Neufeld’s Five Steps to Emotional Health and Maturity

Presented by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D.

Live Streaming on April 28, 2021


6 Hours  |   Pre-approved for 6 CEUs


This online course will be live streaming on April 28, 2021 from 9:00am – 4:30pm PST after purchase.

10:30am – 10:45am PST
12:00pm – 1:00pm PST
2:45pm – 3:00pm PST

All course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until May 28, 2021. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances. 

Registration will close on April 26, 2021

Emotional health is increasingly becoming our collective objective, despite a lack of common knowledge regarding what this actually looks like or how to get there. At the same time, emotional health and emotional maturity appear to be increasingly elusive in today’s society, so much so that immaturity could well be considered epidemic in the adult population. It is notable that emotional health and emotional maturity are conspicuously missing in all major behaviour problems, syndromes and disorders. As it turns out, emotional health and emotional maturation are not only core issues but also intricately linked, so much so that the constructs are inseparable. Given this, it should be no surprise that that there is a significant developmental aspect to these dynamics.

Doing what he does best, Dr. Neufeld has put the puzzle pieces together to reveal five developmental steps to emotional health and maturity. His model is easy to follow and has become a template for a growing number of therapists. The five-step model reveals the most common pitfall in working with the immature, regardless of age – attempting to treat the symptoms at the level where they occur rather than retreating to the underlying developmental prerequisite where the problem is most likely to exist. Dr. Neufeld’s model provides clear insights as to the nature of emotional maturity or its lack, as well as the way through to removing the impediments to emotional stuckness.

These insights and resulting practices are applicable to every venue – home, school and treatment, as well as every age group – infancy through old age.  As always, Dr. Neufeld focuses on how problems develop in childhood and adolescence as a way of creating a foundation for healing and treatment throughout the lifespan. Although the course is addressed primarily to helping professionals and educators, the material is very helpful to parents, as well as for self-understanding and healing.

This six-hour course is divided into four sessions of approximately 1.5 hours each.


Session 1 – Emotion as the heart of the matter

In the first session, Dr. Neufeld puts emotion back into the centre of our considerations as the core dynamic that underlies most troubling behavior, syndromes and diagnoses. Looking through the lens of emotion sheds significant light on the nature of stress, resilience, spontaneous development, adaptation, troubling behaviour and even mental illness. These understandings confirm that emotional health and development should indeed be our primary focus and objective.


Session 2 –   The foundations of emotional health and development

Surprisingly, it is the failure of emotion to find safe expression that thwarts both emotional health and the process of maturation. The symptoms of this failure inevitably divert the focus to behaviour, cognition and disorder, typically eclipsing the underling emotional problem. The pivotal role of attachment is discussed as well as the remedial role of emotional playgrounds, especially when issues of attachment cannot be addressed. The objective of this session is to appreciate the developmental foundations of emotional health and maturation, so that retreating to the beginning becomes our informed response.


Session 3 –  The role of consciousness in emotional health and development

In this session we discuss the role of feelings in emotional health and development – both having them and recognizing them. For the purposes of this discussion, we first differentiate feelings from emotion – an insight that derives from today’s neuroscience.  Since feelings are at least two steps removed from emotion, we discuss what can go wrong and how this can be corrected. From this perspective, it becomes clear that the primary dynamic in the stress response is ‘more emotion but less feeling’. Feeling one’s emotions is absolutely essential to moving forward towards emotional health and maturity.


Session 4 – The role of inner conflict in emotional health and development

The last two steps in emotional health and development have to do with feeling conflicted. In this session we discuss the prefrontal cortex as the mixing bowl of feelings and the role of felt inner conflict in becoming fully human and humane, including the capacity to reflect upon our emotions and to take up a relationship with them. Also discussed is how to foster the kind of tempered experience and expression that is the hallmark of emotional health and maturity.

  • the role of primal emotion and how it differs from secondary emotion
  • the role of emotion in anxiety, depression, aggression and addiction
  • the role of the prefrontal cortex in emotional development
  • the role of attachment in emotional expression
  • the tell-tale signs of emotional immaturity
  • the nature of emotional turbulence and its role in mental illness
  • the stress and resilience responses as emotional phenomena
  • the three basic laws of emotion
  • how to use the five steps as a roadmap to emotional maturity
  • how empathy, courage, patience and self-control are the fruit of emotional maturity
  • how to remove the impediments to feeling one’s emotions
  • how impulsiveness can be cured
  • the role of emotion in adaptation, healing and recovery
  • the role of emotional playgrounds in emotional health and development
  • how inner conflict is the engine of higher development
  • how the quest for happiness can backfire
  • the early warning signs of a child or adolescent in emotional trouble
  • the emotional common denominator of troubled behaviour and syndromes

Education and Clinical Professionals: K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors/Psychologists, Learning Assistance/ Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers. All other professionals who support students including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers, and Early Childhood Educators.

Parents, Caregiver, Foster Parents, Grandparents, and Extended Family raising a child.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 45 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. Dr. Neufeld appears regularly on radio and television. He is a father of five and a grandfather to six.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$249.00N/A
Full-Time Student$199.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

  • 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