Welcome to Helping Families Thrive!

We're Drs. Jenna Elgin and Shanna Alvarez.

We aim to support families with evidence and empathy.

As parents ourselves, we know how challenging it can be to raise happy and healthy humans. Trying to be the best parent, you use wisdom from family members, smash it together with advice gleaned from your social media, and hope for the best. We believe parents deserve better.

Let Us Help You Navigate the Art & Science of Parenthood

We have dedicated our careers as psychologists and research scientists to improving families’ well-being. Through decades of this work, we have witnessed the powerful transformation that evidence-based intervention can bring to families.

Through the joys and confusions of parenthood, we were fortunate to rely on these tried and true scientific frameworks to get through the rough patches. As friends and colleagues since grad school we have supported each other as we navigated the many paths into parenting including biological parenthood, adoption, foster parenting, and kinship care.

When we had children ourselves and began looking at parenting information online, we realized that: 

There is a concerning gap between the information most parents have access to and the rigorously researched tools we know really work.

Our mission at Helping Families Thrive is to bring parenting science to the everyday parent.

Parenting is Hard Enough

You don't need to navigate it alone.

Through Helping Families Thrive, we use an authentic and humorous approach to layer scientific knowledge with our real-world experiences as parents. We provide you with a compass to cultivate a healthy relationship with your child.

Work with us to realign with your values and make your daily actions consistent with what matters most.

Resources and Services

Therapy Services

Parenting eCourse

Workshops & Mini-Courses

Speaking Engagements


We can help

Parenting Essentials is Trusted by the Seattle School District's Head Start Program


"Shanna is an extraordinary leader. She is insightful, inspiring and real.

She gives so much of herself to the class – from extremely helpful, illuminating and sometimes hilarious examples from her own personal life to extra support when families are struggling – that every family felt completely supported throughout the 18 weeks.” 

justine c.

"Our daughter has absolutely thrived through this program.

She has learned so much about managing her own behavior and responding appropriately to others, and she has gained tremendous awareness of her own emotions and what she can do to help herself get and stay calm, even in challenging times.

alissa g.

Our Amazing Team

Shanna Headshot-2

Dr. Shanna Alvarez, Ph.D


Dr. Jenna Elgin, Ph.D

Heather Headshot

Dr. Heather Davis, Ph.D

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Our 3-Step Strategy to Help Your Child to Listen the First Time

A free guide to improve your child’s cooperation.