Ruth Freeman, LCSW and founder of Peace at Home
Ruth Ettenberg Freeman, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice who has taught parenting education to hundreds of parents annually over the past 30+ years. She is co-founder of the Connecticut Parenting Education Network and lead author of Building Family Futures, a University of Connecticut train-the-trainer parenting education curriculum. Ruth has also served as the Family Services Director for The Cove Center for Grieving Children, Family Services Manager for EASTCONN Head Start and Primary Therapist at the Newington Children's Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Services. Ruth’s approach to parenting education incorporates her clinical experience with children and families in crisis, as well as key concepts synthesized from a wide range of sources. Ruth freely and humorously shares the real-life blunders, challenges and successes she has had applying positive parenting as a mom, stepmom, foster mom and “Nana.”
Ruth's approach to parenting education incorporates her clinical experience with children and families in crisis, as well as key concepts synthesized from a wide range of sources.
Amy Alamar, Ed.D. has worked in the field of education as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, parent educator, and education reformer for over fifteen years. She currently teaches graduate levels courses in teacher preparation and curriculum design and implementation. Her first book, Parenting for the Genius: Developing Confidence in Your Parenting through Reflective Practice (Genius Press) is a comprehensive guide to becoming the most thoughtful and confident parent possible, applying practical strategies based in educational research. She was an invited guest of Michelle Obama at the White House for a conversation about kids’ health in 2016 and was the host of Parenting from the Trenches on Yellowbrick.me. She is a contributing author to the Disney parenting website, Babble and Psychology Blog, Hey Sigmund. Her second book, The Parenting Project: Build Extraordinary Relationships with Your Kids through Daily Conversation (Fair Winds Press), focuses on communication strategies. She serves on the boards of the Watkinson School and the Avon Education Foundation, dedicated to promoting and enhancing excellence in education. Amy is the married mother of three children whom she learns from and enjoys each and every day. She provides online classes and coaching for Peace At Home Parenting.
Joyleen Albarracin, MA is a specialist in bilingual curriculum and instruction as well as a seasoned and inspiring bilingual, bi-cultural parenting educator. She has served widely diverse families in Windham, Connecticut for the past two decades as Assistant Director of Quinebaug Community College, Program Coordinator for Windham Public Schools Even Start, and Family Services Coordinator for Windham Head Start. Joyleen is a statewide trainer for the CT Parenting Leadership Institute and “Lees y Seras,” a literacy outreach campaign targeting Hispanic families. She is the proud mother of two daughters and very happily recently became a grandmother. Joyleen serves as a Peace At Home Parenting teacher and coach.
Dana Asby, MA, M.Ed. is a developmental and educational psychology researcher and author, as well as a mindfulness, growth mindset, transformational leadership, and instructional educator. She is the Director of Innovation & Research Support at the Center for Educational Improvement and Coordinator of the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. Dana also founded a parenting education service called Parent in the Moment. As a trauma-informed yoga teacher and neuroscience researcher, Dana understands how mindfulness can change the structure of the brain to help heal the effects of attachment disorders, mental health challenges, trauma, and toxic stress. Dana is a Peace At Home teacher and parent coach.
Susan Averna, PhD is a school mental health consultant, former school counselor, and college professor. With training in developmental, educational, and counseling psychology, her work is at the intersection of optimal development, learning, and mental health. For 25 years Susan has taught, counseled, mentored, and coached teens and young adults, and provided consultation to parents, educators, and athletic coaches. She has taught at the college level about typical and atypical development, risk and resilience, the impact of early experience on later development, particularly developmental trauma, and the science of well-being. A registered yoga teacher and mindfulness educator, she integrates self-awareness and compassion practices for better self-regulation, mental and physical wellbeing, and healthy relationships. Susan provides professional and personal development training to educators, parents, and business leaders. As a parent coach, she focuses on supporting the parent, using self- compassion and self-care strategies to build resilience, enhance the parent-child relationship, and support co-regulation for optimal child development. At home, Susan does her best to practice what she preaches with her two children. When she falls short, she remembers her humanity, takes a breath, and begins again. Susan is a Peace At Home parent coach.
Hanna Brinkhaus, MA, LCSW has focused for the last 25 years on supporting families throughout their parenting journey. Hannah is especially interested and experienced in working with the impact of life’s transitions and medical issues such as post-partum depression, pregnancy loss, diagnosis of a disability, divorce or geographical moves on families and children, especially from pregnancy to age 5 years old. She has worked in Head Start programs from Detroit to rural South Louisiana as therapist, mental health consultant and curriculum developer. Currently, Hanna has a full-time private practice in Connecticut where she works with individuals and families in her office, clients’ homes and school settings.
Hanna holds a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood in addition to her master’s degree in Social Work. She offers strength based, relationship focused support to young children and the adults who care for them. She works with caregivers to increase awareness and understanding of the unique challenges and gifts these early years bring. Hanna serves as an early education specialist and coach with Peace At Home Parenting
Autumn Cloud-Ingram, LMSW obtained her Masters of Social Work from Fordham University and has focused on providing parent training, working with families with significant mental health challenges, and helping first time parents adapt to the challenges of parenthood. She served as Behavior Specialist in a therapeutic residential school where she developed a school wide positive reinforcement program. Autumn loves working with pre-teens and teens is currently a Certified School Social Worker in a Connecticut public middle school. She is certified as a Parent Educator through the Positive Parenting Program and Circle of Security. In addition, Autumn is a trained doula providing full-spectrum care and has volunteered her doula services to families for over 2 years. Autumn teaches online and onsite classes for Peace At Home Parenting and is available as a coach for parents of pre-teens and teens.
Jennifer Dealy, PhD, LMFT is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Faculty Academic Advisor at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut. She recently graduated from the University of Connecticut’s doctoral program in Human Development and Family Studies with concentrations in Marriage and Family Therapy and Intervention, Prevention, and Wellness. Jennifer’s research has focused on community and school-based interventions with at-risk populations, therapeutic paradigms for parents and children, and high conflict divorce in families served by the Court Support Services of the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. Jennifer also works with high conflict co-parents in a group private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Norwich, Connecticut. Jennifer is a Peace At Home coach.
Joe L. Freeman, LCSW, M. Div, is a licensed clinical social worker who serves as Peace At Home Parenting’s behind the scenes parenting literature reviewer as well as parent coach and teacher. Joe has worked in a variety of settings with children and adolescents struggling to meet the expectations of adults. He has served as clinician and parenting educator in psychiatric hospitals, residential programs, and community-based early intervention programs. Joe conducts a private psychotherapy practice in Storrs and has taught parenting education for over 30 years. He brings to teaching and coaching a clinical, family systems and trauma informed approach that helps parents quickly apply more positive and effective approaches. Joe shares freely and supportively about his real life challenges and successes applying positive parenting as a dad, foster dad and “Papa Joe.”
Heather Kobylinski MA, SAC serves as the District Student Assistance Counselor in a Northern New Jersey public high school. In that role Heather is the primary counseling and intervention specialist assisting students in grades 7 – 12 to cope with emotional, psychological, and behavioral challenges. Heather supports adolescents to deal with diverse issues including self-esteem and image, academic motivation and pressure, family conflict, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-injury, school avoidance, bullying, eating disorders, drug/alcohol use and misuse, and grief. She is also the case manager of the High School Intervention and Referral Services and Section 504/ADA committees.
Heather is a mother of two college-age children. Parents report that Heather’s frank and honest approach to parenting successes and pitfalls make her a relatable resource. Heather is Peace At Home Parenting teacher and coach.
Cora Megan, MA is an early childhood specialist and parent educator who has worked with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families for over a decade. She is currently the director of The Nest Shoreline Campus, an early learning center located in Branford, CT. Cora is a trained Circle of Security Facilitator, a member of the Connecticut Association of Infant Mental Health and teaches Early Childhood Development at the University of Connecticut. She views her work with families through an attachment lens, and provides support and guidance that promotes secure and positive parent-child relationships. Cora is especially passionate about infant and toddler social and emotional development. She is a Peace At Home Parenting teacher and coach.
JoAnn Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized researcher on parent-child relations and young children’s emotional development. JoAnn is a retired university professor and continues to serve as director of early childhood education in her department. JoAnn has authored and co-authored more than 80 papers published in scientific journals on supportive interventions for vulnerable families (including kangaroo care for preterm infants and home visiting for low income mothers, young children’s empathy development, and children’s early narratives about family life). She is a member of the Board of Directors of the CT Association for Infant Mental Health. She is also a mother and grandmother. Most recently, JoAnn is consulting with international organizations about supporting parents of infants and toddlers caught up in the world refugee crisis. When not traveling around the world to research and teach about young children and families, JoAnn serves as a Peace At Home teacher and virtual coach.
Aaron Weintraub, MS is the director of Kids Cooperate in Tolland, CT and the behavior specialist at Holiday Hill Day Camp in Mansfield, CT. With almost twenty years of experience in supporting families of children with special needs, Aaron's approach is focused on recognizing strengths in the child and in the family system. Aaron is the author of several papers and books on Autism and ADHD. His perspective on working with families draws from an integration of practical therapies and philosophies that share a strengths based approach and a focus on practical, evidence based techniques tailored to the individual needs of the child and family. In addition to life as a dad, Aaron is serving as both a teacher of live online classes and a virtual parenting coach for Peace At Home Parenting.
Yadira Carvajal, MS is a chemical engineer with a master's degree in materials science from the University of Connecticut. She was born and raised in Colombia where she now lives with her husband and two sons - a teenager and a 9-year-old. Yadira is dedicated to her family and has focused for the last several years on raising her sons. Recently she has applied her strong background in materials science to a collaboration with her husband on a study of the chemical transformation of Colombian minerals. Yadira also enjoys helping Peace At Home Parenting grow by providing data collection and administrative support. An important part of Yadira’s role at Peace At Home Parenting is to provide English to Spanish translation so that Spanish speaking parents have the chance to bring more peace to their homes. She also appreciates the opportunity to continue learning about what science tells us about effective parenting.
Amy Kostak is a Certified Family Life Educator who came to Peace At Home Parenting as an undergraduate intern from the University of Connecticut Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Little did she or we know she would grow into our Communications Coordinator and all around unstoppable problem solver and customer support maven! Amy has helped shape Peace At Home Parenting in more quiet and significant ways that we can describe. While at the university, Amy was a master coach for "UConn Connects" peer mentors and a marketing intern with the Storrs Adventure Park. She was a Bible Study Leader for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students and Public Relations Chair for Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. Amy recently displayed her grit, spirit and faith by walking the "El Camino de Santiago," an ancient 600 kilometer pilgrimage through northern Spain.
Pamela Miller is the determined and talented owner of PLBMDesign. Peace At Home Parenting founder, Ruth Freeman and Pam first met when she was a parenting class participant with 2 and 5 year old children. Little did we know then what an important role she would play in our future, applying her well-developed skills and boundless patience in translating our mission into digital communication. Pam has tirelessly supported us to create a working website that links curious parents to meaningful resources and helping to spread the word to parents across the country. She understands Peace At Home Parenting from the inside out. When Pam is not dreaming up website visions and delivering SEO strategies for small to mid-size business owners, she is a devoted mom, wife, ski instructor, rowing coach and horse whisperer. Pam challenges the Peace At Home Parenting team to clarify and simplify our message and delivery tools. She never gives up and keeps the team going in ways that matter.
Alexandra Schwartz, better known as “Ali”, came to Peace at Home Parenting as an undergraduate intern from the University of Connecticut studying psychology and Spanish. She recently graduated and now works as a research assistant at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Ali has worked in the UCONN Child Development labs, an inpatient psychiatric unit, and as an ABA therapist. Ali is also a passionate world traveler. She was a summer intern in Asia, traveled throughout Europe, and spent a semester abroad in Argentina. She is proficient in Spanish and intrigued by all cultures of the world. Ali is serving as Communications Assistant to Peace At Home Parenting.