Meet Our Faculty! Mona Delahooke, PhD

Welcome to our new feature blog:  Faces of Profectum

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the remarkable Faculty training professionals of every discipline, as well as parents, paraprofessionals and caregivers to advance the development and mental health of children across the lifespan and around the globe. You know Profectum, now meet the individuals who provide the expertise and vitality that make Profectum the leading DIR-FCD training institution in the world.  Each faculty member has contributed to the growth of our model and its implementation in multiple settings bringing innovation, creativity and passion to the mission we all share.This feature will appear monthly, so be sure to look for it and get a glimpse of the inside story!

Serena Wieder, PhD

Mona Delahooke, PhD – Clinical Psychologist

Mona M. Delahooke, PhD is a clinical psychologist specializing in the development of infants, children and their families. As an infant mental health specialist, she has worked widely with multidisciplinary teams, supporting children with developmental, behavioral or emotional delays for over 20 years. She is a senior faculty member and Mental Health Working Group Co-Chair of the Profectum Foundation and faculty member of the Early Intervention Training Institute (EITI) of the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. She also provides training to personnel in the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and professional groups across the country. Currently in private practice in Arcadia, California, Dr. Delahooke consults with parents, preschools, and school districts in the areas of developmental screening, assessment and early intervention services. Dr. Delahooke has a blog for parents and professionals, the Visible Parent, at and at Facebook at / and twitter at /

Don’t miss meeting Dr. Mona Delahooke at our March Conference in San Marino!

Questions and Answers with Mona Delahooke, PhD

Where are you located?

Arcadia, California

Where did you go to school?

University of Southern California, 1981
California School of Professional Psychology, 1986

How long have you been DIR Faculty?

I have been a faculty member since 2005.

How did you come to work with developmental challenges?

I decided to specialize in infant mental health after trying to find an IMH specialist to consult with after my daughter was born prematurely. I couldn’t find anyone in my area so I decided to fill the need myself! I began a 3-year post-doctoral specialization, and during my second year at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, I realized I wanted to work with children with developmental differences. My advisor at ZTT gave me the best advice of my professional career when she encouraged me to study with Serena Wieder and Stanley Greenspan. In 1999  I was lucky enough to meet Ricki Robinson who invited me to the DIR® Institute in Towsen, Maryland, where I found my professional “home” in the amazing DIR model community.

What is your work schedule like?  

My work is a wonderful medley of consulting with schools and public/private agencies, seeing families in my private practice, training nationally for PESI, (a CE provider), writing articles for my blog, and working on the Profectum California Conference with Connie and Ricki.

Where did you grow up and what in your past influenced your work today?  

I grew up in Southern California where my parents met as foreign exchange students. My childhood was an interesting mix of two different cultures (my father was from the Netherlands and my mother from the middle east). My parents chose to come to the US for the many opportunities it had to offer and constantly encouraged me and my siblings to reach for our dreams.

What’s your biggest frustration with how people misunderstand or represent autism and other developmental/mental health challenges?

My biggest frustration is when challenging  behaviors (adaptations to individual differences) are incorrectly interpreted as intentional misbehaviors, and treated as such.

What do you feel you contribute most as a psychologist?

I have been told that I help parents and children feel safe and hopeful. I believe both are essential to helping families thrive.

Do you have a specific special area of interest in your field?

My special area of interest is the role of relationships in promoting emotional regulation.  

What three suggestions would you give parents and professionals on this topic?

  • Make sure your child’s team values your child’s emotions and sense of safety
  • Place supportive relationships at the center of all treatment goal
  • Make sure the team understands and  values your child’s individual differences

If you wouldn’t have become a psychologist what would you have become?

An OT with a specialty in sensory processing and mental health.

What books/resources do you most recommend to parents?

Engaging Autism, Greenspan and Wieder;,Sensational Kids, Lucy Miller;  and  as of March, I will be recommending my own book, Social and Emotional Development in Early Intervention! (available on Amazon)

Can you share a moment in your work you will never forget – funny or otherwise?

When one of my toddler patients locked me in my own playhouse!

What is something surprising that most people don’t know about you?

I can surf!   

Are there any events or trainings you or your colleagues are doing that you would like to share with others?

We invite everyone to come to the California Conference. It will be at a new and beautiful location, the world famous Huntington Library and Gardens! Come join us!  

Is there anything else you would you like people to know about you?

I am beyond grateful to be a part of Profectum and the DIR Family.

Where can we learn more about you?

Mona Delahooke, PhD on Facebook and Twitter for my blog and website:

Read the Profectum Bio for Mona Delahooke, PhD: /monadelahooke/

New Book by Dr. Mona Delahooke

Available on Amazon


Profectum Webcasts by Dr. Mona Delahooke

DIR Informed Thinking: A Case Study in Treatment of Anxiety and ASD

Helping Parents Cope with Stress and Find Resilience

“I’m Not Going to Lose It!” How to Stay Regulated and Calm While Helping Your Child Work Through Challenging Issues – Parents and Professionals Working Together

Clinical Strategies for Treating Multimodal Sensitivities

Supporting Competence | The Parent’s Journey: From Presuming Competence to Supporting Competence

Evidence for Video Games – Panel Discussion

The Fathers’ Journey: Bringing the Father Factor into Your Home – Panel Discussion

The Parent Perspective: Building a Treatment Team that is Right for Each Child