Meet Dr. Benjamin

Dr. Benjamin Zequeira-Russell is a licensed psychologist with 18 years of clinical experience working with children who have developmental, emotional, and learning differences. He founded Real Connections Institute in 2004.

As a child hiking and camping in the mountains outside Seattle, he realized even before he could verbalize it that positive experiences and relationships are foundational to well-being. This insight led him to study psychology and experiential therapies.

He received a B.A. in Psychology from Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Oregon; two Masters’ degrees in Psychology and Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctorate in Psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, California, where he received the William James Award for his dissertation.

During his postdoctoral clinical training, Dr. Ben discovered his gift for working with children. He also learned of an approach that reflected his vision of how best to help those on the autism spectrum: Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship-based (DIR) therapeutic model.

DIR therapy accepts that each person has a unique way of perceiving and interacting with the world, respects the developmental stage of each individual, and uses relationships with others to fuel development. Treatment incorporates Floortime®, a method that uses the child’s motivations and interests to guide therapeutic interactions and help children develop their social, emotional, and intellectual capacities.

Dr. Ben holds DIR certificates from both Profectum and the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL) and holds a practitioner certificate in Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®. He is on the Institutional Review Board for Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and Fuller Seminary as well as the board of the DIR/Floortime® Coalition of California. He and his team actively follow the latest developments in autism research and continue to incorporate new approaches into Real Connections’ treatment programs.

Meet the Real Connections Child Development Institute Team