The Nurture Science Program at Columbia University Medical Center is a unique research program rooted in a new, evidence-based understanding of the critical role emotional connection plays in healthy child development.
Our multidisciplinary team is committed to rigorous research, and continues to develop and test nurture-based therapies that support emotional connection to help children and families address, and even avoid, emotional, behavioral, and developmental challenges.
What We Hope to Achieve
Millions of children suffer from emotional, behavioral, and developmental disorders that can be addressed or prevented. Current treatment strategies often are not effective. The Nurture Science Program’s work can help children and their families.
Over the past 10 years, the Nurture Science Program has amassed considerable evidence to support interventions that advance the child-family emotional connection that is critical to healthy child development. Imagine the possibilities when all children and families have this kind of support.
Tantrums alert us to our child’s need for more connection, more feelings of calm and regulation. This Nurture Science lens offers a simple approach to tantrums that not only helps children potentially avoid a meltdown altogether, but also helps adults in the process.
Humans are social beings, and our bodies really benefit from learning to fall asleep in the calming presence of someone who loves us.
As we grow, and throughout our lives, our interactions with each other are informed by our approach/avoid reflex: we either approach or avoid someone as a result of repeated positive or negative interactions with them.
In order to have a social response to a person, you first have to notice them. That is why we call the orienting reflex the foundation of our social reflexes. We orient when any of our five senses detect something significant in our environment. And that includes each other.