About Connected Parenting
Meet Our Great Team
Hon. B.A. Psych., CCPP. Teacher, Parent Coach, Director of Clinical Intake
In addition to her role as Clinical Intake Director, Rebecca has been teaching and working with children for over 30 years. Rebecca works closely with Jennifer Kolari and has been dedicated to Connected Parenting since 2007. Drawing from 30 years in the classroom and many years of training in the Connected Parenting method, she supports families in a variety of ways.
Rebecca works with children individually offering a wide range of support from homework and school-based anxiety to social skills and social emotional health, and teaches parents how to implement the Connected Parenting model in their homes. Rebecca uses the Connected Parenting model to empower children and parents to be their best and happiest selves.
Parent and Child Therapist
Barrett has been working with children and families for over 30 years. He began his career as a Child and Youth Worker where he and Jennifer first met. He has worked integrally with Jennifer on the Connected Parenting approach and has worked with children and families using this approach for many years.
Barrett also enjoyed a long, successful career in Education. His motivation stems from his belief that each child can be successful and a team approach between the family and the school is essential.
Most of his teaching experience centered on Special Education, working with children who are Gifted and children with Behaviour difficulties and Learning Disabilities. He also worked as an Itinerant liaison for the Toronto District School Board, helping teachers to cope and manage their most difficult students. He went on to become a Vice Principal and then an Elementary Principal. As a recently retired Principal, Barrett is focusing all of his experience on Connected Parenting and its clients.
B.A, Certified Coach, Specializing in NLP, TLT, CHt. Director of Social Media and Marketing
Zoe is a board certified coach specializing in Adult and Paediatric Neurolinguistic Programming, TimeLine Therapy, and Hypnotherapy. Zoe helps facilitate positive change through a combination of NLP, TLT, Hypnotherapy and Connected Parenting techniques to help unlock inner potential and use the power of the brain to facilitate positive shifts within yourself. NLP and Hypnotherapy differ from standard clinical therapy because you are not broken, and don’t need to be fixed. You do need access to resources, resources you already have inside. The magic of change and growth is inside you. Your kids are magic. Zoe helps children access their potential by setting them up with the tools for a happy, healthy and wealthy future.
Zoe is Jennifer Kolari’s eldest daughter. She shares her passion for helping others. Having Jennifer as a mother inspires Zoe to continue the beautiful legacy of compassion and connection all over the world. Zoe specializes in working with kids. Her energy, rapport, and warm smile create an exceptionally welcoming environment. Zoe creates a space to have fun and explore the power of the mind.
In addition to one on one coaching work, Zoe works as a well-loved respite worker to children on the Autism spectrum providing in home support for parents. Zoe has also spent summers working at the beautiful Camp Kirk “Friends of the Learning Disabled.” Zoe has worked with a wide range of children and is sure to be a great fit for yours.
Hon. BA, Psychology, BA Education, IFS Therapy
Natalie is a certified coach, educator, entrepreneur, best-selling author, and the founder of the Evolving Families Summit. With a background in psychology, business, and education, she has worked with parents, teachers and children, supporting them to champion and be the best version of themselves. Mentored by and working alongside Jennifer Kolari, Natalie supports parents using neuro-biological strategies, helping them to rewire and align the brain and nervous systems.
Using a methodical mind-body approach, Natalie gently supports parents to break through generational patterns. She coaches her clients, with care and compassion, to bridge the gap between being the parent they’ve always envisioned with the reality of meeting everyday challenges. Working closely with anger, emotional dysregulation, anxiety, and conditioned trauma has equipped her to fully support her client’s family dynamics while strengthening their interconnected relationships. Her clients learn to lead from their authentic best self, with confidence, even in the toughest parenting moments.
Parents that work with Natalie learn practical, every-day solutions combined with life-long sustainable practises, empowering them to be the change they want to see in their family. She helps families build resilience, emotional agility, and a conscious awareness that equips them with the tools to respond instead of react, resulting in a more calm, peaceful, and thriving family dynamic.
Natalie lives in Toronto with her husband and their two feisty, sassy, strong-willed gladiators.
M.S.W., R.S.W., Parent and Child Therapist
Tricia is a Registered Clinical Social Worker who has extensive experience working with parents, children and youth who may be struggling with an array of life’s challenges both big and small. Directly mentored by Jennifer, Tricia is a trained Connected Parenting Therapist. She is inspired by the effective and practical nature of the Connected Parenting model and has personally witnessed transformations in families that have embraced its core tenets. Tricia has a thoughtful, warm and responsive therapeutic approach. Her aim is always to create a safe environment that empowers clients to unearth their full potential. As a parent herself, Tricia has first-hand experience with the ups and downs of modern parenthood. Raising her two gladiator boys has taught her how integral it is to establish a warm, empathic connection so that a child can feel; seen, heard and understood. She has a passion for supporting parents to find their confidence so that they can establish a greater parent-child connection and be the leader that their kids need.
She lives in Toronto, with her husband, two children and their beloved pup, Humber.
M.S.W., R.S.W., Connected Parenting Therapist
Amanda graduated from Concordia University with a B.A. in Specialization Psychology, with a focus on attachment and child development. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from McGill University and has been working with children and families for nearly 20 years. Through her work at Jewish Family and Child Service of Greater Toronto, Amanda discovered the immense benefits of building connection within family systems to strengthen relationships and increase safety. She is trained in various parenting models and beautifully integrates them with compassionate empathy according to families’ needs. She has observed transformational success for those experiencing challenges with ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities, trauma, mental health diagnoses, emotional regulation and the general and often unspoken strain of parenting. In 2017, Amanda was introduced to the Connected Parenting approach and witnessed indescribable positive change in her own family. With an instant passion to learn more, she is now trained under the mentorship of Jennifer Kolari. Amanda’s own “gladiator” remains her best teacher and Amanda is dedicated to offering Connected Parenting services to help others. Amanda resides North of Toronto with her husband and three children.
A.O.S., Hon BA
Lisa has an Associates Degree in the Arts (American Academy in New York City), an Honours Degree in Psychology form York University. Her experience in pioneering Drama Therapy programmes since 1986 for children with various emotional, social and behavioural needs was the springboard for founding her own ‘Saturdays only’ theatre school in 1987. The Yonge Street Players provides a creative outlet for hundreds of young children and teens in Toronto and was recipient of the YTV Comedy Award. Lisa has been in private practice since 1997 and specializes in children experiencing difficulties from Autism, Aspergers, Selective Mutism, LD & Behaviour therapy. In addition, Lisa facilitates corporate sessions in Improvisation & Creativity through TEAMWORK, a division of the theatre school since 1999.
Child & Family Counsellor Honours BA, Psychology and Family Science MEd, Developmental Psychology and Education
Ulrica is a passionate educator, counsellor, coach, speaker and workshop facilitator who works with children, families and educators. At Connected Parenting, Ulrica’s warmth and compassion set the stage for parents to feel at ease, gain trust and be motivated to explore new perspectives. Through Ulrica’s coaching, parents will be encouraged to celebrate their successes while embracing the messiness of parenting.
Ulrica has worked as a Sexual Health Educator facilitating workshops with children, adolescents and parents. She has also enjoyed working as a senior executive in the not-for-profit sector, nurturing complex stakeholder relationships and negotiating inspirational, philanthropic gifts. Ulrica has been trained in the Centred Leadership model and obtained her MEd in Developmental Psychology and Education with a specialization in Mental Health. Trained and mentored by Jennifer Kolari, Ulrica brings valuable skills, knowledge and experience to her work with Connected Parenting. She believes in the Connected Parenting philosophy because it is inclusive and accessible. Ulrica loves that the philosophy is heart-centred while also grounded in brain science, highlighting the brain-heart connection. Parents who work with Ulrica will leave their sessions with confidence, applicable strategies to communicate effectively, and practical solutions to learn, grow and thrive as a family.
Ulrica lives in Toronto with her partner, Dan, and her daughter, Caia.
Psych, M.A., Individual and Family Therapist
Andrea is an academic at heart. After she finished her degree in Clinical Psychology at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City, she stayed for 8 years as a Professor of Developmental Psychology. At the same time, she worked in her private practice where she gained experience and noticed the lack of psychoeducation in the general public. At this time, she became a mom and experienced how incredibly rewarding but difficult this role is. Because of this discovery, she continued her studies at Ball State University in a distance program and achieved a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology specializing in Child Development. In 2019, she founded Con.ciencia, an organization that fuses psychology, development and education to support and educate anyone who is in contact with children. Her purpose is to help create a more peaceful world, one family at a time. Now, she is part of the Connected Parenting team as a bilingual therapist, hoping to connect with more families around the world.
Psicóloga Clínica, Mtr. Terapeuta individual y de familia.
Andrea es académica de corazón, desde que puso pie en la Universidad Francisco Marroquín en el año 2007 para estudiar Psicología Clínica. Siguió por los siguientes 8 años, ejerciendo como catedrática del curso Psicología del Desarrollo. Paralelamente, ha llevado su práctica privada como Psicóloga Clínica, que la llevó a notar la carencia de psicoeducación que existe en la población en general. En este tiempo, también se convirtió en madre y se dio cuenta lo gratificante y difícil que es este rol. Por esto, decidió enfocarse más en la psicología del desarrollo y educación. Sacó una maestría en Psicología de la Educación, especializándose en Desarrollo Infantil a distancia de Ball State University. En 2019 fundó la empresa CON-CIENCIA con la idea de fusionar los conocimientos de psicología, desarrollo y educación, para brindar apoyo y educación a cualquier persona que trabaje y conviva con niños. Su principal trabajo consiste en asesorar a familias en su desarrollo integral. Su propósito es trabajar por un mundo más pacífico, una familia a la vez. Ahora, se une al equipo de Connected Parenting, como psicóloga bilingüe, logrando conectarse con más familias alrededor del mundo.
Jessie is a certified Parent and Pediatric Practitioner who brings her warm-hearted nature to her practice. It is her mission to empower others through a whole-person approach rooted in neurobiology and science that is built on her extensive knowledge and training. Jessie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Emory University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and a Master’s degree in Integrative Health Studies & Behavior Change from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her thesis focused on cultivating social-emotional well-being and emotional resilience in children. Jessie has wide-ranging experience working with children from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of needs (learning disabilities, special needs, physical disabilities, gifted, HSP). She has learned the value and importance of the intricate relationship between parent and child, which led her to Connected Parenting. Jessie is directly trained and mentored under Jennifer Kolari. She supports both children and adults helping them to unlock their potential to become the best version of themselves in order to happily and healthily integrate as individuals within their family systems, which also extends to their communities at large. In her work, Jessie provides each of her clients with an individualized toolkit of proven strategies. Jessie was born and raised in Boston, MA and currently lives in Tel Aviv.
Barbara graduated from The Institute of Child Study as well as the Masters of Social Work Program at the University of Toronto. She has worked with children and families in a variety of clinical settings over the past 20 years. Beginning her career working with children who have learning disabilities and difficulties with peer relationships, she then trained in family therapy and has worked extensively with children and adolescents and their families.
In addition to her private practice, Barbara has worked as a therapist at Integra, North York General Hospital and The George Hull Centre. She currently works at The Toronto District School Board providing consultation and counseling services to students, teachers and parents, and leads groups for children and adolescents.
She is also enjoying the many challenges of blending theory with practice in the parenting of twins.
Sonia Cacciacarro RP
Sonia is a registered psychotherapist using an approach that integrates a balance of holistic and conventional modalities, equipping her clients with the life altering resources and heightened perceptual awareness to thrive in a world that is immersed with modern day challenges.
Sonia’s deep passion for supporting parents, educators and children, has her committed to a lifelong journey of learning, immersing her into a myriad of teachings. Sonia is a trained Connected Parenting Therapist mentored directly under the wing of Jennifer Kolari, MSW, RSW, founder and author of “Connected Parenting”. Sonia truly offers a beautiful blend of expertise, placing her in a unique position to support her clients from a space of deep empathy, connection, and compassion as she inspires and celebrates their own ability to succeed.
M.S.W., R.S.W., Parent and Child Therapist
Cindy has been working with children and families for 18 years. She has been trained in the Connected Parenting model and uses its tenets in both her private practice and her own family life. In addition to her private practice, Cindy has worked as a family therapist at Jewish Family and Child Services in Toronto and at Integra, a mental health centre for children and adolescents with learning disabilities. Cindy was a social worker at the Toronto District School Board for many years where she counseled children and families, facilitated groups, ran workshops and provided training for teachers and school administrators. Cindy is also a field supervisor for the University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work. She has worked intensively with children with special needs and has assisted parents in advocating for their children.
Cindy lives in Toronto with her two children.
M.S.W., R.S.W., Parent and Child Therapist
Carolyn has been a Social Worker and Family Therapist in the Niagara Region for 12 years and she is now thrilled to be bringing the Connected Parenting Model to Niagara. She has been utilizing this approach for a number of years with many clients and with her own children and has much confidence in how well it works with families. Carolyn has been working at the Family Counselling Centre of Niagara for 10 years and will now be offering Connected Parenting services through her private practice.
She has an extensive background and training in the therapeutic use of Mindfulness and in Narrative Therapy and believes that these theoretical approaches work well within the context of the Connected Parenting Model. She has experience working with children, youth and adults in a variety of different social service agencies and has a special interest in parenting issues and working with children.
Carolyn lives in St. Catharines with her husband and their two young children.
Sometimes we try so hard to be the perfect parent, and put so much effort into it that we can’t get out of our own way. Jennifer Kolari shows us ways to deal with our children that are so simple and yet so brilliant it’s like magic. If you are a parent, know a parent, or are planning to become a parent, you need this book. As a pediatrician for nearly 20 years and the mother of four children, I can honestly say I wish I’d had this book before my first child was born, it would have made life so much easier. The techniques in this book can be effectively applied to a 2 year old or a 20 year old, and that’s the beauty of Connected Parenting.
Jennifer Kolari provides us with a clear-minded view of how to create and continue an open, attuned relationship with our children while they move through important and at times tumultuous transition from childhood to adulthood called adolescence. You’re Ruining My Life!” (But Not Really): Surviving the Teenage Years with Connected Parenting is an accessible and often entertaining guide to understanding the importance of communication in the parent-child relationship and how changes in the teen’s brain can make loving, supportive connection difficult to maintain. Filled with practical steps and memorable stories, the insights of Kolari’s important book will help the busy parent both survive and thrive through these crucial and challenging times.
I began reading Connected Parenting on my flight to Vancouver Island to bid a final farewell to a dear friend who was suddenly diagnosed with a rapidly advancing terminal cancer. My attention was admittedly divided between the words on the page and my apprehension of how I was going to handle myself with her and her loved ones. I arrived a few hours too late; my friend had passed away. The next few days I spent with the family were much less difficult than I had anticipated. In retrospect, I realized why. The teachings in Jennifer’s book – deep listening, validation, the CALM technique – became wisdom and transformative in their impact, as I engaged in ‘very connected conversations’ that honoured relationships, empathy, and respect.
As the world turns and its movement becomes more frenzied, parents and teachers are the only two forces left who are entrusted with society’s greatest responsibility – to raise children into ethical, moral, and efficacious young adults. We need all the help we can get! Jennifer offers us the means to achieve the delicate balance between teaching and guiding our children while resisting the impulse to want to control them. She achieves this through a healthy sprinkle of success stories, well-researched foundation for brain-compatible approaches, and an abundance of common sense.
Have a teenager? Then I highly recommend this book. Jennifer Kolari’s CALM techniques to connect with your teen are not only simple but based on cutting-edge research
How you respond to your child is how your child learns to respond to you. Focus on control when the child is oppositional or upset, and power struggles are likely to ensue. Focus on empathy, however, as Jennifer Kolari advocates, and concern for the child will encourage cooperation from the child, enabling the possibility for constructive change.
Jennifer Kolari has taken her exceptional gifts as a child therapist and made them accessible to a wider audience. More than any other parenting book I have read, Connected Parentingoffers parents a framework by which they can demonstrate and communicate a deep understanding of their child’s inner emotional life. Calming your child and in particular mirroring, are much more than mere techniques. These are the building blocks of loving, enduring relationships.
Reading this book is like being in a private therapy session with Jennifer Kolari. Real life scenarios are described. We are given the words to use when we face typical difficult parenting situations. Staying calm and using the CALM technique truly makes a difference in the life of the child and the life of the family. The mirroring method that is taught byConnected Parenting and is described in this book is very powerful and very effective. Now parents can have unlimited access to the excellent Connected Parenting techniques described in this book.
Connected Parenting has changed how I interact with my son in such a positive way. More importantly, I see how mirroring is a lifelong tool that is essential in every relationship.
A must read for parents, educators, and any other adults who want to connect in a deeply caring and positive way with the children in their lives.
“Connected Parents” advises us not just how to parent, but far more important – who to be as parents. The therapeutic methods suggested by Jennifer Kolari are based not on simple-minded behavioral solutions, but on building warm, nurturing relationship with our children, with insight and compassion not only for their little flaws, but also for our own larger ones.
I will never forget the telephone conversation when Jennifer Kolari told me with great excitement that she had discovered—to her surprise! —that her technique of Connected Parenting worked, not just for young children for whom she had originally developed it, but that it was extraordinarily successful for teenagers as well.
The result of this discovery is You’re Ruining my Life!, an indispensable guide for parents who may need more than intuition to help their teenagers thrive in an often challenging phase of development.
With Connected Parenting, Jennifer Kolari provides a novel approach to parenting the challenging child. Her CALM approach (connect, affect, listen, mirror) is not necessarily instinctive for most parents. Instead of starting with advice on changing behavior, she begins with the more fundamental task of rebuilding frayed relationships and understanding the emotions behind the unwanted behaviors. Ms. Kolari uses mirroring, a therapy technique, as a strategic form of parental communication. The mirroring approach takes practice but accomplishes several important goals; it makes the child feel understood, diffuses emotions, and leads to opportunities for repair. Incorporated into the relationship with one’s child, the technique has long-lasting effects on the child’s behavior. Although Ms. Kolari directs her work toward the relationship with the challenging child, the lessons learned can be applied to all relationships. Connected Parenting is compelling reading for any parent who has been challenged by the relationship with his or her child.
You’re Ruining My Life! provides impressive guidance for parents of challenging children. With great kindness and compassion and wonderful clarity she helps parents to organize their responses and reconnect to their teens in ways that that will give them renewed hope.
Connected parenting works! This is more than a book on parenting, it is a blueprint for understanding healthy communication for all relationships! These techniques have become a way of life for our family and have helped me both professionally and as a parent. It will change your life for the better!
As a practicing paediatrician, I have had the privilege of observing the success of Jennifer Kolari’s therapeutic techniques over many years. Now that these techniques are available in this book, I will be recommending Connected Parenting to every parent who brings their infant to my office.
All the secrets are revealed in Connected Parenting. These are the keys to unlock the barriers that exist between parents and children. For parents, educators and Family Medicine residents, Jennifer Kolari’s first book should be required reading. The tools are invaluable, but most importantly, they are effective and behavioural change will successfully occur.
Kolari helps parents understand complicated teen brain chemistry and offers practical parenting advice that is respectful and effective
Connected Parenting is the ultimate survival guide for families. Jennifer’s methods restore the trust, respect and affection that difficult behaviours can undermine, while helping to manage those same behaviours with original, fresh techniques. Parents will see how their relationships with their children can be repaired and strengthened in ways they may have thought were impossible.
If you too agonize—Why can’t he just say ‘okay mommy’, this book is for you. An extra challenging child is a gift; Jennifer Kolari helps you learn how to cherish it. Her empathetic ‘mirroring’ strategy works on the most wound up child—even on husbands! And now it’s in print, so we can’t forget the techniques. Jennifer Kolari helped steer us toward more effective parenting of the challenging child, so we could focus on the joyful gifts rather than the problems. If you need a reason to read it, turn to the back page—and Kolari’s poignant questions: What do I want my children to remember about their childhood? And, even scarier, What do I want my children to remember about me? Parenting doesn’t come with a textbook—Connected Parenting is close to it.
I have known Jennifer Kolari for several years and have sent a number of children and families to her for therapy. I have worked with a number of clinicians in several children’s mental health agencies and clinics and have found Jennifer’s style and techniques to be among the very best. She has been able to effect change in the most complex families, with children who have ‘been through the system’ and been exposed to a myriad of clinicians and treatment approaches, none of which proved effective for them. With her approachable, warm, composed demeanor, and brilliant clinical skills, she has been able to connect with these parents and children, work closely with them, and make the family unit function again. The skills and techniques highlighted in this book are going to prove effective for parents and professionals alike. The concepts are sound, theoretically based, and truly work. This book is going to be required reading in any subsequent courses I teach on child and adolescent psychotherapy.
Funny, warm, and fresh, Kolari’s Connected Parenting is, hands down, the most effective parenting system of our generation. This book will bring out the very best in your child. Put simply, this book changed my life