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Connecting in Times of Crisis: Eye Contact

August 10, 2020

Eye contact can establish connection, but it can also be a by-product of connection. When two people are emotionally connected, they love to look into each other’s eyes. In the NICU, we have observed that when a mother expresses deep emotions to her baby, the baby reciprocates by making eye contact, often for the first time.

Martha G. Welch, MD, Promoted to Professor of Psychiatry in Pediatrics and Pathology & Cell Biology

August 7, 2020

Dr. Welch is a researcher, neuroscientist, and professor, and has been a thought leader and pioneer in the treatment and understanding of emotional, behavioral, and developmental health throughout her clinical and academic career.

Connecting in Times of Crisis: Smell

August 4, 2020

Smells that evoke emotional connection can calm us deeply, even therapeutically, especially during stressful separation. During this prolonged period of social distancing, we can find creative ways to use smell to connect.

Connecting in Times of Crisis: Touch

July 28, 2020

Though touch with loved ones is irreplaceable, we can use what we know about touch and emotional connection to give our bodies a much-needed boost even when we are not together. This can help offset the stress of separation. So how do we get the most benefit?

Connecting in Times of Crisis: Family Support

July 20, 2020

We’re in the throes of major changes: in our home and work lives, and in our society. Many of us feel devastated, depleted, and discouraged. So how do we cultivate the resilience we need to keep showing up? When we feel depleted, it’s a signal to reconnect with our circle of support.

Connecting Emotionally Despite COVID: Singing

April 3, 2020

Some ways of emotionally connecting require touch, but others don’t, like singing. Here are some simple ways you can connect with each other in this time of crisis, whether you’re on the front lines, confined at home together, or a video call away.

Emotionally Connecting During Crisis

April 1, 2020

We’re all dealing with big fears and challenges right now, and maintaining emotional connection is more important than ever. When we don’t connect with others, our brains can’t develop optimally, or function well. One-on-one time can help: here’s how.

2020 Vision: A Milestone Year

December 19, 2019

In 2020, the Nurture Science Program will reach milestones in research on Family Nurture Intervention in the NICU, Family Nurture Intervention for preschool families, and studies on the use of WECS and WECS+.

Family Nurture Intervention for Preschool-Aged Children

December 19, 2019

The Columbia Nurture Science Program has been studying Family Nurture Intervention with preschool families to understand how supporting emotional connection can help address emotional and behavioral problems. Follow up assessments and data analysis are ongoing, but there has already been positive feedback from parents and Head Start staff.

How Emotional Connection Affects Our Hearts

July 17, 2019

Intuitively, we recognize that emotional connection touches the heart. New research findings bring together Polyvagal Theory and the Calming Cycle Theory to better explain how our bodies are affected by our experiences and our relationships.