest members of our communities, kids. I couldn’t imagine a more rewarding and fun way to spend my days. I quickly discovered that I wouldn’t get very far without also working with their parents and caregivers. And so began my passion for relationship-based work with children and their families.
Hailing from the Midwest, I joined the bounty of transplants to Colorado in 2012 to attend the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. My education focused on work with children and families while I also received an Interpersonal Trauma Certification. From early on in my practice, I have worked with caregivers and their young children addressing a variety of concerns such as behavior management, emotional distress, parenting strategies, processing trauma, and attachment concerns. Regardless of the reason for seeking services, I have learned that supporting parents in their role is integral to the health and well-being of their children. In developing my specialty as an Infant Mental Health Specialist, I am constantly reminded of the importance of attachment-focused and trauma-informed interventions that support healthy relationships while holding in awareness the impact of our past on our current functioning and behaviors. Through my training and education, I find it valuable to look not only at what is going on in the current moment, but to also explore and give voice to our earlier experiences to be able to heal and move forward.
During my time as a therapist, I have been afforded the opportunity to practice within a variety of settings ranging from offering consultation to nurse visitation programs, school-based interventions, in-home family therapy and outpatient services. I have found it incredibly valuable to collaborate with outside providers to ensure a holistic approach that takes into consideration the specific needs and factors impacting children and their families. Connecting with schools, pediatricians, the department of human services, and others involved in families’ lives, I find offers opportunities to be an advocate for families and build understanding around behaviors and concerns that may be present.
I have worked with families in a variety of situations including those who are impacted by involvement with community partners such as the Department of Human Services and the Legal System. I’ve found that families are often managing stressors that are contributing to their current involvement. At times, this has included caregivers addressing their own mental health needs and co-occurring substance use concerns. In working with caregivers, I look for the strengths they are bringing into their role and building upon them to focus on what is working. Further, I am a believer in “good enough parenting” rather than pushing to fit an image of “perfect parenting.” I work with caregivers to highlight and strengthen the unique strengths and positive qualities they hold in their relationship with their children.
With this work, I find that I am constantly learning and growing much like those that I work with. Because of this, I value ongoing professional development to further my knowledge and training. Some of the trainings I have completed that inform my work include Child Parent Psychotherapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I am also an active member of the Colorado Association for Infant Mental Health, and I participate in their training opportunities.” - Christine Jackson Cole, LCSW, IMH III