Neufeld-Hirose Conference: Towards Flourishing Children & Youth | Day One

Presented by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., Eva de Gosztonyi, M.A., Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D., and Tamara Strijack, M.A.

Live Streaming November 6, 2023


6 Hours  |   Pre-approved for CEU’s


This virtual conference will be a live stream of a live in-person conference being held in Saskatoon, SK. If you would like to attend live in-person please register here:

This conference will be live streaming from Saskatoon, SK to online participants on November 6 – 8, 2023 from 8:30am – 4:00pm CST.
This course is streaming live out of Saskatoon, SK beginning at 8:30am CST (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). Please adjust your start time according to your specific time zone. 

Recorded footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until January 6, 2024. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances.
Please allow 1 – 3 business days after the course airs for recorded footage to become available.

Registration will close on November 26, 2023. 


Attend More and Save! 1 Day enrollment $269.00, 2 day enrollment $469.00, 3 day enrollement $669.00 + tax

Fees are per person, seat sharing is not allowed. Please respect this policy, failure to comply will result in termination of access without a refund. For group rates please contact

Day One (November 6, 2023) Workshop Choices:

Day One Morning 8:30am – 11:45am: 

Workshop #1: Towards Flourishing Children: Answering the Four Irreducible Needs of a Child | PRESENTED BY Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D.

We all want our children and students to thrive – to become all they were meant to be, despite the challenges they may face. But how is this to be accomplished? What conditions are required for optimal functioning? What experiences are essential to the unfolding of human potential? Dr. Neufeld will put the pieces together to reveal rather surprising answers to this quintessential question of human development.  A consciousness of the irreducible needs of children and youth is a much-needed antidote to a society that has become outcome driven and a culture that has lost its intuitive wisdom.

Workshop #2: The Neuroscience of Flourishing: How the Brain Works & What It Needs to Work | PRESENTED BY Eva de Gosztonyi, M.A.

The human brain is complex and we very far from uncovering its many mysteries. Neuroscientific research is starting to get a glimmer of the complexity of its functioning. This presentation will outline the broad strokes of some of the key findings and their implications for those raising and educating children. It will then focus on what we as caring adults can do to help our children so their brains can flourish. The Neufeld paradigm provides us with the keys to understanding what our children need – faith in maturation, respect for vulnerability and defenses, the role of emotional expression, the need for play, and the all-important role of a strong child-adult attachment. These guiding principles have been used in schools in Quebec for a number of years and many easily applicable practices are now being used successfully. These include how to create strong child-adult relationships; how to protect vulnerable students and help them to stay out of trouble; ways of increasing emotional expression in the classroom, and guidelines for ensuring that essential play time is protected.

Day One Afternoon 12:45pm – 4:00pm: 

Workshop #3: Making Sense of Attention Problems | PRESENTED BY Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D.

What has happened to our kid’s attention and lack of engagement in play or learning? Can we simply blame technology or is there something else we have missed? Attention and agitation issues are increasing at alarming rates among our children and youth. Restlessness can pose challenges for learning and behaviour at home and school leaving adults overwhelmed in wondering how to make headway with a child or teen. In trying to alleviate symptoms we can unknowingly employ measures that serves to exacerbate their attention problem. There is much that can be done to help bring a child to rest by understanding the two common roots of attention problems.

Workshop #4: Neufeld’s Traffic Circle of Frustration: A Revolutionary Approach to Aggression, Depression & Suicide | PRESENTED BY Tamara Strijack, M.A.

We all get frustrated, as this primal emotion is automatically evoked when something – anything for that matter – doesn’t work. There are several indicators that the groundswell of frustration is rising. This powerful emotion can be experienced in many ways and have a myriad of outcomes. Included in the array of emotional outcomes are compulsions regarding change, attacking impulses, suicidal impulses, aggression, and even frustration-based depression. Frustration can also result in healthy change and inner transformation. Tamara Strijack will help us walk through the traffic circle of frustration in a way that benefits all. Given the critical importance of developing a healthy relationship with frustration, we should all be ready to serve as traffic directors when needed.

Day One Morning 

Workshop #1: Towards Flourishing Children: Answering the Four Irreducible Needs of a Child | PRESENTED BY Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D.

  • Updating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
  • Learning the keys to emotional health and well-being
  • Appreciating the role of play and playfulness in the unfolding of potential
  • Learning the natural blueprint for spontaneous development

Workshop #2: The Neuroscience of Flourishing: How the Brain Works & What It Needs to Work | PRESENTED BY Eva de Gosztonyi, M.A.

  • Explain the role of key areas of the brain in the developing child
  • Increase child-adult attachment using strategies presented
  • Describe a procedure for helping students to stay out of trouble
  • Implement at least one activity for increasing emotional expression in the classroom
  • Explain why play is important for the developing brain

Day One Afternoon

Workshop #3: Making Sense of Attention Problems | PRESENTED BY Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D.

  • Understand the role of immaturity and alarm in attention problems
  • Examine the role of emotional defenses in creating attention issues
  • Provide strategies for making headway on attention issues based in immaturity
  • Provide strategies for making headway on attention issues based in heightened and stuck alarm

Workshop #4: Neufeld’s Traffic Circle of Frustration: A Revolutionary Approach to Aggression, Depression & Suicide | PRESENTED BY Tamara Strijack, M.A.

  • Understanding the underlying roots of aggression and depression
  • Appreciating the key role that frustration is meant to play in our lives
  • Recognizing when pivotal feelings are missing that need restoring
  • Knowing the symptoms, signs and challenges when frustration gets stuck
  • Making sense of why some of our current behaviour management approaches backfire
  • Knowing how to direct traffic when frustration needs to find an outlet

A Conference Tailored for Mental Health and Education Professionals at All Levels & Any Professional that Applies Behavioural Science to Practice

Mental Health Professionals: All mental health professionals including, but not limited to Clinical Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Hospice and Palliative Care Workers, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Addiction Specialists, Marital & Family Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all other mental health professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

Education Professionals: All education professionals who work with children or youth including, but not limited to K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors, Learning Assistance/Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers and all other professionals who support behavioural challenges and complex learning needs.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 50 years of experience with children and youth and those responsible for them. A foremost authority on child development, Dr. Neufeld is an international speaker, a bestselling author (Hold On To Your Kids) and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm. Dr. Neufeld has a widespread reputation for making sense of complex problems and for opening doors for change. While formerly involved in university teaching and private practice, he now devotes his time to teaching and training others, including educators and helping professionals. His Neufeld Institute is now a world-wide charitable organization devoted to applying developmental science to the task of raising children. He is a father of five and a grandfather to seven.

Eva de Gosztonyi, MA, is a psychologist who has worked for over 45 years in schools across Canada. For 22 years she was the Coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Behaviour Management, a support to the ten English School Boards of Quebec, helping adults in the school setting provide effective interventions for students with behavioural challenges. Since retiring she has continued to share her expertise with schools in Canada, including First Nations schools and communities, the US, New Zealand, and Singapore. The interventions that she suggests are guided by neuroscience, are trauma-informed and trauma-responsive, and they are attachment-based and developmentally friendly.  These interventions have made a difference in the schools in Quebec where they have been used successfully for many years.  Eva is on Faculty at the Neufeld Institute and is an authorized presenter of the Neufeld paradigm.

Deborah MacNamara, PhD is a clinical counsellor and educator with more than 25 years’ experience working with children, youth, and adults. She is on faculty at the Neufeld Institute, operates a counselling practice, and speaks regularly about child and adolescent development to parents, child care providers, educators, and mental health professionals. She is also the author of the best-selling book Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (Or Anyone Who Acts Like One), which provides a 360-degree developmental walk around the young child, and The Sorry Plane, a children’s picture book. Her new book, Nourished: Connection, Food, and Caring for our Kids (and everyone else we love), will be released September 19, 2023. Deborah resides in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two children.

Tamara Strijack, MA is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who lives and works in the Vancouver Island area. She is co-author (with Hannah Beach) of the book, Reclaiming our Students: Why our children are more anxious, aggressive and shut down than ever, and what we can do about it. Tamara has worked with children and adolescents in various roles over the last thirty years. She is currently the Academic Dean of the Neufeld Institute, where she develops and delivers courses on child development for parents, teachers and helping professionals. She is a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, and educator of counsellors and educators in training. Tamara works primarily as a parent and educational consultant, helping put adults back in the driver’s seat in a way that facilitates growth and learning for the child. Connection, relationship and play continue to be central themes in all her roles, both personally and professionally.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual 1 Day Enrollment$269.00N/A
Individual 2 Day Enrollment$469.00N/A
Individual 3 Day Enrollment$669.00N/A
Full-Time Student$609.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

Group rates are available. Please contact for more information.

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits