Navigating Divorce with Your Children

with Dr. Vidya Krishnan and Dr. Natalie Pon

Navigating Divorce with Your Children

Episode 13, Season 4 | February 21, 2024

Show Notes

Conflict within relationships is natural. What happens when this conflict occurs within a family and ends up in separation or divorce? Join us as we explore effective communication strategies with children during this challenging time, emphasizing the importance of fostering open dialogue and understanding and offer insights into how to create a supportive environment for children to express their emotions. CHC psychiatrists, Dr. Vidya Krishnan and Dr. Natalie Pon share valuable advice on helping children cope with the changes that come with divorce, offering practical tips for co-parenting and maintaining a sense of stability. Tune in for a thoughtful conversation on fostering healthy family dynamics in the face of divorce and the importance of not only caring for your kids, but also caring for yourself.

Guest Info
Vidya Krishnan headshot

Dr. Krishnan brings a wealth of clinical experience to her role at CHC. She believes in a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues. She aims to facilitate a mutually collaborative approach to care with a strong emphasis on therapeutic interventions to complement the use of medications. Prior to joining Children’s Health Council, she worked for almost 10 years in a group psychiatry practice. She is passionate about reducing the stigma associated with mental health conditions and improving access to mental health services for our diverse communities in California.


Dr. Krishnan works with kids from a variety of backgrounds across the age and developmental spectrum, starting from grade school through young adulthood. She treats a wide range of mental health conditions that cause functional impairment. This includes but is not limited to anxiety, depression, and attention challenges, learning differences, autism, behavioral challenges and relationship difficulties with parents or peers. She is a specialist in the use of pharmacological interventions in complex presentations where there are multiple co-occurring conditions. She is also skilled in the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. She includes aspects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in all her work with clients and families.


Dr. Krishnan is the supervising psychiatrist for the RISE-IOP at CHC. She is the site director overseeing the rotation of the child and adolescent psychiatry fellows from Stanford University who come to CHC as part of their training. She is also Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor (Affiliated) at Stanford University School of Medicine. She co-directs the Developmental Psychopathology, Psychotherapy, Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience (DP3N) Course. She also teaches the Advanced Psychopharmacology Lecture Series to 2nd year fellows. She enjoys these opportunities to teach and supervise the next generation of child and adolescent psychiatrists.


Dr. Krishnan also serves on the board of Taarika Foundation, a Bay Area non-profit working to raise awareness about mental health issues in children and adolescents. When she is not working, Dr. Krishnan enjoys reading, hiking, and cooking. She is always on the lookout for new vegetarian recipes to experiment with.

Natalie Pon headshot

Dr. Pon is committed to working with children and their families using a developmentally informed approach to psychiatric assessment and care. She strongly believes in creating a treatment plan which addresses the child as a whole person and using a narrative approach to understanding a family’s story which surrounds and impacts a child’s mental health. Dr. Pon provides psychotherapy, family/parent work, social/behavioral interventions, and psychoeducation; she utilizes medication management where necessary to complement therapeutic approaches.


Dr. Pon has special expertise in the assessment and care of young children (0-6yo). She treats the range of early childhood and preschool mental health issues, including but not limited to: anxiety (separation, social, phobias, selective mutism, OCD), depression/irritability, disruptive behavior, adjustment and attachment issues, early childhood stress and trauma (including medical trauma and chronic medical conditions), parent-child/infant relational work, and sleep/eating/toileting issues.


She is highly experienced with play therapy and various modalities/adaptations of play therapy, including child-centered, dyadic, trauma-focused and cognitive-behavioral play therapy. She is trained in parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based parent-child intervention which promotes building a healthy attachment and decreasing disruptive behavior, and she can provide PCIT to families if indicated. Dr. Pon is certified as a facilitator for Circle of Security (COS), an attachment based parenting program. She additionally has training in trauma-focused CBT (TF-CBT) and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), both evidence based interventions for trauma.

Dr. Pon sees the range of youth for medication management. Her clinical interests include anxiety disorders, trauma, ADHD and depression. During her time at CHC, Dr. Pon has provided medication management and co-led DBT skills group as part of the RISE-IOP comprehensive DBT program.


In addition to her clinical work at CHC, Dr. Pon is Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Stanford in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She supervises child psychiatry fellows in young child assessment, treatment and play therapy. She also leads the Introduction to Working with Young Children class and Play Therapy course for child psychiatry fellowship and has taught and demonstrated live young child assessments and play therapy.


Dr. Pon is part of the AACAP infant and preschool committee and currently on the subcommittee creating a formal infant mental health curriculum. Dr. Pon has advanced training in psychodynamic work with young children and completed the year-long infancy/early childhood course at the Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program (CAPPTP) at San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (SF-CP).


Dr. Pon completed her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Stanford University, where she served as Chief Fellow. She completed her general psychiatry residency at Baylor College of Medicine, where she received the resident of the year award for Harris Health System and trained at The Menninger Clinic in their Adolescent Treatment Program.