How to Supercharge Your Child’s Brain with The Power of Secure Attachment with Dr. Tina Bryson

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One of the very best scientific predictors for how any child turns out–in terms of happiness, academic success, leadership skills, and meaningful relationships–is whether at least one adult in their life has consistently shown up for them.

On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Tina Bryson, the founder and executive director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice, and The Play Strong Institute, a center devoted to the study, research, and practice of play therapy through a neurodevelopmental lens.

She is a licensed clinical social worker, providing pediatric and adolescent psychotherapy and parenting consultations. Dr. Bryson keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, clinicians, and industry leaders around the world. She is the co-author, with Dan Siegel, of The Yes Brain and the New York Times bestsellers The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline, as well as the upcoming Bottom Line for Baby. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Bryson talk about what it means to be present and really show up for our kids, even if our own caregiver wasn’t really present. They discuss how to develop secure attachment in your kids and how providing a calm, safe presence can radically change how a child’s brain develops. They also talk about how every child needs to feel what Tina calls the Four S’s: safe, seen, soothed, and secure, and strategies for implementing them into your child’s daily life.  

In this episode, we dive into:

  • The best predictor for how well our kids turn out is how we show up as parents (1:50)
  • How the attachment between a parent and child impacts the development of a child’s brain (5:20) 
  • The Strange Situation Study (7:47)
  • The four attachment patterns (15:36)
  • Why secure attachment is the ultimate goal in parenting (23:44) 
  • A parents two primary jobs when it comes to making their kids feel safe (26:58) 
  • Why traditional forms of disciple are counterproductive (32:10)
  • Understanding what’s really underneath your child’s behavior and helping them feel seen (35:50) 
  • The most powerful way to help your child in a state of distress (47:21)
  • Behaviors that can manifest as adults when not feeling safe, seen, soothed and secure as a child (1:10:05)
  • Where to learn more about Dr. Tina Bryson (1:25:06)

I know you’ll love this episode of The Broken Brain Podcast as much as I did. 

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD

PS – For more on Dr. Tina Bryson, be sure to follow her on Instagram @tinapaynebryson, and on Facebook @tinapaynebrysonphd. Check out her website You can find Tina’s book, The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired, right here.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD


Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.


If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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