About Lives in the Balance

"The thought that life could be better
is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains."
Train in the Distance, Paul Simon

Lives in the Balance is the non-profit organization founded by child psychologist Dr. Ross Greene, originator of the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach (formerly known as Collaborative Problem Solving*). Our mission is to advocate on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers and to provide web-based resources on Dr. Greene's model, as described in his books The Explosive Child and Lost at SchoolLives in the Balance is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible.  To learn more about our mission, click here.  For a one-page overview of the CPS model, click here.

The Directors of Lives in the Balance were chosen because of their commitment to the CPS model and other non-punitive, non-adversarial, proactive, collaborative, skill-building, and relationship-enhancing interventions. In selecting the Directors, Lives in the Balance sought to ensure representation from the diverse contexts in which the CPS model has been implemented, including families, schools, inpatient psychiatry units, residential facilities, juvenile corrections facilities, and outpatient mental health settings:

Laura Baker Laura Baker, Ed.D.: Laura is Assistant Professor of Special Education at Westfield State College in Westfield, Massachusetts. She is a former principal and director of special education, as well as the former head of school at Greenfield Center School, the first school to embrace and implement the CPS model.
Laura Fuller Laura Fuller, Ph.D.: Laura is a neuropsychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. She was instrumental in implementing the CPS model in her prior position at Shodair Children's Hospital, a residential and inpatient facility for children and adolescents in Helena, Montana.
Susan McCuaig

Susan McCuaig: Susan is Principal at Betty Huff Elementary School in Surrey, British Columbia, and is taking the initiative to expand the influence of Collaborative & Proactive Solutions beyond her school and into the community. Susan is also a panelist on Lives in the Balance monthly Radio Program, Helping Behaviorally Challenging Students.

Susan Portin Susy Portin: Susy is the parent of three great kids, two of whom had emotional and behavioral challenges (that’s how she learned about and become a devotee of the CPS model and Lives in the Balance).  She’s one of the co-hosts on the Parenting Your Challenging Child radio program, sponsored by Lives in the Balance.
Kathy Regan Kathy Regan, RN: Kathy is the former nurse manager on the Child Assessment Unit (CAU) at Cambridge City Hospital in Boston, where she and her staff virtually eliminated the use of restraint and seclusion through implementation of Dr. Greene's model...and a lot of hard work (READ more). 
Barry Stoodley Bartlett Stoodley: Barry is the former Associate Commissioner of Juvenile Services in the Department of Corrections in Maine, where he and his colleagues dramatically reduced rates of recidivism, use of solitary confinement, and staff and resident injuries through implementation of the CPS model and other non-punitive, non-adversarial approaches (READ more). 

Ross Greene Ross Greene, Ph.D., is founder and Director of Lives in the Balance and the originator of the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions approach, as described in his books The Explosive Child and Lost at School.  He is also adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech.
Kim Hopkins-Betts

Kim Hopkins-Betts, LICSW is the Director of Grants and a CPS Trainer at Lives in the Balance. She has managed the clinical departments of two organizations serving youth and families in residential facilities, both of which have implemented CPS.

Liz Rudman Liz Rudman is Director of Conference Planning at Lives in the Balance, and also provides administrative oversight of our consultation services.  Prior to joining Lives in the Balance, Liz has been assistant director of an adoption agency, a career counselor, a rehabilitation counselor, and an advertising executive in New York City.
Whitney Kimbar Lindsey Pinkham, M.A., is a graduate of the school psychology program in the Department of Education at Tufts University, and is currently a school psychologist in Reading, Massachusetts. She volunteers her time overseeing the Good and Bad News section of the Lives in the Balance website.
Tim and Anne Tim Baehr and Ann Landsburg volunteer their time to handle all communications for the Lives in the Balance radio programs and also take care of order fulfillment for Care Packages.


The Lives in the Balance Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of nationally and internationally recognized researchers in children's mental health, and provides input and guidance on research initiatives and priorities. Click here for information about its members.

Lives in the Balance programs are funded through contributions from Dr. Greene, CPS Initiative, and members of the Lives in the Balance Founders Circle. If you're interested in supporting our mission, please contact us.

Our offices are located at 85 Exchange Street, Suite 201, Portland, Maine, 04101.

Are you wondering why a canoe -- with an adult and child paddling together -- is the symbol of Lives in the Balance? Because it symbolizes adult-child collaboration. The CPS model has its roots in the treatment of kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges...in other words, kids who are in very treacherous waters already. When it comes to helping these kids move in the right direction, many adults have a tendency to take control of the canoe and paddle alone. The problem, of course, is that challenging kids aren’t the type to sit idly by while the adult takes charge. They often respond to "control" strategies in ways that increase the likelihood that the canoe will tip. By contrast, CPS is a process by which adults and kids resolve problems together. When they approach problems collaboratively and work together toward solutions that are mutually satisfactory, things head in a positive direction. It's very hard work, but it’s a lot better than the alternative.


*Dr. Greene is the originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach -- and referred to his model by that name in his articles, chapters, research papers, and books prior to 2013 -- but now calls his model Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). To learn more, click here.