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

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

Live Streaming November 7, 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 Two (November 7, 2023) Workshop Choices:

Day Two Morning 8:30am – 11:45am: 

Workshop #5: Resilience & The Stress Response: Addressing Emotional Stuckness Including Trauma | PRESENTED BY Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D.

New understandings reveal that there is much wisdom to the stress response. Rather than focusing on dysfunction, we should begin by appreciating how our brains are brilliantly programmed to not only summon the strength required to deal with distressing situations, but to also serve as an emotional first-aid response. The problem is not with the stress response per se, but when the stress response is not followed in a timely fashion by its partner, the resilience response. We will be much more effective in our interaction with distressed children, youth, and students if we first come alongside how their brains are trying to take care of them, and from this stance, proceed to help the stress response become unstuck.

Workshop #6: Making Sense of Today’s Feeding & Eating Problems | PRESENTED BY Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D.

We have never known so much about food and what our bodies need to survive yet we continue to face increasing feeding and eating issues with our kids. What has come undone and what do we need to do to get back on track? What if it wasn’t just about food, or the table, or sitting beside each other to eat? We have missed something more critical to well-being that was meant to go along with eating. This issue couldn’t be more urgent with eating issues mounting in our kids and with children eating at least one meal away from home in the care of other adults. It is no longer about what happens at home with the responsibility for feeding our kids shared among many in a food obsessed context. Based on over ten years of research, Dr. Deborah MacNamara will share her findings based on her new book, Nourished: Connection, Food, and Caring for our Kids (and everyone else we love).

Day Two Afternoon 12:45pm – 4:00pm: 

Workshop #7: The Vital Role of Emotional Playgrounds in Flourishing: From Toddlerhood To Elderhood | PRESENTED BY Tamara Strijack, M.A.

Emotions need room to play, for their sake, for our sake, for everyone’s sake. Just as the brain has to sleep for optimal functioning, emotions need to play in order to do its work in moving us towards health and well-being. Fresh insights from developmental science reveal play as the care-taker of emotion and thus key to emotional health and well-being. What play can do for emotion is remarkable, providing safety for expression as well as acting as a sanctuary for feeling, a womb for adaptation, a hospital for healing, and a greenhouse for development. Once upon a time, the kind of play we needed was built in to our culture. Unfortunately, the wisdom of true play is becoming eclipsed today and therefore we are left to create what culture no longer provides. In this session, Tamara Strijack will guide us as we consider the emotional playgrounds that can best serve the emotional health and well-being of those in our care, as well as ourselves. It is never too late to invite emotions to come out and play, and never too early to put emotions into the hands of play.

Workshop #8: Shielding the Vulnerable: How to Protect Their Hearts & Minds | PRESENTED BY Eva de Gosztonyi, M.A.

For those who spend their days interacting with the young, be it in schools, group homes, daycares and in our own homes, we sometimes forget how vulnerable they are. Developing beings are entirely dependent on the care of the more mature. Yet so many common practices we use, especially when behaviour is challenging, increase feelings of vulnerability and inadvertently lead to other unanticipated problems, including mental health issues. This session will focus on creating a better understanding of what our children need from us and on analyzing the pitfalls of some of our most commonly used interventions and interactions, including the use of praise, rewards, consequences, time outs, democratic or child-led practices, and self-regulation. The presentation will then provide alternatives to these, as well as encouraging adults to find ways to support children in the most important task of all, helping their emotions to move through.

Day Two Morning

Workshop #5: Resilience & The Stress Response: Addressing Emotional Stuckness Including Trauma | PRESENTED BY Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D.

  • Updating an understanding of the stress response through the lenses of attachment and emotion
  • The ability to differentiate between the two kinds of strength that is often associated with resilience
  • An appreciation of what has to bounce back for emotional health and well-being
  • An understanding of the wisdom of the stress response and how to come alongside it

Workshop #6: Making Sense of Today’s Feeding & Eating Problems | PRESENTED BY Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D.

  • Understand the connection between attachment issues and feeding problems
  • Deconstruct the role of emotional defense in eating challenges
  • Provide a developmental and relational lens on the roots of picky eating to eating disorders
  • Provide relational and developmental strategies for making headway on eating and feeding issues

Day Two Afternoon 

Workshop #7: The Vital Role of Emotional Playgrounds in Flourishing: From Toddlerhood To Elderhood | PRESENTED BY Tamara Strijack, M.A.

  • Appreciating the role of emotion in our well-being
  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of emotional stuckness
  • Making sense of the role of play when it comes to emotional expression and release
  • Awareness of what gets in the way of healthy expression
  • Recognizing when pivotal feelings are missing that need restoring
  • Knowing how to create the conditions for emotion to move

Workshop #8: Shielding the Vulnerable: How to Protect Their Hearts & Minds | PRESENTED BY Eva de Gosztonyi, M.A.

  • Explain why at least three common practices increase vulnerability
  • Improve their ability to increase child-adult attachment using strategies presented
  • Describe ways to help children to stay out of trouble
  • Improve their capacity for helping children to live fully with their emotions

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