St. Scholastica hosts expert on helping maltreated children

An internationally known expert on helping maltreated children gain emotional and psychological health will give a free talk at The College of St. Scholastica.

Dr. William Whelan will speak on “Helping Children Heal from Adversity, Loss and Trauma,” at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in the Science Auditorium on campus. There is no admission charge and the public is welcome. Refreshments will be served.

The talk is subtitled, “The Developmental Path to Emotional and Behavioral Health through Secure Attachment-Caregiving Relationships.” The material is of special interest to K-12 educators, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and health care providers.

“The presentation reflects an integration of theory and research findings over the last 50 years,” Whelan said, “regarding the benefits of healthy and secure caregiving environments for healing in maltreated children. This includes dramatic improvements in behavior, emotion regulation, peer relationships and functioning well in school.”

Whelan directs the Virginia Child and Family Attachment Center in Charlottesville, VA. He is the former co-director of the Ainsworth Child-Parent Attachment Clinic at the University of Virginia, where for 16 years he was a faculty member in the School of Medicine specializing in Pediatrics, Psychiatric Medicine and Research Psychology. He has consulted throughout the United States and internationally with governments, educational institutions, social service and health care organizations and schools.

He has served as a principal investigator with research funding from the National Institutes for Health and is the author of articles and book chapters regarding children’s attachment, development and intervention.

He earned an undergraduate degree at The University of Chicago and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at The College of William and Mary. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Whelan’s presentation is part of St. Scholastica’s School of Sciences Seminar Series. The next presentation in the series will be by Dr. Rolf Weberg, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Research Institute, at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Room 249 of Burns Wellness Commons.