$50 – $160

The Neurorelational Framework with Connie Lillas, PhD., MFT, RN

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UIC Forum

725 West Roosevelt Road

Chicago, IL 60608

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The Neurorelational Framework: Translating Brain Science Into Clinical Practice, Dr. Connie Lillas

The Harvard Center on the Developing Child has identified core concepts that organize neurodevelopment: 1) the different effects of toxic and adaptive stress, 2) the process of “serve and return” interactions that fire and wire the brain architecture, and 3) individual differences in brain architecture. The Neurorelational Framework’s (NRF) three clinical steps align with the three core concepts of neurodevelopment. The NRF provides a common language and shared practices for clinicians that ensures a neuroprotective approach. The three clinical steps support assessment and intervention and are applicable to high risk populations and children who have experienced abuse and neglect. The three key steps will be introduced through video-based case examples. Participants will be encouraged to apply these three clinical steps to themselves and a current case they have, in support of reflective practice. Participants will be guided through the three clinical steps using the framework of shared decision making and evidence based practice. Demonstrations will provide participants with processes and tools that can be used with families immediately.

Conference Participants will be able to:

  • Identify three stress responses and four toxic stress patterns
  • Identify seven socio-emotional milestones for assessing the quality of engagement
  • Discriminate between interventions that are related to “bottom-up” and “top-down” behaviors


Connie Lillas, Ph.D., MFT, RNDr. Connie Lillas is an infant mental health and early intervention specialist, with a strong background in maternal-child nursing, family systems training, and developmental psychoanalysis. She views the birth to five year span as the foundation for mind/brain/body health., She practices a complex approach to assessing and treating infants, young children, and their parents and caregivers.

With a long-established private clinical practice, Dr. Lillas serves children and families across the lifespan. She has co-authored a professional scholarly book with Dr. Janiece Turnbull, Infant Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies: A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice, as part of the W.W. Norton series on “Interpersonal Neurobiology.” Additionally, Dr. Lillas is a National Graduate Zero To Three Leadership Fellow, recognized as having made an innovative contribution to the field of infant mental health and early intervention.

Dr. Lillas is the Founder and President of the non-profit, NRF Global Communities which houses the NRF Training Manual for cross-sectored communities that are using the NRF’s three clinical steps to build a common language and shared approach across systems of care. The NRF’s curriculum provides a developmental care approach that is trauma-informed, neurobiologically sensitive, and integrated with cultural awareness. www.nrf-gc.org


Sponsored by Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health in cooperation with the UIC Children's Center and with special thanks to the Irving B. Harris Foundation






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UIC Forum

725 West Roosevelt Road

Chicago, IL 60608

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