Where Pikler meets Neuroscience – Pikler® Conference, October 28, 2017

Honoring Karen, Countess Spencer, recipient Of Pikler/Lóczy USA Founders Award

The developing brain thrives when an infant is nurtured in a predictable, loving relationship. We will explore how the Pikler® approach creates caring human connections that foster the child’s well being and provide a strong foundation for developing brain connections.

Presenters: Katherine Bussey MEd, Enid Elliot PhD, Jutka Hafner, Natasha Khazanov PhD, Debbie Laurin PhD, Zsuzsa Libertiny, Peter L. Mangione PhD and Ken Jaffe, J.D.

Read their complete biographies:  Presenters’ Biographies for Where Pikler® meets Neuroscience Conference 

Read the Descriptions of the Presentations

Moderators: Gabrielle Anwar, Elsa Chahin and Susan Patrick PhD
Conference Committee Chair: Linda Hinrichs


Time and location information:

Pepperdine University Graduate Campus, West LA Campus
6100 Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045
October 28, 2017, 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Registration 8:00 AM


Driving directions, parking instructions & map pdf

Hotels, entertainment and transportation pdf

$130 – After September 30, 2017

Registration information:
To register and pay with Pay Pal or credit card.


*Open to all
This Conference will provide attendees the rare opportunity to hear from a broad panel of experts how new information, from the field of neuroscience, supports over 7 decades of research and documentation developed by world-renowned Hungarian pediatrician, Dr. Emmi Pikler and her colleagues. This important work continues to this day at the Emmi Pikler House in Budapest. The findings in neuroscience reach across disciplines and influence diverse practices for supporting optimal brain development in infants and young children through their day-to-day relationships and play experiences.

We invite you to join us as we explore how adult’s daily interactions, when implemented with respect and the child’s cooperation, play a key role in the child’s well-being and development. Bridging neuroscience with best practices in the care relationships with infants and toddlers is a focus of this conference.


Recipient Of Pikler/Lóczy USA Founders Award, Karen, Countess Spencer

Karen Countess Spencer.

Karen, Countess Spencer.

Karen, Countess Spencer founded Whole Child International in 2004 with the aim of improving the quality of care for vulnerable children worldwide. Targeting the largely overlooked emotional needs of society’s most at-risk children, Whole Child’s cost-effective, sustainable, and replicable program provides them with the tools they need to become productive members of society. As Founder and CEO of the organization, Karen leads an international team of trainers, researchers, and other staff to change systems of care, to advocate and influence policy, and to conduct related research. Whole Child programs are currently being brought to scale with funding from the Korean government through the Inter-American Development Bank and other donors. On February 20-21, 2010, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama came especially to lend his personal support to Whole Child at the launch of its global initiative to raise awareness of the plight of institutionalized children. During his two days supporting Whole Child, His Holiness participated in discussions with philanthropists, academics, government officials, and the public on how best to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children. Karen is co-author of articles published in the peer-reviewed Infant Journal of Mental Health and Perspectives in Infant Mental Health, contributing important insights and realistic solutions to the public debate. In September 2015, she was elected an Ashoka Fellow, which honored her for identifying and filling a gap in care for orphans and vulnerable children. In 2016 she was made a Fellow at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom