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

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

Live Streaming November 8, 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 Three (November 8, 2023) Workshop Choices:

Day Three Morning 8:30am – 11:45am: 

Workshop #9: Disordered and Troubled Attachments & The Current Youth Mental Health Crisis | PRESENTED BY Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D.

The alarming rise in anxiety, depression, despair, and attention problems, begs for an explanation. The prevailing premise blames the social isolation experienced during the pandemic.  When the dots are joined however, another picture emerges that reveals the attachment roots of mental health. This current mental health crisis provides us with a unique opportunity to understand the underlying dynamics, giving us a guide to better take care of our children, our students and ourselves.

Workshop #10: Towards Flourishing in Adolescence: Special Challenges in Helping Teens Navigate Their Emotional World | PRESENTED BY Tamara Strijack, M.A.

Adolescence is a unique time – no longer a child, but not yet an adult. And navigating this time seems to be more difficult these days – with the impact of social media, bullying, depression, higher rates of suicide, and increasing diagnoses of disorders. Making sense of what is going on during this time can shed light on what is needed to restore emotional health. How do we make room for all that is stirred within them on this journey from childhood to adulthood and compensate for stuckness, especially when we can often feel stuck ourselves in dealing with them? How do we make it safe to process their inner world and the often-wounding world they find themselves in. In this session, we will explore the developmental changes, the emotional drives and the body’s natural defense system that is designed to protect from too much wounding, as well as the natural ways through to emotional health.  And most importantly, we will look at our vital role as caring adults in our adolescents’ lives – whether coming as an educator, counsellor, parent or mentor.

Day Three Afternoon 12:45pm – 4:00pm: 

Workshop #11: Managing Behaviour Without Rewards | PRESENTED BY Eva de Gosztonyi, M.A.

When students have difficulty with their behaviours teachers are often advised to implement a reward system. However, developmental science and trauma research do not support these systems, warning of unwanted side-effects for children’s development. These systems are known to lose their effectiveness over time, are complicated to implement, and rarely result in long-term change. Of concern is that they can significantly affect the all-important child-adult attachment relationship, can increase anxiety even among the “well-behaved”, and can cause discouragement and a sense of shame for the student who cannot do better despite best intentions. This presentation will provide an analysis of what works and does not work, and why. Then effective alternatives to help manage behaviour in the classroom such as increasing the students’ desire to please their teacher, simple classroom alterations that can make behaving appropriately easier, and suggestions for how to respond when behaviour is challenging, will be described.

Workshop #12: When Feelings Go Missing: Moving Through Emotional Defense | PRESENTED BY Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D.

We are meant to be full of emotion but sometimes there is simply too much emotion or there isn’t time for feelings. What gets in the way of feeling? We have an emotional unconsciousness that operates outside of direct awareness. This is not a mistake, but part of the brain’s sophisticated capacity to defend and inhibit emotional awareness to serve survival needs. How does the brain inhibit vulnerable emotion? How can we create the conditions for the defenses to come down? How can we become conscious of defenses operating when they are meant to blind us in the first place? Developmental science helps to provide answers to these puzzling emotional questions.

Day Three Morning

Workshop #9: Disordered and Troubled Attachments & The Current Youth Mental Health Crisis | PRESENTED BY Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D.

  • Gaining insight as to the attachment and emotional roots of mental health
  • Making sense of how the pandemic affected the mental health of students
  • Appreciating how peer orientation predisposes to mental health problems
  • Understanding why self-care for children can be counterproductive
  • Being equipped with developmental interventions for the prevention and reversal of mental health problems

Workshop #10: Towards Flourishing in Adolescence: Special Challenges in Helping Teens Navigate Their Emotional World | PRESENTED BY Tamara Strijack, M.A.

  • Making sense of what’s going on emotionally and why
  • Appreciating what adolescents still need from us
  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an adolescent in trouble
  • Recognizing when pivotal feelings are missing that need restoring
  • Knowing how to shield an adolescent without changing their world
  • Being aware of how to provide safe sanctuary for the feelings that are pivotal to mental health

Day Three Afternoon

Workshop #11: Managing Behaviour Without Rewards | PRESENTED BY Eva de Gosztonyi, M.A.

  • Describe at least 3 reasons why rewards systems are not advised for the optimal development of a child
  • Increase child-adult attachment using strategies presented
  • Implement classroom alterations to help address behavioural concerns
  • Respond more effectively to a misbehaving student

Workshop #12: When Feelings Go Missing: Moving Through Emotional Defense | PRESENTED BY Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D.

  • Understand the role of emotional defense by integrating neuroscience, attachment science and developmental approaches
  • Outline the three types of emotional defenses and their corresponding symptomology
  • Distinguish between emotion and feelings, and the impact of defenses on learning and behaviour
  • Provide strategies for reducing emotional defenses using a relational and developmental approach

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