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Talk highlights early years

Behavioural consultancy brings high profile doctor for lecture

A Canadian physician who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction and the connection between mind and body health is coming to Powell River to speak.

Dr. Gabor Mate made a reputation for his work treating patients in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for more than 20 years. He will be speaking about the mental health implications of early childhood trauma which can come from family abuse, heightened stress due to severe poverty, a parent’s incarceration or other factors.

The topic of Mate’s lecture is “The Biology of Loss: What happens with attachments are impaired and how to foster resilience.”

The talk is being presented by, a Powell River based behavioural consultant firm for children with special needs.

“As a behaviour management consultant I started 4children to give people a medium to get in touch with me,” said CC Duncan, “but the vision is to provide services for those children with needs a little more special than others.”

Duncan works with parents to help develop strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour.

A few years ago Duncan decided to start bringing notable speakers to Powell River to talk about the work they do.

“I’ve found that I could reach more families and professionals and other people who may be involved in that child or family’s life, by bringing the experts to us,” said Duncan. “It’s more cost effective to bring one person in, than it is for us to all leave and go to the Lower Mainland.”

Duncan explained that Mate’s work on childhood attachment to parents is an important and is beneficial for more professionals and parents to understand.

“We need to be a lot more mindful about what is happening in those early years to really understand what’s happening in the later years,” said Duncan. “If you’re not totally present in a child’s life early on, it does impact brain development.”

She added that as a side effect, the talks also bring new people to Powell River from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

“It’s neat that Powell River is starting to be recognized as a destination and I’d like to do it more often if I can,” she said.