Meet our international team

Dr. Neufeld’s book and approach continues to resonate with diverse cultures and religions as well as transcend political differences. Various aboriginal groups have welcomed the material as resonating with their own traditions. Diverse religious groups have also embraced the material and some have seen it as a way of bridging the differences between them. The principles and values in Neufeld’s approach are so essential that they can also be recognized for their universality.

Neufeld’s book is translated into over 20 languages and Neufeld’s courses are available in French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Swedish, Russian, Danish and Dutch. Training programs for facilitators are available in French, German, Spanish, Hebrew and Russian.

The Language Directors are a very special group of motivated people, all of whom have studied with Dr. Neufeld personally. We also have lead facilitators in Denmark and in the Netherlands, and regional directors in Chile and New Zealand.

 

French Program, led by Mathieu Lyons
A social worker and college instructor from Ottawa, Mathieu is a powerhouse of energy in his mission to forward this approach in the French language. In addition to his therapeutic work and college teaching, he is also an involved father of three, having taken his share of the ‘maternity leave’ with their latest child. Mathieu brings many talents to this directorship, including managing the French website and French campus. Mathieu is assisted in this French work by his wife, Genevieve Brabant, also a Neufeld Institute faculty member.
Spanish Program, led by Marcela Escalera
Marcela - a mother of two grown children - delivers the Neufeld courses and directs the facilitator training program in Spanish from Mexico City where she lives. She works closely with the Spanish publisher of Hold On to Your Kids. As a child psychologist herself, she has attracted many other psychologists into her training programs. Besides Mexico, her sphere of influence includes Chile with plans for furthering the approach in other Spanish speaking countries. She has successfully organized many events in Mexico for Dr. Neufeld, including the Advanced Intensives in Acapulco.
Hebrew Program, led by Shoshana Hayman
Shoshana - a mother of five grown children - is a Hebrew publisher whose first encounter with Dr. Neufeld was at an international La Leche League conference at which Dr. Neufeld was delivering the keynote address. This evolved into her not only publishing Dr. Neufeld’s book but also taking on the mission of forwarding the approach in her adopted country of Israel. Besides translating and delivering the Neufeld courses in Hebrew, she has trained a number of facilitators towards this end as well. Shoshana is assisted by her daughter Elana Strobinsky, a mother of five herself, and a psychologist-in-training. Elana is also a Neufeld Institute Faculty member.
Swedish Program, led by Jonas Himmelstrand
Jonas - a father of three children - is well-known on the international stage for his strong advocacy for parents in the raising of their children. His ability to articulate these concerns has resulted in high level involvement in European conferences as well as a presentation to the United Nations. His views led him to Dr. Neufeld in 2007 and he has been working for the Neufeld Institute ever since. He is an author himself and well-known for his evidence-based critique of the social utopian approach that involves the state taking over from the family in the care and education of children. Jonas teaches Neufeld courses to parents and educators and arranges Dr. Neufeld’s speaking engagements in the Scandinavian countries.
Russian Program, led by Olga Pisaryk
Originally from Minsk in Belarus and now living near Vancouver, this single mother of four has been a powerful force in furthering the approach in Russia. So much so that there have been more Hold On To Your Kids books sold in Russian, as well as more Russian graduates of our Neufeld Intensives, than in any other language outside of English. Olga regularly delivers the Intensive One and Intensive Two to Russian speakers all over the world. Olga also organizes Dr. Neufeld’s speaking tours in Kiev and Moscow.
Danish Program, led by Grete Lyngdorf
Grete - a mother of two grown children - has been heavily involved in Waldorf education and has experienced the attachment-based developmental approach as providing a comprehensive model that is not only compatible with Steiner’s approach but enriches it and explains it as well. Besides translating and delivering the Neufeld Courses in Danish, Grete has also organized well-attended events for Dr. Neufeld in Copenhagen for audiences of teachers and parents.
Dutch Program, led by Margriet Noot
Margriet is a mother of four grown children and grandmother of three. She is a family counsellor involved in training other counsellors. As our lead facilitator in Dutch, Margriet has been involved in translating and now delivering the Neufeld Intensives in that language. She is also spearheading the incorporation of these courses into the Dutch college curriculum.
German Program, led by Verena Benedetti, Constanze Stabaginski, and Michael Miedaner
The German Program is currently being led by a leadership team of course facilitators. The German program had its inception over 10 years ago and consists of two faculty and over 20 trained course facilitators. Michael Miedaner is also regional director for Switzerland.