Sufna John, PhD is a licensed psychologist and associate professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is an Indian American mother of two biracial children and strives to provide infant and early childhood mental health services through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Sufna says she became a Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) and DC:0-5 trainer because those roles help her give clinicians effective tools that match their intentions and heart for the work. She reflects on the amazing tools and treatments available to recognize and respond to mental health challenges in young children, but that those tools will not benefit who they are meant for unless we can equip professionals with the knowledge and support they need.
One quote I often hold is that ‘a society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.’ Investing in early childhood has the potential to improve generations to come in ways that we will not be able to see in our own lifetimes – and the investment is worth the hard work.
In line with the strong roots of reflection in infant and early childhood mental health, Sufna believes that who you are and how you do is just as important as what you do in your work. She says that valuing reflection means welcoming opportunities to slow down with others and intentionally explore the choices we make and how our work impacts us. As an Indian American woman, she identifies with the belief that we are best when tied to our community and relying on others in this way is a sign of strength and commitment to the betterment of those around you.
Learn more about Sufna and how her cultural heritage influences her approach to her work.