Dr. Tara Kfoury is the founder of RIVER Educational Consulting and a Child & Adolescent Transformative Specialist who helps parents, teachers, and administrators recognize and address mental health-related behaviors that prevent students from learning and thriving in an academic environment. She believes that all children and adolescents should be provided a safe, non-judgmental space to unpack and understand their feelings, learn strategies to cope in healthier ways, and build a new sense of inner strength to move through life with vigor. Without identifying and addressing uncomfortable or negative emotions and thoughts, many students often shut down or seek solace in the engagement of at-risk behaviors within their home, school, and/or their community.
Dr. Kfoury has a true gift for connecting with these young people on a deeper level, helping them to create achievable goals, and serving as their dedicated advocate to ensure they are receiving all support services they may need to live a healthy and well-adjusted life.
Although Tara has dedicated her career and educational endeavors to gain expertise in and spread awareness of the impact of mental health behaviors in education, her personal experiences were the catalyst for choosing to carve out this maverick profession. She admits that in her adolescence, she experienced several critical moments of her life where she felt that she was not heard or loved deep down inside- which led to low self-esteem and a lack of focus in the classroom. She was fortunate to have an incredible school counselor who she could speak to openly, but she wished more adults in her life were able and willing to address the battles she often fought in her mind and heart. With her counselor’s help, she integrated long-term strategies to become a much healthier version of herself through compassionate self-talk, acceptance, self-examination, and reflection. Tara is not only an expert in the field but has a personal investment in helping children/teens who feel alone in their struggles.
Tara has created a revolutionary organization, RIVER Educational Consulting, due to the enormous need to train educators in identifying and addressing students who are struggling. RIVER also offers services to individuals and families by facilitating therapeutic sessions, creating strategies that set children up for success, advocating for the child in school meetings/mediation, and ensuring the child’s educational rights are understood and honored.
After working in the educational world for many years, Tara identified an enormous need to train educators in identifying and addressing students who are struggling with behavioral and /or mental health needs. This led to the birth of her revolutionary organization, RIVER Educational Consulting which provides state of the art training programs and intervention plans to equip school/college educators and staff with the tools to address their students’ social/emotional/behavioral/mental health challenges. For example, teachers and facility will be able to identify and address those vulnerable to suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, overwhelm, sadness, hopelessness head-on. RIVER offers new approaches to Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support that has drastically changed the culture and dynamics of classrooms and their students.
RIVER also offers services to individuals and families by creating strategies that set children up for success while helping parents understand their children’s educational rights. RIVER advocates for the child though attending school meetings or mediation, requesting evaluations to get to the core of the issue, creating the best approach to obtaining an IEP, and much more. Tara also offers individual and family therapy sessions delivered in person or virtual.
Aside from serving as the Founder of RIVER Educational Consulting, Tara is a former grade 5-12 Humanities Teacher, k-University Spanish Language Professor, a Behavioral Interventionist, and is currently active as an adolescent dual-diagnosis therapist at a local Boston hospital. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership with a Specialization in Adolescent Maladaptive Behaviors from Lesley University.
Tara is a member of the Mental Health Round-table Committee for the City of Boston, a reoccurring participant on the local television show “Living in the 21st Century”, a regular contributor to several podcasts, webinars, and news articles. She has published several articles, courses on trauma in education, and hosted a webinar for educators, mental health professionals, and families. She is a mom of two daughters and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mental Health First Aide Certification
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), TFT (Tapping)
Positive Behavior Intervention & Support (PBIS)
Two-time winner (2018 & 2019) of the Newton Universal Leadership Award in Education & Social Transformation
Published & defended a 325+ page Dissertation “The Perceived Role of Principals in Addressing Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Among Adolescents Ages 10-14 years Old.”
Published, Taught, & Presented two courses on Trauma for Safe Schools Series, The
Exceptional Child, Vector Solutions
Active Member of the City of Boston Mental Health Roundtable Committee, City of Boston, MA
Lead Education Specialist, Boston Public Schools
Newly appointed Staff Trainer for the Why Try Resiliency Curriculum Program
As seen on:
Newton TV’s Living in the 21st Century, regular appearances since 2018
Schools of Tomorrow with Sir Kuldeep Surolia, New Delhi, India
Disrupt Health TV with Julie Palumbo, author of Best Whole Self
Anxiety & Parenting Responsibility, Mindful Parenting & Parenting with a Punch with Amanda Houle
Perfectly Anxious: Clinical Perfectionism & How to Handle It, hosted by Inclusive Education & Fusion Academy – Podcast
The Overly Emotional Child with Learning Success & Actor James Van der Beek
Led Webinar on Trauma-Informed Practices and Strategies for school staff, a Safe Schools Series, part of The Exceptional Child program, Vector Solutions
PAISBOA.org Presented Trauma-Informed Practices and Strategies Webinar
City of Boston Mental Health Roundtable Committee
Course & Curriculum Writing, Development, & Implementation (academic & mental health)
Trauma-Informed Teaching, Restorative Justice, and Essential Strategies to combat Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & PTSD
Expert-leveled knowledge in Non-Suicidal Self-Injury, Suicide, Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, & Co-Occurring Coping Strategies
Provides Parent & Community Outreach concerning mental & behavioral health diagnosis