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1. Vancouver filmmaker’s new documentary is helping to transform difficult children
By Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun – March 23, 2014

Wouldn’t we all like to know how to reduce crime, save money and raise happier, healthier children? Vancouver filmmaker Maureen Palmer’s new documentary promises just that through positive parenting interventions, starting from a very young age.

Abbotsford mom Pam Williams sought out one of the programs, Triple P parenting, because her three-year-old son Jackson was often aggressive and angry, especially when she said no to him. “We had some major anger issues,” Williams said. “(The program) made a huge difference. Within a couple of months he transformed. He can still be aggressive, but he knows how to handle himself now.

Triple P parenting includes strategies like slowing down and giving a child 100-per-cent of your attention for periods of time, using quiet time as a calming strategy, and employing a “time out” only as a last resort.

Karen de Montigny, mother of Jilliane, a three-year-old girl who was prone to temper tantrums, talks about the program’s “count-to-eight” strategy, and says when she waits a bit longer for her child to follow her instructions, she is often surprised that it gets done. She says in the documentary that before learning to count to eight, she would have already escalated, repeated herself and started getting frustrated.

Williams said she will be able to use the skills she learned in the program and adapt them as Jackson gets older. She is confident his new-found sense of control will help him in school and as he grows up.

The documentary, written and directed by Palmer, is called Angry Kids and Stressed Out Parents. It cites research showing programs like Triple P parenting with preventing conduct disorder, which increases a person’s likelihood of getting involved in criminal activity.

The film begins with an interview with Marc Lepine’s mother Monique. Lepine murdered 14 young women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989, and his mother today makes the link between her son’s crimes and his abused and neglected upbringing.

In the documentary, Palmer looks at emerging brain science and three parenting programs, including Triple P, to discover whether such criminal behaviour could be prevented with early intervention that helps kids learn skills like self-control and self-regulation.

Palmer is a former CBC radio and television producer, who now runs Bountiful Films with her partner Helen Slinger. They have written and directed How to Divorce & Not Wreck the Kids, Cat Crazed, and Sext Up Kids. During the filming of Sext Up Kids, Palmer said she saw a lot of anger, particularly in young teens. Her desire to dig down into that and see what the roots and possible solutions might be led her to film Angry Kids and Stressed Out Parents.

The Triple P program was developed in Australia and research shows that children whose parents have used these techniques have reduced use of special education, social services, mental health services, and criminal justice services.

The other two programs Palmer explores in the film are the PAX Good Behaviour Game — a program used in Manitoba elementary schools that encourages learning self-control and that research shows has improved graduation rates and decreased the need for special needs education — and the Abecedarian Program, an early literacy-focused program for very young children.

In the film, Palmer visits the Abecedarian program in a predominantly First Nations neighbourhood in Winnipeg, but the program was initially developed in the 1970s to benefit very poor and predominately black children in North Carolina. Palmer’s documentary quotes statistics showing that children who went through the program 30 years ago are more likely to have graduated from university and work full-time, and less likely to be on social assistance.

Palmer said she chose the three programs because they were evidence-based and had been used for decades.

“The original participants in some of these programs are now in their 30s and 40s and have had happier, healthier and more successful lives than the control group children who did not receive the intervention,” Palmer said, adding that she specifically wanted to focus on programs for kids under the age of six.

“We made that decision because the neuro-science and child development researchers profiled in the film all say interventions have their best chance of success, before the age of six,” Palmer said. “As we delved deeper, we came to understand a reduction in crime was just one of the many benefits of early intervention. There was much less of a burden on government health, social service, education and justice budgets.

“The greatest bang for the taxpayer’s buck is under the age of six.

She also wanted at least one program to focus on First Nations children because of the discouraging statistics on addiction, physical and mental health, unemployment, incarceration and crime.

Angry Kids and Stressed Out Parents and it will air on CBC’s Doc Zone on Thursday, March 27 at 9 p.m.


2. Dr. Candace Pert on “Emotional Freedom Technique” known as EFT*:

“The key that explains how energy heals, how mind becomes matter, and how we can create our own reality is the emotions” (Dr. Candace Pert). This dynamic shows up all the time in EFT sessions. If a woman grew up with an angry father and never really processed her powerlessness then she will attract the same sort of scenario in her romantic or professional life as an adult. She will be trapped in an endless cycle of painful experiences until they are so draining that she might contract/attract a disease, a psychological disorder, or worse.

Dr. Pert, former chief of brain biochemistry at NIH, explains that emotions are really signals that are hardwired to communicate with the chemical and electrical make-up of every single cell in your body. “When you change the electrical state you change your inner world and in turn these affect your outer reality”, states Pert. We’re not just little hunks of meat. We’re vibrating like a tuning fork – we send out a vibration to other people. We broadcast and receive. Thus the emotions orchestrate the interactions among all our organs and systems to control that.

What’s often most interesting when using EFT is our denial that our past has produced trauma in the body and mind. Even if you view your childhood as a relatively peaceful one, where your parents were nurturing and socio-economic struggles were nonexistent, we can all recount painful stories. These stories are awash in our bodies as information waiting to have resolution and will recur with different players until we make peace with them and understand their insights. To do exploration on your own involve yourself in an activity that will open your subconscious mind – painting, journaling, tapping, meditating, repetitive movement of any kind, keeping a dream diary, etc. Allow the answers to come to you – they’ve been waiting a long time to reveal themselves? Article retrieved from

*EFT is a technique that uses ancient acupressure principles and modern psychology to provide relief from stress and a host of other emotional and physical problems. When using EFT, people focus on a specific problem or issue and tap on the body’s acupressure points. The tapping sends calming signals to the brain that help neutralize uncomfortable emotions. Studies show that EFT is an effect tool to help people cope with stress, lose weight, ease test anxiety, overcome post traumatic stress disorder and more.


3. From

What is the “variable factor” in your diagnosis?
Article written by: Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND

There is a new paradigm, which we can choose to ignore or embrace. An emerging movement of consciousness about the health of the planet, and our individual health, is empowering people to take a more active role in their health, rather than just “blindly” following the advice of their doctor or health practitioner. This was certainly the case for me as I have experienced both sides of the relationship and have overcome both cancer and MS. I was born an open skeptic, which really means I require proof of everything, in some form or another, while at the same time holding all options as equal possibilities. My driving force has always been a search for the “truth.” I’d never be satisfied with treatments limited by statistical probability or research with operating models that are too limited to allow one to make an intelligent or informed decision. It had to apply to me personally. And thus it became evident that I found myself to be the “variable factor,” the “player” that would make all the difference on how the statistic about “me” would fall. This most important factor is rarely given any weight in general when we receive a diagnosis.

It is with that realization that I understood that how you live is how you heal. This necessarily led to making an inventory of what I called “living” and what I wanted in my life. The more I discovered about myself, the more I appreciated my values and the pillars that they are supported on. They were fundamental to my choices and were the backbone for my commitment to the directions I took. Why this is a personal journey is because it mattered to me; there is nothing inherently right or better in those values and so my path is my own, as our patients have their own.

Not only did I overcome some serious “diseases,” I became particularly attuned to both the process of disease and the process that led to health. Though receiving a diagnosis can be difficult to swallow, my suggestion is to listen to your body and try and understand what is going on, work with your body and ask the bigger questions right from the start. Life is too short not to give it our best.