Selina Smyth is an author of Lionheart. A mother of four, she has been an adoptive parent for over a decade. Selina was the first to adopt of the three authors, despite being the youngest.  

Selina’s early background was Human Resources and she has taken on some Human Resource work when it made sense for her family. However, since having her children, she has preferred to be a stay-at-home mum, as well as provide ongoing support for other families in the region looking to adopt. At the same time, Selina has retrained for her consultancy work. During her adoption journey, it became evident to her that attachment and trauma-centred therapists were few and far between, and especially in her city of Dubai.

Selina studied Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy in London. She also earned her MSc (Psychology). Both of these cemented approaches she’d been using since adopting her children and given her a broader understanding of neuroscience and how early trauma can affect so much of the brain.

She’s always been routine-based to provide structure for her kids. She taught the other authors the “I wonder…” strategy in the book. She has particular expertise in therapeutic parenting, parenting sick children, attachment issues and older child adoption.

Selina contributed to the book for a few reasons. One is it encouraged her to write down more of her personal stories and how she came to adopt. Two it was extremely therapeutic to do so! And finally, because she knew this book had the potential to help lots of adoptive parents on their journey.

Selina’s favourite parenting advice is “Never parent in isolation! It takes a village to raise a child and this extended support is vital for any parent; biological or adopted.”

Selina lives with her family in almost always-sunny Dubai, but enjoys several trips home to her country farmhouse in Scotland each year. She is currently providing consultancy and parent preparation training to adoptive families.

Beyond her family, she is obsessed with travel. She is fortunate to be able take her children on countless crazy adventure trips each year and hopes one day they share her own sense of adventure and love for the third world.