Friday, February 12, 2016
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.


130 East 59th St
Manhattan, NY 10022

Addressing the Long-term Consequences of Toxic Stress from Chronic Neglect Through the Use of the Neuro-relational Framework (NRF)

Online and mail-in registration is now closed, but walk-ins are welcome at the door!

Learning Outcomes

  1.  Participants will be able to identify three stress responses and four toxic stress patterns (Step #1).
  2.  Participants will be able to identify the first five out of seven socio-emotional milestones for assessing the quality of engagement (Step #2).
  3.  Participants will be able to discriminate between “bottom-up” behaviors and interventions and “top-down” behaviors and interventions (Step #3). 

Target Audience

Professionals working with young children (ages 0-5), including Mental Health professionals, Early Intervention professionals, such as Occupational Therapists, Speech/Language Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Special Education Teachers.

Education Level

This an advanced level training/workshop. It is recommended that participants have the foundational knowledge in early childhood development, generally obtained in a bachelor and/or master’s level program in the fields of mental health, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, physical therapy, and/or special education.

While neglect is often seen as having an immediate need for intervention, the long-term consequences are often overlooked or not understood. In 2010, neglect accounted for 78% of all child maltreatment cases nationwide, far more than physical abuse (17%), sexual abuse (9%), and psychological abuse (8%) combined. Three long term effects of neglect include core concepts that organize neurodevelopment: 1) developing toxic versus adaptive stress, 2) the lack of “serve and return” interactions that fire and wire the brain architecture, and 3) cumulative effects on the integrity of the brain networks.

The Neurorelational Framework (NRF; Lillas &Turnbull, 2009) provides a common unifying language amongst team members and ensures a “neuroprotective” approach aimed at these exact core concepts that apply to the specific context of neglect, as well as underlying dimensions to many diagnostic categories: 1) reducing and eliminating toxic stress patterns, 2) improving serve and return interactions and 3) bolstering critical, early brain development. An introduction to these three steps will be given through the use of video-based examples and a video-based case presentation. Participants will learn to identify stress responses and toxic stress patterns; socio-emotional milestones for assessing the quality of engagement ; as well as  discriminate between “bottom-up” behaviors and interventions and “top-down” behaviors and interventions using the Neurorelational Framework.

Timed Agenda

8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. Program Registration
9:00 a.m.–9:10 a.m. Program welcome and Introductions
9:10 a.m.–10:30 a.m. An overview of the context of Infant Mental Health, the three core concepts of brain development, and the NRF’s three clinical steps 
10:30 a.m.– 10:40 a.m. Break
10:40 a.m.– 12:00 p.m.

An Introduction to Step #1 

12:00 p.m.– 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m.– 2:00 p.m. An Introduction to Step #2 
2:00 p.m.– 3:00 p.m. An Introduction to the Macro & Micro Level of Step #3  
3:00 p.m.– 3:10 p.m. Break
3:10 p.m.– 3:50 p.m. A video case-based presentation using Steps # 1,2, and 3 
3:50 p.m.– 4:00 p.m. Completion of program evaluations 

About the Instructor

Connie Lillas, Ph.D., MFT, RN, is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Training Institute with a background in high-risk maternal-child nursing, family systems, developmental psychoanalysis, and is a National Graduate ZERO TO THREE Fellow. Connie has a full-time private practice, specializing in dual diagnosis across both developmental delays and mental health concerns for birth-to-five-year-olds and their families. She donates her community service time to a pilot called Fostering Family Partnerships where she serves as a Court Team Liaison for child welfare reform in Los Angeles in South Central Los Angeles. Her duties include training court personnel from judges to social workers to infant mental health specialists. In addition, she trains local, national, and international cross-sector communities on the use of the  Neurorelational Framework (NRF, 2009) as a common and unifying language that all sectors can use in an effort to decrease discipline-specific fragmentation and to increase cross-sector collaboration. Her book is a part of W. W. Norton’s Interpersonal Neurobiology Series.


Special needs request information
Adelphi University is committed to providing an environment which is responsive to the needs of individuals with disabilities including students, faculty, administrators, staff, and the larger community. The institution is equally supportive of full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Committee on Individuals with Disabilities (CID) pledges continued active support in achieving universal access and ensuring that academic programs, facilities, and activities are made available to all students, employees and visitors with disabilities.

Accommodations will be made to support learners with special needs to participate in the training/workshop. Please contact the Institute for Parenting Coordinator at 516.237.8513 to request such accommodations. 

Program begins promptly at 9:00 a.m.

Regular registration (after January 11, 2016): $115
Adelphi Full-Time Student:  $65.00
Adelphi Full-Time Faculty:  $90.00


Online and mail-in registration is now closed, but walk-ins are welcome at the door!

Credentialing Information and Continuing Education

Successful completion requirements
Successful completion for the award of approved continuing education credits requires attendance at entire training/workshop and submission of a completed evaluation formNew York State Office of the Professions (NYSED) regulations require that participants must be present for the entire approved educational activity, 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., in order to receive continuing education credits.

There is no accommodation in the State Regulation for late arrival, late return from lunch or breaks, or early departure. At present, there is no procedure for granting partial credit for approved continuing education events.

If there are any changes in State Regulation, this policy will be updated accordingly.

This program has been approved for the following continuing education credits:

  • Social work (6 hours)
  • CASAC (6 hours)
  • Nursing (5.5 hours)
  • Education (6 hours)
  • Psychology (6 hours)
  • NBCC (6 hours)
  • AOTA Occupational Therapy (5.5 hours)

Adelphi University School of Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0032.

Cancellation Policy

No refund can be made for cancellation seven or fewer working days before the event or for no-shows. Cancellations more than seven working days before a workshop will result in a refund less a $15.00 cancellation fee. Requests for refunds must be received in writing.

Cancellation by the provider policy
All registered participants will be notified via email if there is a training/workshop cancellation. Registered participants will be offered a full refund or registration in another offered training/workshop.


For further information, please contact:

The Institute for Parenting
Linen Hall, Lower Level Room 8
p - 516.237.8513
e -