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About the Preventive Ounce

Since 1984, The Preventive Ounce has worked with health maintenance organizations (HMOs), developing programs that helped more than 40,000 parents see more clearly their child’s emerging temperament and manage the issues that are normal for their child’s temperament. Most of this program was developed and tested at Kaiser Permanente, the oldest and largest HMO in the United States.

Mental Health Organization

The Preventive Ounce (Poz) is a nonprofit, preventive mental health organization, incorporated in California in 1984, with an office in Oakland, California. Poz was started by two psychologists who were frustrated by long-standing behavioral problems in children. Most of these problems could have been prevented, had parents understood how to manage the issues that were normal for their child’s temperament.

The truth is that many parents are mystified by their child’s behavior: sleep problems, temper tantrums, separation difficulties, difficulties in toilet training, assertiveness issues, unusual sensitivities, to name just a few. They feel guilty, exhausted, at wit’s end. What worked for their first child doesn’t work now.

Our HMO experience has taught us that parents who see clearly their child’s unique temperament and understand how it “works” can more easily manage issues that are normal for their child’s temperament. They are better able to balance the needs of their child with their own needs–and those of their family, the school, and the community. They avoid getting stuck in ineffective parenting. And they are less likely to blame themselves or their child for issues that may be troublesome to manage–but normal for their child’s temperament.

Over the past decades, our HMO experience has also shown us that parents are intelligent consumers of temperament information. They have recycled back to us what works (and doesn’t work) for each temperament issue. The credit for this program belongs to them.

Our goal now is to use the Internet to reach more parents of children to help them understand and manage their child’s temperament, so they can avoid these problems and eventually teach their child to understand and manage his or her own temperament.


More than 40,000 parents have used the Preventive Ounce to make parenting easier and to avoid unnecessary blame and guilt.

Michael Doe
Padre de Caroline

Yo creía que mi hija era desenfrenada. Ahora entiendo que necesita hacer tanto ejercicio como un caballo de carreras”

James Gibson
Padre de Jake y de Sarah

Ahora que entiendo por qué a mi hija le dan rabietas puedo evitarle muchas, y comprendiendo que algunas son inevitables, soy mas paciente cuando ocurren”

Lisa White
Madre de David

Es dfícil tener un hijo cauteloso cuando a mí me gustan las aventuras, pero es mejor aceptarlo como es, que enfadarme con él”

Jack Doe
Padre de Bryan

Entendí! A mi hijo le gusta saber por anticipado lo que va a pasar. A mí también.”

Meet Our Team

Mental Health Organization

Our staff and board members are volunteers at The Preventive Ounce. They have dedicated their careers to the wellbeing of children and families. Income from The Preventive Ounce currently goes entirely to website maintenance and upgrades. (Our next goal is a Spanish version of the website, which is in process.)

James Cameron, PhD
Dr. Cameron graduated from Harvard in psychology and worked with temperament pioneers Drs. Stella Chase and Alexander Thomas.

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Dr. Cameron believed that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Thus he saw the need for individualized, temperament-based parent education. As the internet was just beginning in the 1980’s he established The Preventive Ounce website so this important information could be available to all parents via the web.

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Helen Neville
BS, RN Temperament Educator and Board Member
Helen was mentored by Dr. Cameron and ran the Temperament Program, Kaiser Permanente, East Bay, Northern California from 1990 to 2016. She is the author of Temperament Tools, Is This a Phase?, and other books

Tahsa Henneman
Board Member
Rebecah Freeling
Child Behavior Expert
Rebecah Freeling is a child behavior expert specializing in strong-willed, often-oppositional, “spirited” kids. With a background in child education and child development,

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Rebecah has many years’ experience with kids at the far end of the difficult-behavior spectrum and she’s a master at channeling these kids’ incredible potential toward empathy, social intelligence, and leadership. Rebecah received her education at Ohio State University and the Waldorf Institute of Southeast Michigan and is the author of Your Rules Are Dumb: How to Maintain Your Parental Authority While Creating a Partnership With Your Spirited Child. Along with her coaching programs, which help parents resolve kids’ problem behaviors quickly – and in a way that empowers everyone in the family – she has also developed the Failproof Family Meeting for Spirited Kids, a practical, step-by-step system that inspires strong-willed kids to want to cooperate.

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Joan Cameron
Operations Manager and Board Member
Sandeepa Nayak
Current Web Guru
Her team at www.khacreationusa.com breathed new life into The Preventive Ounce with our recent upgrade, which included a complete overhaul of the very old computer language within the site.

Lele Diamond
PsyD, MFT, Board Member
Rona Renner
RN. Temperament Consultant
Rona Renner has been a temperament counselor since 1991 when she was trained by Dr. Jim Cameron, while working in Pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente, Richmond Medical Center.

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She is a radio show host and the author of, Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Kids to Cooperate Without Losing Your Cool.

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