About Michael Harris

Michael can help you improve your life situation when it comes to FASD.

Michael has been training and explaining FASD with a strengths-based approach to frustrated caregivers and professionals since 1997—Whether it’s one-on-one help in therapy, participating in a parent support group, workshopping FASD interventions to large groups, presenting a conference key-note speech about FASD, or podcasting around the world.

How does he know his stuff?

Deep involvement with families and individuals affected by FASD for 20 years plus a keen ability to break through “psycho-babble” jargon and explain things in a practical way.

It doesn’t hurt to be a foster parent either. Since 2011, Michael has had the unique challenge of single-parent fostering a teen with FASD. Putting his money where his mouth is and having to follow his own psychology advice puts Michael in the shoes of many caregivers’ experiences—feeling blamed & judged, frustrated & confused, and feeling burnt out & desperate for practical help.

“The placement could have failed ten times by now,” says Michael. “But staying focused on our strengths—and knowing the mechanics behind FASD—has saved our sanity many times!”

Listen to the FASD Elephant™ podcasts, join in on a live Periscope FASD Chat™, read the newsletter, or attend one of his workshops, and you’ll understand… Life with FASD can be better than it is now.

More Details on Michael

Michael is the director of mental health services at the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis, a non-profit community healthcare center, serving the urban American Indian community and people of all races. He has expertise in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), foster care, adoption, developmental trauma and abuse, historical trauma, and childhood attachment problems. He provides FASD assessment and interventions in addition to individual, family and group psychotherapy services

As a consultant, Michael provides FASD trainings & workshops, keynote talks, consultation, and psychoeducation for professionals, foster and adoptive parents, and laypersons. He is also a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (SEP) and a licensed foster parent.

Michael is an active speaker regionally and nationally, plus he has maintained the FASD Elephant™ podcast and website since 2007.

Michael graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Psychology, then attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, receiving an MA degree in Child Psychology.

Following training at the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis (IHB), St. Paul Public Schools, & as a volunteer Guardian ad litem, he completed an APA-Accredited Predoctoral Internship in Psychology at Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis, 1994-95), and joined the staff of IHB fulltime in 1995, becoming Director of the Counseling Support Clinic at IHB in 2001.

Michael became a Licensed Psychologist (LP) in 1997, an EMDRIA Certified Therapist 2000-2011, a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner 2011-present, and a licensed foster parent 2012-present.

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