The alarm spectrum covers a vast amount of troubling territory, affecting the majority of our children and youth as well as adults. The good news is that once we understand how these syndromes come to be, we are also more informed as to how they can be reversed.

Course Description

The surge of anxiety in today's society certainly begs for an explanation. To make sense of anxiety is to make sense of ourselves and vice versa. There is probably no human problem that has been more of a riddle, yet more significant.

In taking a relational-developmental approach to joining the dots, and armed with fresh insights from neuroscience, Dr. Neufeld reveals a complex human alarm system that can give rise not only to anxiety but also to a diverse array of seemingly unrelated syndromes and symptoms deceptively devoid of feelings of nervousness. This alarm spectrum covers a vast amount of troubling territory, affecting the majority of our children and youth as well as adults. The good news is that once we understand how these syndromes come to be, we are also more informed as to how they can be reversed.

This fresh perspective on an age-old problem serves as a refreshing alternative to the medical disorder approach as well as the rational-emotive and cognitive approaches. The implications are profound. In uncovering the root causes of these problems, Dr. Neufeld also paves the way for natural and intuitive interventions that can be put into practice in any venue and at any age. Although the manifest symptoms are indeed epidemic and diverse, the path through to making a difference is surprisingly singular, simple and achievable.


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.

Formats & Fees

This course is available in the ONLINE CAMPUS COURSE format. See Course Format Options for format delivery, access, and content details.

Tuition includes a four-month Virtual Campus study pass. See More On Online Campus Courses for further information on our two campus course formats (Self-Paced Study and Scheduled Online Class). Visit the course details page to register. If there is an upcoming Scheduled Online Class it will be posted directly above the Self-Paced Study button on the left-hand side.

Course Outline

The six-hour course is divided into four sessions of approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes in length each plus a 40-minute supplement on social anxiety.

Session One – The alarm system and how it works
Of the typical twelve or so 'systems' usually referred to in biology, the alarm system is by far the most complex and least understood. There is however enough information today to join the dots, revealing one of the most vulnerable and impactful systems of the human body. We all are profoundly affected by the alarm system, whether we know it or not. Knowing the purpose and workings of a well-functioning alarm system sets the stage for understanding what can go wrong and why. An underlying theme in the first session is the role of language in accessing intuitive understanding.

Session Two – The three classic syndromes of the alarm spectrum
Once the main dynamics in the alarm system are understood, they can be charted in a continuum of interacting forces, resulting in the three classic syndromes of the alarm spectrum that we see manifest in childhood and across the lifespan. The main features of each of these syndromes is presented, along with their tell-tale signs and symptoms. Many of the traits we attribute to personality are reversible derivatives of these alarm-based syndromes.

Session Three – The three root causes of escalating alarm in today's society
By all accounts, alarm seems to be surging in our society, along with the corresponding alarm-based syndromes in its wake. In this session, we trace the rising alarm in today's society to three root problems in the attachment infrastructure and the emotional dynamics in society at large and in any individual in particular. Understanding the sources of alarm sets the stage for addressing alarm, both in our homes and classes as well as in any individual person.

Session Four – The most promising interventions for alarm-based problems
Most interventions, whether medical, cognitive or behavioural, and whether we are aware of it or not, are attempts to turn off alarm or numb its effects. Unfortunately, effectiveness in symptom reduction can also drive compulsions and addictions. Recommendations are made for the safest and most effect methods of alarm reduction and symptom management. The focus however is on two types of interventions that hold the most promise for reducing alarm at its source as well as for helping our brains process alarm and helping ourselves resolve our alarm. These interventions are compared to the prevailing interventions in the field.

Supplement on Social Anxiety
In this supplement, we use the material presented in the previous sessions as a foundation for taking a closer look at the territory of social anxiety and related problems. In particular, we contrast a medical disorder approach to this natural model of alarm. We also take a closer look at shyness as an attachment dynamic and tease it apart from alarm as a significant dynamic in social anxiety. The approach to social anxiety can differ significantly when shyness is perceived to be the primary operating dynamic. Specific syndromes discussed include performance anxiety, test anxiety, imaginary audience syndrome, selective mutism and agoraphobia.

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