About Families United
Families United was established in 2006 by Christine Walker, a psychotherapist in private practice, for the purpose of bringing "cutting edge science" to mental health issues. After an extensive and varied career in the fields of public child welfare, adoption, family therapy, and clinical training in therapeutic communication with children, Chris became fascinated with and passionate about a new paradigm which was evolving from research in developmental psychology (aka attachment theory) and neuroscience. Drawing from this research, she has developed treatment modalities for addressing the following issues (but not limited to):
- Pre and Post Placement Adoption Services throughout the Lifespan
- Attachment Concerns
- Oppositional Child Behaviors
- Attention and Learning Problems
- Mood Disorders: Anxiety, Compulsions, & Mood Swings
- Pervasive Developmental Spectrum
- Early Infant and Child Developmental Concerns--including eating and sleeping
- Family Relationships
- Marital Confict
- Adult Life Concerns
Chris uses a variety of approaches, integrating talk therapy with experiential methods. She is a firm believer in the connections between mind. body, and spirit. Whether working on adult-adult or parent-child relationships, Chris emphasizes the importance of working on one's own emotional and nervous systems as a first step to creating change.
As part of the process, she offers psychoeducation on the "science of empathy and compassion". Drawing heavily from attachment and trauma research, she strongly believes in the need to strengthen the attachment bond before a relationship or a problem can move forward. She also utilizes brain based research which demonstrates the effectiveness of mindfulness and contemplative practices. When addressing children's issues, she often uses a method called "Parent Oriented Child Psychotherapy", and teaches "Brain Based Parenting".
"Chris helped us reduce our child's obsessive and compulsive behaviors by helping us understand and address the root cause of his anxieties."
" Chris showed us how to help our child's ADHD through attachment conscious parenting. We had no idea that we could impact our child's brain chemistry, and in the process his ability to focus."
"Chris helped me improve my child's difficult behavior by helping me talk directly and honestly to her about loss and disappointments. It was surprising to learn that feelings matter, and that my daughter would listen when she realized that we understood how she felt."
"Chris helped us improve our adopted child's oppositional behaviors by strengthening our attachment relationship, and by helping us talk to him about his adoption."
"Chris helped us understand that our child's autism created a challenge to the attachment system, and that by focusing on building the attachment relationship we could improve her functioning."
More About Chris:
Chris holds a Master of Social Work Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in mental health. She completed her clinical training at UVA's former under Fives Study Center. She was recognized by the Commissioner of Social Services for her "meritorious" service to Virginia's children. She is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to practice Clinical Social Work.