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Professor Sophie Havighurst
November 25, 2021

Tuning in to Kids® (TIK) is an Australian evidence-based parenting program that focuses on emotions and is designed to assist parents to establish better relationships with their children. TIK teaches parents how to be responsive when their children are experiencing emotions and use these opportunities to teach emotional awareness, understanding and regulation. The program also helps parents empathise with their children and regulate their own emotions when parenting whilst becoming aware of their automatic reactions to their children’s emotions and the influence of their own family of origin experiences on them as parents. The program was designed and evaluated as a 6-session group program for universal delivery that has been adapted and evaluated as an 8 and 10-session version for clinical/high need families. The program has extensive evidence to support its efficacy and effectiveness in multiple randomised controlled trials conducted over the last 20 years. Variants of the program have also been developed and evaluated with parents of adolescents (Tuning in to Teens), fathers (Dads TIK), parents of young children (Tuning in to Toddlers), early educators/teachers/whole of school, and parents of children who have experienced complex trauma, chronic illness, and anxiety. Studies of the program are underway in Canada, the USA, Norway, Germany, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Iran. Since 2007, the TIK programs have been disseminated to over 10,000 professionals to use in their work with families in Australia and in other countries.  

This presentation will provide an overview of the development and evaluation of the TIK programs before outlining the steps that have been taken to disseminate the program. Taking an evidence-based program and disseminating it for widespread use outside of the research context has been a significant challenge and some of the steps taken to address these challenges will be considered. 

For more information see  

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About the presenter

Professor Sophie Havighurst is a child clinical psychologist at Mindful, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne. She completed her degree in clinical psychology in 1998 at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand before moving to Australia to complete a PhD at the University of Melbourne (2003). This provided her with the theoretical, methodological, and practical foundations for Tuning in to Kids®, an emotion-focused evidence-based parenting program. Since then she has been involved in many research trials with her colleagues to evaluate the program across community and clinical contexts and in different countries around the world. She is current Leader of Tuning in to Kids® Research and Dissemination and is a program author.

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