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.


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. The five steps to emotional health and maturity are introduced.

Session 2 –   Back to the Beginning: getting the first step right

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. When attachment and emotion are at odds, the perfect storm results for troubling behaviour and symptoms. The two basic ways of resolving this core systemic conflict should serve as the foundation for all remedial measures. 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 –  Towards Fully Feeling: addressing the impediments

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 several 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 – Supporting the Final Steps AND The Five Steps as a Template for Treatment

In the first part of this session, we discuss 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. In the last half of the session, the Five Step Model is presented as an alternative to the ‘talking cure’ and as a template for treatment across the ages and in a variety of settings, including working with adults and couples and treating students within the school setting.

Topics to be covered include:

• 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

Suitability & Applicability

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.

Time & Place

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 and Thursday, July 8, 2021
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific time each day

This is livestream presentation via a ZOOM webinar platform. Registrants will receive the meeting link information via email.

Recording Access

Registrants will receive exclusive access to the recordings for 30 days, regardless if one attends the live seminar.


Late registrations are NOT available due to pre-event preparations on July 6, 2021. Post-event registration for recording-only access is NOT available.


Attendees may cancel their registration and receive a refund, less a $10 cancellation fee, until 4:00 pm Pacific on Monday, July 5, 2021. After this date, cancellations will not be eligible for a refund, however, attendees will receive access to the seminar recording for 30 days.