Thanking the Caregivers

Samantha Singer connects with a camper at Hope Connection 2.0

Beyond the threat of contracting COVID-19, the ripple effects of the virus impact every person, including the most vulnerable among us: children who are at-risk. Shelter-in-place orders have been established to keep us safe from the virus, but sadly, for many children this means staying home with an abuser. Samantha Singer, TCU Child Development alumna and master’s of developmental trauma student, wanted to help. (more…)

Connected in Crisis: Families

Our work at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development is centered around connection. We study attachment between parents/caregivers and children and connections within communities. So much of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)  is based on the idea that we are hardwired to connect.

But what happens when connection in the traditional sense is cut off? With the growing threat of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and recommendations to self-quarantine or at the very least, practice social distancing, connection as we know it seems impossible. (more…)

On Staying Connected in Crisis

Editors note:This post is from our Founder and Director, Dr. David Cross in light of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We hope you are all staying healthy, safe, and connected during this strange and uncertain time. 

Connected in Crisis

by: Dr. David Cross

When I was a child, we were asked to crouch under our desks during nuclear attack drills. We lived with the fear of nuclear attack, and we demonized the “Red Menace,” which included both Communist China and the USSR. My father fought in World War II, and during that conflict – especially in the period after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor – those who lived on the West Coast feared a Japanese invasion, and they demonized the “Yellow Peril.”  David Brooks, a correspondent for the New York Times, has researched the “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918-1920 (which, by the way, killed more humans than did World War I, and did not originate in Spain), and noted how poorly people – in general – treated one another. Similar social dynamics were in play during the “Black Death” (bubonic plague) that swept through the “Old World” in the 14th century. As adults, my generation experienced some of these same dynamics during the AIDS outbreak during the 1980s, when gay men were demonized.

Today we are faced with a new threat, COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. (more…)

TBRI® Animate: The IDEAL Response©

When a child from a hard place doesn’t feel safe, the result is often behaviors that appear willful, baffling, and infuriating to caregivers. How we respond is critical.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) has developed a guideline to help. Watch as we walk through the IDEAL Response© for dealing with behaviors and building connection between the child and caregiver.

This TBRI® Animate was created in collaboration with Cognitive story-telling and animation studio, most known for their work with RSA Animate. Using animation to share TBRI® was a dream of Dr. Purvis’s, and we are especially grateful to Producer/Writer of this project, Cynthia Hall for her creativity and understanding of TBRI®. It is our hope that the TBRI® Animates will inspire parents and professionals across the world to bring deep healing to vulnerable children.

ALL RISE: For the Good of the Children

We are pleased to introduce a new documentary film featuring a TBRI® court in Tyler, Texas.

ALL RISE, For the Good of the Children, takes you inside the courtroom of an unconventional East Texas judge who uses a trauma-informed, trust-based approach to healing broken families in the child welfare system. Two families share how they transformed their lives through the support and intervention offered by Judge Carole Clark and her team of lawyers, mental health experts and child advocates.

ALL RISE will premiere at the 49th Annual USA Film Festival in Dallas, TX on April 28, 2019. The full film will be available for online viewing in May 2019.

A production of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development and Cactex Media.

Director, Producer, Writer: Olive Talley

Editor: Jeff Hutton

Director of Photography: Guy Hernandez

Executive Producer:  Dr. David Cross


© Texas Christian University, Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. All rights reserved.


The Benefits of Play in Cognitive Development

Editor’s note: While it may seem like a simple idea, play is fundamental to forming trust-based relationships. Play permeates the TBRI empowering, connecting, and correcting principles and as Dr. Purvis once said: “Play disarms fear, builds connectedness, and teaches social skills and competencies for life.” We’ve recently received a few questions about the benefits of play in cognitive development, so we’ve provided this summary of current research on the positive impact of play. 

The Benefits of Play

By Sheri Parris & Christian Hernandez

Play provides a wide variety of benefits for children. Through play, children build and strengthen socio-emotional and cognitive skills. Children at play have agency (control over their own actions) and feel socially and emotionally safe. They express themselves freely, trying out different behaviors or ideas, without fear or anxiety. Peter Gray (2017) defines play as an activity that (1) is self-chosen and self-directed, (2) is motivated more by means than ends, (3) is guided by mental rules, and (4) includes a strong element of imagination. (more…)

Lessons from Adoptive Siblings

by: Jana Hunsley

I have sat down to write these words too many times.  It’s hard because you do not know me or my heart.  In complete transparency, I worry that you will think I am complaining or having a pity party or believing the plight of siblings is somehow worse than that of children from hard places.  Even worse, I worry that through giving voice to some of the hard things, people will walk away from reading this post with a negative view of adoption and children from hard places.  These fears make it difficult to write on this topic.  (more…)