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.

Course Description

A growing number of children and youth are presenting as demanding, prescriptive, bossy and controlling. The root of the problem - the alpha dynamic - is one of the least known and yet most impactful factors in attachment.

This course takes us on a fascinating journey to the essence of the attachment, revealing a little-talked-about-dynamic that impacts every relationship, most significantly the parent-child and teacher-student relationship. Dr. Neufeld unfolds this dynamic to uncover a phenomenon even bigger than peer orientation - that our children are becoming more alpha. This alpha dynamic can manifest itself in a myriad of ways - bossiness, demanding personality, competitiveness and even bullying.

Alpha children are not only more challenging to parent but also predisposed to a number of problems including anxiety, aggression, oppositionality and eating problems. The plethora of advice-giving and strategies that are offered for these behaviours only tend to make matters worse when the underlying problem is an alpha complex.

In this course, Dr. Neufeld uncovers the roots of the alpha problem, and in so doing, opens the doors for lasting change: in the family, in the classroom and in society.

Suitability/Applicability

This course has implications and applications for every single relationship, including marriage and friendship, and provides a unique opportunity for self-understanding. The principal focus of the course is children and the primary venues of application have to do with parenting and teaching. This course will be directly relevant to all those involved in raising and teaching children, or supporting those who do.

Topics/Objectives

  • to uncover the existence and purpose of alpha and dependent instincts
  • to reveal the inherent hierarchy in attachment and address the concerns
  • to elucidate the ideal alpha/dependent dance and its function
  • to introduce the ‘alpha complex’ as deriving from alpha instincts that are stuck
  • to provide an understanding of the many faces of an alpha complex, from benign to the most perverted
  • to understand the role of emotion and the flight from vulnerability in the manifestation of alpha instincts
  • to uncover the primary causes of the alpha instinct and the reasons for why today’s children are becoming more alpha
  • to reveal the role of the alpha complex in alarm problems such as anxiety
  • to reveal the role of the alpha complex in problems with noncompliance and oppositionality
  • to reveal the role of the alpha complex in elevated frustration and aggression problems
  • to reveal the role of the alpha complex in eating problems and disorders
  • to provide guidelines for taming the alpha complex and restoring right relationship

Course Outline

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

Registration Details

The tuition fee for taking Alpha Children through continuing education is $125. The tuition includes a virtual campus student pass of four months to access the videocourse material as well as other supporting materials. If a personal copy of the DVD set is desired, the tuition fee is $175.

The tuition fees for live courses arranged by individual Neufeld Faculty and Facilitators, or by other agencies, are set independently and may differ from course to course.

To register for the Self-Paced version of this course, scroll to the top of this page. On the left hand side, you will see the Self-Paced Study section. Click on the coloured button to proceed to the registration form. You will also find a link with more information about the Self-Paced Study format. Our courses are available to be taken through this format at any time.

If there are any upcoming scheduled offerings of this course, they will be listed immediately above the Self-Paced Study section.

Course Coordinator

Neufeld Institute Faculty member Tamara Strijack is the coordinator for this course.She is also the director of our continuing education program and an experienced university instructor.

© 2016 The Neufeld Institute
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