Interview Series-Rhett McKenzie

Rhett is a licensed counselor in the state of Alabama.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Mississippi State University, and his Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling (MAMFC) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  For the past 4 years he has worked for Pathways Professional Counseling which is the outreach counseling ministry of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries.  In his work there he has worked with many foster children/parents and adopted children and their parents from the community.  Many of these children come from “hard places” which are abusive, neglectful, and/or traumatic backgrounds.  As a result parenting, teaching, and therapy must be approached differently with these children since their brain development has been adversely effected by their background.  Rhett received training in Theraplay which is an attachment approach to therapy that focuses on the principles of structure, nurture, engagement, and challenges for these children and their caregivers. He has also trained in TBRI and is a TBRI Educator. TBRI is a parenting approach that stands for Trust Based Relational Intervention.  The research shows that most psychological healing, especially for children, comes through relationships.  A major part of helping a child heal is understanding how their brains work, and being able to meet the needs of the brain/child. He works with a great number of parents and teachers to help them understand the value of understanding what drives a child’s behavior, rather than getting stuck focusing on the behavior itself.  If we know what drives the behavior, then we are able to change the behavior.


Topic-Major role that sensory input plays in a child’s behavior

How to address those sensory input needs

  • TPRI (trust-based relation intervention)  – a parenting technique using live scripts by learning to use words instead of behaviors
  • The importance of vestibular sensory input and the proprioceptive sensory input
  • Work the right balance of structure and nurture in building up good character in children

Interview-RHETT MCKENZIE quote

Connect with Rhett: