Nancy Thomas is a mother, grandmother, adoptive mom and foster mom. She has been a Therapeutic Parenting Specialist since 1974. Nancy worked full time as a Professional Therapeutic Parent from 1985 to 1995. She also worked as a co-therapist/lay therapist with children in intensive attachment therapy, for over 10,000 hours, alongside eight of the leading Attachment Therapists, Psychiatrists and Psychologists in the United States. These challenging, and challenged children, suffered with symptoms of psychopathology, and sociopathy. They had histories of being abusive to animals. Many were diagnosed with mood disorder, character disorder, personality disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Asperger’s, ADD, ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome and/or BiPolar Disorder. The histories of some of the children even included homicide and arson.
Nancy was honored to train with and work alongside renowned experts in the attachment field. She learned from, and shared her wisdom with, leaders in attachment and bonding–including Lloyd Boggs, MSW; Neil Feinberg, MSW; Bill Goble, Ph.D.; Deborah Hage, MSW; Daniel Hughes, PhD; and Mike Orlans, MSW. Nancy trained and worked with Foster Cline, M.D., for ten years. He is a Psychiatrist, Author, and Founder of the Love & Logic program, and has praised Nancy’s work highly. Dr. Cline said, “(Nancy) has been acclaimed by national as well as local audiences. She has taught both professionals and frontline workers. I am sure that almost any organization would benefit greatly by having Nancy Thomas in almost any position that requires her wit, intelligence, sense of humor, charm and people skills.”
Nancy and her family live in the high mountains of Western Colorado, in a home centered around healing the hearts of children. Nancy and her husband, Jerry, have shared their life and home for over thirty-five years with severely emotionally disturbed children with attachment problems. Ninety percent of the children placed in her care have been kids who had killed. She has an eighty-five percent success rate with these high-risk children–which is one of the highest in the country. Nancy specializes in bonding and conscience development.
Based on her years of hands-on experience, and high success rate, Nancy authored a parenting guide, entitled “When Love is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder”. The book has been well-received by many parents and professionals around the world. Nancy is recognized internationally as one of the leading authorities on parenting emotionally disturbed children. She was asked to join several esteemed attachment professionals in co-authoring, “The Handbook of Attachment Interventions”, published internationally in 1999 by Academic Press. She has written and produced seven training DVD/CD sets that have helped thousands of parents who have children with broken hearts and wounded minds. They are: “Rebuilding the Broken Bond”, “Building Brilliant Brains through Bonding”, “Captive in the Classroom”, “Give Me a Break”, “The Circle of Support”, “Mastering Steps” and ‘Taming the Tiger”.
The Glenwood Post honored Nancy on April 12, 1997 in a front-page article entitled: “Using Love, Woman Opens Heart To Children Of All Types”. The article said: “Imagine the most badly behaved children in existence –children completely beyond control. What to most of us would be an abject nightmare is no more than just a challenging way of life for Nancy Thomas. She loves it.” Local publications have also featured Mrs. Thomas’ work in an article entitled, “Children call her Mom; Moms call her a Blessing”. In the June 1997 edition, the publication of the American Psychological Association, quoted Nancy along with top specialists of Attachment Disorder in an article entitled: “When Children Don’t Bond With Parents”. In Europe, the journal entitled “The New Therapist,” from Sussex, England, published Nancy’s article, “When Love is Not Enough”, in the Autumn 2000 issue. She has also had articles published in the “High Risk Newsletter” and the “South China Morning Post”. The Cline/Fay Love & Logic Institute published her audio CD’s, “Healing Trust: Rebuilding The Broken Bond”.
Nancy began speaking professionally and doing consultation work in 1986. After her work was highlighted in an HBO special in 1990, entitled, “Child of Rage”, she has become a much sought after and well-respected speaker. Nancy has shared the keys to her high-success rate in working with these high-risk children, in hundreds of state, county, and private agencies throughout forty-six states; as well as, Australia, Canada, England, China, Japan, Ireland, India and Romania. Nancy continues to captivate audiences with love and laughter. To date, Nancy has taught over 28,500 parents and professionals to teach children how to be respectful, responsible, and fun to be around.
As an interim Professor at Colorado Mountain College in 1996, Nancy taught behavior modification theory and concepts–traditionally focused on people–toward behavior management of animals. In 1997-99 she taught classes for Providence General Medical Center, in Continuing Medical Education, to satisfy license renewal requirements of the Washington State Board of Medical Examiners. She received the Physicians’ Recognition Award of the American Medical Association.
A dream that Nancy had for years became a reality when she established, and began directing, summer camp programs for emotionally disturbed children in 1999. She now directs camps across the United States, and in Great Britain, Australia and Canada. At camp, the children are able to laugh and learn–with their parents–in a healing environment. Nancy is the Founder and Chairperson of the nonprofit organization, SAVY, Inc., which she established to help Stop America’s Violent Youth. She is proud to be a part of this group that is working toward shaping our country’s future generations, by training therapists and professionals in every state–so that professionals can be skilled and ready to work with attachment challenged children and their families. Nancy has been honored to be invited to speak on several radio shows and seven television shows. She has been able to help many. Emails and letters of appreciation flow in daily–as do requests for more help!
NOTE: Image of Nancy Thomas courtesy of Star Newman at Acts of Beauty.