Emotional Availability

EA Parent Intervention (conducted by the EA instructor in vivo, face-to-face, with a group of 6-10 parents in the group)

This is an evidence-based intervention for emotion education, to enhance the emotional availability in the parent-child relationship.  An EA Instructor Manual is available with the EA Training, see in vivo or distance/online training at the left navigation bar of this site.  This is a 6-week program, conducted once per week, for approximately 2 hours each time.  The program is designed to be user friendly so that an EA-certified professional can be the EA Instructor (note that the EA Scales Training is what is needed and the intervention training is covered right there; if you are doing the online training, please let us know of your interest in the intervention and we can make this available to you online as well). Pre/post-test videos of cases are available for training purposes so that you can see the extent of improvements expected through this program.  This program relies heavily on observed interactions, uses video playback in a group format, and we, in the EA community, are not fans of self-report measures to assess improvements in parent-child relationships (they can of course be included, as we do, but having that be the sole basis for assessment is so misleading in our view–you need to observe the  relationship!). 

Ask us for a copy of a publication, summarizing results for 2 Colorado communities, one advantaged and the other less so.  Overall,  results indicate that we were able to improve the observed quality of emotional availability, using the Emotional Availability (EA) Scales, as well as decrease parenting stress and negative perceptions of the child.  A significant portion of the parents rated their stress and depression as significantly improved and began to see their children as less difficult.

That reference is:

Biringen, Z., Batten, R., Neelan, P., Altenhofen, S., Swaim, R., Bruce, A., Fetsch, R., Voitel, C., & Zachary, V. (2010).  Emotional availability (EA):  The assessment of and intervention for global parent-child relational quality, Journal of Experiential Psychotherapy, 49, 3-9.

EA Parent Intervention (conducted by the EA instructor through distance/online videoconferencing–we provide you with all the capability needed to do that; you and your parents need the internet and webcam on your computers, however)

A study is being conducted right now with families with at least one child with hemophilia.  This is being conducted through this distance technology to be able to gather families from different states, and is ongoing.  No results are available as yet.

EA Child Care Intervention (conducted through an EA Superuser, trained through certified EA Training, and who can implement this at child care sites and check in with us periodically to make sure on implementation quality; EA Superusers use the same materials and are certified by us to implement in their own communities)

This is an EA Coaching model where an EA Coach works with child care sites to train the teachers to not only interact in emotionally available ways but to interpret the children’s emotional and attachment cues and to understand their play in terms of the research on attachment, so that the child care site becomes a more emotionally available environment.   During the course of training the EA Coach, she or he uploads several videos to our secure site and we on our team supervise on the “how to’s” of moving the child care site in this direction, based on research-based information in the fields of attachment and emotional availability.  It is not a written curriculum, but a way to change the actual relationships in the classroom and to be able to understand the emotional language of the children, to move them toward secure attachments to the child care professionals.   Please note, as stated above, that the EA Coach becomes the EA Superuser at the site or an agency, and conducts the training with the teachers, and then checks in with us periodically related to how she or he is implementing, so that we have a centralized system for ensuring quality of implementation.   To become that EA Coach and Superuser at an agency or site, you would need to have EA Training (full version, 4th ed., see the description under in vivo trainings, April 7-9, but this training can also be obtained online).  Simply put, the EA Superuser may be the EA Coach or may train other EA Coaches at the sites; thus, the EA Superuser and EA Coach may be either the same person or the EA Superuser may train a group of EA Coaches and supervise their work, but this work is also centralized in terms of the connection with us for technical assistance and implementation quality, as part of ensuring the quality of research-based practices.

References

Biringen, Z. & Easterbrooks, A.N. (2008).  Child care and relationshipsJournal of Early Childhood and Infant Psychology, Vol. 4.

Biringen, Z., Moorlag, A., Meyer, B., Wood, J., Aberle, J., Altenhofen, S., & Bennett, S. (2008).  The emotional availability (EA) intervention with child care professionalsJournal of Early Childhood and Infant Psychology, 4, 39-52.

Biringen, Z., Altenhofen, S., Aberle, J., Bennett, S., Lee, C., Moorlag, A., & Swaim, R. (under review).  Emotional availability, attachment, and intervention in center-basedchild care for infants and toddlers.

If you are a researcher/program evaluator and want to evaluate this child care program at an agency or you are the EA Superuser and want to serve in this role as researcher/program evaluator and/or want to be in partnership with a researcher to do this, please contact us for the needed materials and we will send you as much information as is needed and work to put you in contact with possible university/researcher parterships to start this evaluation.