May 2024 news

Dr Ruth Lawson-McConnell


Kia ora Friends and Colleagues,

The seasons are certainly shifting with cooler nights and crisp days, here in beautiful Aotearoa/NZ. The trees are changing colour and the hearth fires are being lit for cozy nights.

As we tune in to our own seasons, you may find that you are shifting too, and your needs are different in this space than previously. Are you needing a recharge of your professional knowledge base? Or a recharge at the body and soul level? Well, good news…. I have offerings to take care of both those needs in this newsletter. Read on….


Events in May

The Power of Connection 2: Attachment-informed approaches to calming anxiety

May 20th from 9:00-4:00 pm on zoom

In this seminar we examine the underlying dynamics behind anxiety, building on Gordon Neufeld’s Attachment-based developmental approach (presented in the first course Attachment Theory). Neufeld’s model of alarm will be presented, examining how anxiety impacts the body, the mind and relationships. The work of trauma theorists (Schore, Porges, Levine) as well as interpersonal neurobiologist, Seigel, will be integrated with the Neufeld material to provide a holistic approach to dealing with anxiety in our clients.

For complete details and booking, please visit my website under the EVENTS section: or book directly via Grow for this event:
http://Attachment informed approaches to calming anxiety (

If you can’t make it ‘on the day’ then you can do it ‘on demand’ The Power of Connection 2: Attachment-Informed approach to calming anxiety (

This course is the same material as my Attachment based counselling 3 course (you can get a free preview of that here Attachment Based Counselling – Anxiety (

Working with Emotions in Psychological Therapy: A 5 step model

May 27th 9:00-12:00 pm on zoom

As psychologists, it is our “bread-and-butter” to work with emotions in our clinical settings. However, that does not mean it is easy or that it comes naturally to us. In our academic training we may not have had much depth of teaching on this issue. In this workshop working with intense emotions will be explored from an Attachment-based psychotherapeutic lens, which places primary importance on the therapeutic relationship for healing and co-regulating emotions that are too hard for the client to handle on their own. Neufeld’s 5 step model of working with emotions from an attachment-based development perspective will be presented as well as recent research from the affective sciences and emotion regulation theory.
This event is hosted by The New Zealand Psychological Society

To purchase tickets click here Event Manager (

If you can’t make it to that event then you can purchase a more comprehensive course here Working with Emotions at Relational Depth: A 5 step model – Ruth McConnell

May 31st –  is the early bird cut off for my retreat – Rest, Play, Grow!

Auckland – Dates: August 23-25, 2024
Location: St Francis Retreat Centre, Hillsborough, Auckland

Retreats – Ruth McConnell

To register please email


Coming up in June 

Helping Children Flourish in an Alarming World

Neufeld Aotearoa Conference June 7-8 2024 online

The challenges facing children and young people today can often feel overwhelming. We can despair as to how we might help children just to survive – let alone flourish! Parents and professionals, alike, are tempted to work harder and try to get the child to grow up faster, focusing on them becoming independent, resilient and emotionally regulated. However, we often find our effort and encouragement amounts to nothing, leaving us stuck in a cycle of hopelessness and frustration.

Are there alternatives through? How do we help our children to become developmentally mature? What are the key conditions needed for this to happen? Are there other ways that our efforts and attention could be better spent, resulting in better outcomes for the children? Is flourishing even possible for a child when the world around them seems so alarming and difficult?

We invite you to attend this two day online conference to examine these questions from various angles. We are excited to bring some great presenters from both Neufeld Aotearoa and the Neufeld Institute in Canada. Our presenters will offer fresh insight into the key conditions that enable a child to mature, flourish, and bring hope, as they explore some natural and intuitive ways to help children develop.

This conference is relevant for parents, caregivers, teachers, counsellors, social workers, mental health clinicians – basically anyone who knows a child and would like to hold and offer hope. We believe you can make a difference.

check it out here



Events in July 2024

There are 2 more spaces on my next
One Wild and Precious Life Online course – Ruth McConnell
Starting July 24th (for 12 weeks Wednesdays from 7-9 pm on zoom).


Very Exciting –  Rest, Play, Grow retreat in Sydney 

Retreats – Ruth McConnell

One Wild and Precious Life: Rest, Play and Grow: retreat.
Sydney, Sept 20-22nd 2024.
Location: St Joseph’s Spirituality centre, 8 Humphrey’s Road, Kincumber South, NZW 2251
Directions – St Joseph’s Spirituality & Education Centre, Kincumber South (
St Joseph’s Spirituality and Education Centre is located at Kincumber South, in a natural bushland setting, in a quiet corner of the beautiful Central Coast of NSW. The spacious grounds at Kincumber South on Mary MacKillop Peninsula, creating an atmosphere of tranquillity and peace that enhances the spiritual and reflective nature of the Centre. It is located on the Central Coast at Kincumber South, about 25 minutes drive from Gosford, and an easy drive from Newcastle and Sydney areas.

To enquire please email 


I leave you with this inspiring quote:
Be gentle with yourself….

Go gently

Kia pai tō rā  (Have a nice day)



Dr Ruth Lawson-McConnell  MA PhD (she/her)
NZ Psychological Society #15673
NZ Assoc of Counsellors #37181
Waea pūkoro/Phone (+64)22-640-2941
76b Calliope Road, Stanley Point,
Auckland New Zealand 0624





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