Attachment-based developmental approach to parenting and teaching – courses

As a Professional Associate of the Neufeld Institute, I am a certified facilitator for the following Gordon Neufeld courses:

Relationship Matters: The challenges of parenting and teaching today’s children.

A 2 hour presentation with a ½ hour facilitated discussion

  • We all want our children to realize their full potential. We all want our children to become caring and considerate individuals. Yet achieving these outcomes seems to be getting harder in today’s world. How do we provide the conditions children need to truly grow up? How do we provide direction and discipline without it backfiring? How do we shield our children against the rising tide of aggression and bullying? Dr. Gordon Neufeld addresses these issues and points a way through. His approach is refreshing and his insights make sense, not only of today’s society but also of the children and youth in our care.

Please email me if you would like me to present this to your organisation or in your community (please click here)

The Power to Parent DVD series: a three part parenting course:


Part I The Vital Connection: focuses on the child-adult relationship as the context for raising children:

  • how this relationship is meant to develop,
  • what can go wrong,
  • why parents must matter more than peers,
  • how to cultivate a context of connection,
  • how to win back one’s child if need be, and more.
  • Attachment-safe and developmentally friendly discipline strategies are also introduced.

This is an 8 week DVD course (1 hour DVD presentation followed by a 1 hour facilitated discussion applying the principles to our own children).

To book please contact Ruth here

Part 2 Helping children grow up:

Part II of the Power to Parent series focuses on how to help children realize their potential as human beings. Since growing older is no guarantee of growing up, knowing how to foster maturation is key to raising children. The material is presented in such a way that engages parents while educating professionals as well

Part 3 Common Childhood Challenges:

Part III of the Power-to-Parent series focuses on the typical challenges of parenting. Every child gets stuck from time to time on the road to maturation. Dr. Neufeld equips parents to read the signs of a child in trouble, live with a sensitive child, cultivate resilience in a child, lead an alpha child, soften a defended child, discipline a stuck child, and more.

To book please contact us here

This course will help shed light on:

  • what it means to “raise a child”
  • nature’s role in maturation
  • the parent’s role in maturation
  • how to give children the rest they need to grow
  • how to provide more than is being pursued
  • how to fulfil a child’s attachment hunger
  • how to instil confidence in ourselves as providers
  • how to keep the connection safe and secure
  • how rest nurtures growth
  • how attachment gives birth to emergence
  • how to draw out emergent activity
  • how to give the room a child needs
  • how to get a child into the driver’s seat
  • how nature moves a child to adapt
  • why some children lose their tears and what the cost is
  • what futilities children need to face
  • how to present futility to a child and draw out sadness
  • the natural solution to impulsiveness and egocentrism
  • when a child is truly ready for social interaction
  • the dangers of hurried parenting
  • nature’s blueprint for building character
  • how to set the stage for mixed feelings
  • how to use ‘tempering’ as a discipline technique
  • how to deal with the untempered child

Price: This is an 8 week DVD course (1 hour DVD presentation followed by a 1 hour facilitated discussion applying the principles to our own children).

please email me to book this course

Making sense of adolescence

Crossing the bridge from childhood to adulthood has never been so daunting. The time of adolescence is longer than ever and yet society today offers little support in understanding or facilitating this transition. This course is designed to be used by parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, professionals – anyone who desires to make sense of adolescence. Parents of pre- teens will find this course invaluable as preparation for what lies ahead.

The objective of this course is to make sense of adolescents from inside out. Every adolescent is an individual of course, but there are some common dynamics that affect all adolescents. Understanding what these dynamics are can provide the keys for knowing how to deal with the problems that may arise.

some of the topics addressed include:

  • the psychological changes at puberty that impact adolescents and those that parent and work with them
  • how to deal with the premature loss of power and influence with an adolescent
  • the rites of passage that must be endured for the adolescent to mature
  • how to recognize when rebellion is healthy or a result of adults being replaced by peers
  • the psychological temptations faced by adolescents on their journey to maturity
  • how parents and teachers can avoid premature or forced retirement
  • the two alternate paths to adulthood and societal integration
  • how to preserve or restore one’s rightful place in an adolescent’s life
  • the dangers of peer-orientation in the life of an adolescent
  • how to differentiate between relationship problems and behaviour problems in the adolescent
  • the role of dissonance and internal conflict in the life of an adolescent
  • how to hold on without holding them back

This is a four-week course (1 hour DVD presentation followed by a 1 hour facilitated discussion applying the principles to our own children).

To book please click here

Making sense of Anxiety

The escalating level of anxiety in our children begs for an explanation as well as a solution. Dr. Neufeld sheds light on this age-old problem, paving the way for natural interventions that can actually get to the root causes as opposed to just managing symptoms. This course brings a fresh and promising perspective to one of our most troubling and perplexing human problems. Although the focus is on children, this enlightening material will benefit anyone suffering from anxiety.

Course Outline

The course is divided into two parts: theory and application. The first three sessions are dedicated to unfolding a model of anxiety that has universal application. Given that anxiety is such an enigma, shedding light on its roots is absolutely essential to addressing the problem. Once the key insights are mastered, the implications and applications flow rather logically.

The theory part of the course revolves around three conceptual keys that unlock the necessary insights. These keys come from three diverse scientific fields of knowledge: neurobiology, attachment and vulnerability. Only in bringing all these insights together does anxiety reveal its secrets. Topics that will be covered are: the neuroscience of anxiety; anxiety, attachment & vulnerability; a working model of anxiety; practical steps to addressing anxiety

To read more:

This is a four-week course (1 hour DVD presentation followed by a 1 hour facilitated discussion applying the principles to our own children).

To book please click here

Alpha Children: reclaiming our rightful place in their lives

A growing number of children and youth are presenting as demanding, prescriptive, bossy, and controlling. Alpha children are more challenging to parent and predisposed to a number of problems including anxiety, aggression, oppositionality, and eating problems. An understanding of the alpha dynamic opens the doors to change in the family, classroom, and society

Dr. Neufeld’s unfolding of the alpha dynamic has resulted in some of the most surprising and revealing moments for students who take this course. Few are left untouched or unmoved. Once the dynamic is fleshed out, it becomes self-evident and one wonders why it has been so hidden. An understanding of the alpha dynamic also corrects the mistakes that we have taken in moving to more child-led and egalitarian parenting styles in our society. While the focus is on children, the revelations and challenges are for us as adults. Dr. Neufeld unpacks this best kept secret of attachment dynamics in four sessions, each containing one hour of video material.

The course is divided into four sessions, each containing one hour of instructional video.

Session 1 – Making Sense of Alpha

Alpha instincts only make sense in the context of attachment and in particular, the hierarchical nature of attachment. Unfortunately this politically incorrect scientific truth has been camouflaged by our love affair with ‘independence’ and ‘equality’. This session reveals how the alpha instincts were meant to sensitize us to the needs of others as well as move us to assume responsibility and to care for our offspring. The construct of an alpha complex is introduced.

Session 2 – The Many Faces of Alpha

There are at least five significantly different manifestations of the alpha complex, depending primarily on the person’s flight from vulnerability and perceptions of responsibility. The manifestations vary from the garden-variety bossiness all the way to the bully syndrome, and include the rescuer/helper syndrome, competitiveness and the demanding personality.

Session 3 – The Causes and Consequences of an Alpha Complex

The two main causes of an alpha complex are the failure to encounter a strong caring alpha presence and the failure to feel safe enough to depend. Various conditions and situations leading to these failures are discussed. The problems stemming from an alpha complex are myriad and include frustration problems, eating problems, alarm problems, and compliance problems.

Session 4 – Taming an Alpha Complex

Taming an alpha complex involves reversing the conditions that give rise to it. In addition, ten guidelines are given for reclaiming our rightful place in our children’s lives

To read more:

To book please click here

Training for teachers:

The power to teach: a 4 session DVD course

Teaching is getting harder, not easier. This despite the fact that teachers have never been more educated, technology has never been more advanced, curriculum has never been so refined and pedagogy has never been so honed. Although these factors are important, the true problem in learning lies elsewhere – in the teachability of our students. This material will resonate with teachers’ experiences and point to a way through that is as powerful as it is surprising. This material is useful for all those involved in a child’s learning.
This is a 4 session DVD course which covers the following topics:

  • three natural context that empower teachers
  • roles of developmental stuckness in learning and behaving
  • why the immature need to be attached to their teachers
  • how to harness the power of attachment as a teacher. 
  • To book please click here

Bullies: their making and unmaking

Despites civilization’s advances, the human mean streak is not going away. Dr. Neufeld dissects the bully syndrome to expose its deep instinctive roots in attachment and emotion, revealing in the process why this behaviour is so immune to conventional means of intervention. The key to the bully’s unmaking is to first understand how bullies are made.

Dr. Neufeld’s refreshing developmental analysis of bullies reveals instinctive roots embedded in the dynamics of attachment and the flight from vulnerability. He shares the insights that have evolved as a result of years of experience working with bullies of all kinds, combined with his mastery of the developmental literature. This material is especially useful for educators and school principals struggling to provide safe school environments.

This course will help shed light on:

  • the 12 traits of the bully syndrome traced to their roots
  • the role of the limbic system (emotional brain) in bully making
  • the nature of the dark union that begets the bully
  • the attachment problems of bullies
  • common pitfalls in the treatment of bullies
  • how bullies & bullied can be cut from the same cloth
  • why schools are becoming bully factories
  • why conventional discipline backfires with bullies
  • why bullies are driven to dominate
  • key target points for effective intervention

To read more:

This is an 8 week DVD course (weekly sessions: 1 hour DVD presentation followed by a 1 hour facilitated discussion applying the principles to your own contexts).

To book please click here.