Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 40 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 parents, 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. Gordon Neufeld photo
Hannah Beach is an award-winning educator and the author of seven books on movement, drama, and expression. Her books are used in school boards across Canada as a way for children to express their feelings and explore the world around them through play and movement. Hannah has been working with families, children, and teachers for 25 years as both a parent and educational consultant. In 2018, Hannah was formally recognized by the Canadian Human Rights Commission for her work in developing innovative programming that builds social and emotional health for children through experiential education and play. Hannah speaks across the country at conferences and school boards. Married, and a mother of three children, she brings her knowledge of the Neufeld paradigm into her parenting and relationships.
Jodi Bergman has spent the last 25 years developing attachments with children as a public and international school teacher, creating individual learning plans for homeschooling families and supporting children and parents in their journey. Currently Jodi works for Self Design, where she provides in-person and online consultation. She lives in the Kootenays with her husband, and together they are consciously integrating their family of seven children based on the threads of connection, relationship, and attachment. Jodi is committed to making sense of the dynamics of an integrated family (the new blended) to support thriving, not just surviving.
Geneviève Brabant is a faculty member at the Neufeld Institute and a clinical social worker (MSW, RSW) with over 15 years’ experience working as a child and family mental health practitioner (therapist) in the Ottawa area. In 2010 she launched her private practice, Le Repère Counselling Services (cflerepere.ca), with her partner and associate Mathieu Lyons, where she offers parent consultation and play-based therapeutic services to children and youth. Geneviève gives talks and presentations across Ontario on different course topics such as Preschoolers, Teachability Factor, The Art and Science of Transplanting Children, and The Science of Emotion. As a mother of three, Geneviève makes it her priority to incorporate her knowledge of the Neufeld paradigm into her daily parenting and relationships. Genevieve Brabant photo
Robin Brooks-Sherriff is a Registered Nurse in Calgary, where she has worked in various capacities with families and clients for over 20 years. Both as a nurse, and as a mother, she has been tremendously impacted by Dr. Neufeld’s paradigm since she happened upon it eight years ago. In particular, the adolescence material has informed her current work with teens and young adults in regards to their sexual health. The insight into these mysterious beings (teenagers) gained through Dr. Neufeld’s approach is immensely helpful when offering a guiding hand through the maze of sexual decision-making our teens and their families face. Robin Brooks-Sherriff photo
Eva de Gosztonyi is a psychologist who has worked for over 40 years in schools across Canada, and is on faculty with the Neufeld Institute. She is the Coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Behaviour Management for the ten English School Boards of Quebec, helping the adults in the school setting to understand how best to work with children with severe behaviour problems. Eva believes that educators can foster the natural processes of development in their interactions and attachments with students in the classroom and in the school. In her presentations, Eva weaves together theory and practice, learning and behaviour, to help those who work with children apply Dr. Neufeld’s paradigm so that they can effectively help children and youth become the “best that they can be.” Eva de Gosztonyi photo
Darlene Denis-Friske is a Registered Psychotherapist with the Ontario College of Registered Psychotherapists, a Certified Child and Youth Counsellor, and a Parent Consultant practicing within the Neufeld attachment-based developmental approach. Darlene has worked with children, youth, parents, and helping professionals in a variety of rewarding settings since 1988 including psychiatric hospital, schools, community, and private practice. She is currently a psychotherapist with an Ontario health team; a faculty member with the Neufeld Institute, where she is a Director of the Parent Consulting Diploma Program; and also conducts a small private practice.
Colleen Drobot is a registered professional counsellor and parent consultant with a private practice in West Vancouver. She works with individuals, families, adolescents, and school districts. She also has over 20 years’ experience working with children in the regular classroom and in special needs settings. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Neufeld Institute and has worked with Dr. Neufeld’s approach for many years. Colleen is a mother of two teens and draws from her personal as well as professional experience to support parents and professionals in gaining insight, opening their hearts, and leading by their intuition. Colleen Drobot photo
Patti Drobot is a registered professional counsellor, parent consultant, and presenter with an educational background in rehabilitation medicine. Her past experience is in psychiatric occupational therapy where she has worked in both hospital and community settings for 20 years. A faculty member of the Neufeld Institute, she currently works as a counsellor in Vancouver. Patti’s greatest professional passion is working with Dr. Neufeld. Her greatest personal passion is being the mother of her two children. Patti Drobot photo
Jule Epp is a psychologist, therapist, parent consultant, and presenter living in Berlin, Germany for the last 26 years. Originally from Vancouver, she was a student of Gordon Neufeld’s at the University of British Columbia, which is how she was exposed to the developmental, attachment approach that became the foundation of her academic and professional work. Her experiences with her own hypersensitive son paved the way for her passion for the field of autism and play. For over ten years she worked directly with children and adolescents diagnosed with autism – in their homes, in schools and kindergartens, and in a regional autism centre. Jule is now in private practice, offering workshops and online consultations to parents and professionals who have children diagnosed with autism in their care.
Heather Ferguson is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a private practice in Duncan, BC, and on faculty with the Neufeld Institute. She offers presentations and consulting for parents, educators, helping professionals, and care providers. Heather has a Master’s degree in family therapy and has worked with family service agencies, schools, and community mental health clinics over the last twenty years. As a mother of two, Heather is inspired by the Neufeld relationship-based developmental approach that has so deeply enriched and transformed her personal and professional life. She brings warmth, compassion, and heart-felt understanding to the challenges of raising children in today’s world.
Heather Ferguson photo
Denise Findlay is a Neufeld facilitator and parent consultant, as well as mother to two highly sensitive, intense, and bright boys. She works extensively with parents in the First Nations community, where she shares her insights to empower them to be their child’s best bet and to look to traditional approaches to parenting that focus on attachment and life-long, whole-person development. Denise has experience training educators, parents, social workers, early childhood educators, mental health practitioners, and other helping professionals. She holds a Master’s degree in education from Simon Fraser University, where she focused on contemplative inquiry and approaches in education. Denise also sits on two Vancouver Coastal Health Advisory Committees, where she provides a parent voice in regards to child and youth mental health services.
Jennifer Gehman is a certified teacher, curriculum writer, coach and a facilitator-in-training with the Neufeld Institute. She has spent the last 20 years working in alternative home-based education, writing a complete 12-year curriculum, and assisting hundreds of parents to better understand the role of attachment-based development in child learning. She is also the parent of five sensitive children – three young adults and two adolescents – all who have been educated at home. All five still live with her and teach her daily about the joys and challenges of being a parent.
Marla Kolomaya is a counsellor and parent consultant. She is particularly drawn to the warmth and intuitive care of Dr. Neufeld’s developmental-relational approach as well as how right it feels to walk alongside parents as they face the many daunting challenges of raising children in today’s culture. As a counsellor, she became passionate about sharing this approach with others who were yearning to make sense of the children and adolescents in their care. Marla’s work is now informed by Dr. Neufeld’s developmental paradigm exclusively. She has found her life’s work in supporting families, educators, and professionals with an enthusiastic and unwavering belief that relationship is the answer for what ails us.
Dr. Deborah MacNamara is a Vancouver-based 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 Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (Or Anyone Who Acts Like One), which provides a 360-degree developmental walk around the young child. She continues to write, appear in radio and television interviews, and speak to the needs of children and youth from a developmental science-based approach. Deborah resides in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two children. Deborah MacNamara photo
David McFall is a Neufeld course facilitator and an experienced in-school administrator with the Western Quebec School Board in Gatineau, Quebec. As a principal of a large urban elementary school, David has committed himself to distilling Dr. Neufeld’s theoretical framework to provide teachers and principals with a unique and transferrable model of re-thinking school organization through the attachment-based developmental lens.
Genevieve Schreier has worked for the Neufeld Institute since its inception. With an undergraduate degree in sociology and an MA in international relations, she has always had a passion for exploring human connection and uncovering potential. Genevieve has a variety of roles with the Neufeld Institute that include Director of Training for course facilitators, Event Coordinator and Assistant for Dr. Neufeld, and Course Coordinator for the Alpha Children course. Genevieve Schrier photo
Tamara Strijack is a Registered Clinical Counsellor working on Vancouver Island and a faculty member of the Neufeld Institute. She has worked with children and adolescents in various roles over the last twenty years – as mentor, counsellor, youth leader, program director, group facilitator – and is herself a mother of two wonderful adolescent girls. She also works as a parent and teacher consultant, helping adults make sense of the children in their care. Connection, relationship, and attachment continue to be central themes in all of her roles, both personally and professionally. Tamara Strijack photo
Terry Warburton is a certified professional counsellor who works in southern Manitoba and is a faculty member of the Neufeld Institute. Terry provides education and consultations for professionals in education, public health, childcare, and social services. She is passionate about supporting parents and professionals to help them make sense of children in their care and to improve the quality of relationships for the purpose of helping children achieve their full developmental potential. Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s approach has had a profound impact on her professional work with families, as well as on her own journey of parenting three young adult children. She warmly and sensitively shares her insights with others.