Five-Session Cohort Series

a special Fall initiative for educators
and supporting professionals

When Dr. Neufeld first began providing professional development to educators, some 25 years ago, he had organized his material around the topic of Reaching Troubled Kids. The material was very well received by school systems throughout British Columbia and Canada. As a result of this material, Gordon became a ‘regular’ presenter for alternate education conferences where troubled kids were most likely to be found. Coming full circle, and now with the added insights available from neuroscience, Gordon has updated and reorganized this material to serve educators in today’s society, where troubled behaviour and troubled syndromes have unfortunately become the norm.


Tamara Strijack has been inspired to bring this revised material to the forefront for those involved professionally with children. She has designed a special series for this Fall:

October 6 – Orientation Session
October 13 – Plenary Session by Gordon Neufeld
October 20, 27, and November 3 – Follow-Up Sessions that focus on practical applications and implementations, all tailored to specific interest groups

All sessions take place between 2:00 to 3:30 pm PT and are recorded should one not be able to attend the live session.

The five group cohorts include: educators, school counsellors, clinical counsellors/mental health professionals, foster/adoption support, and early childhood support.

Participants will be treated to remarkable insights regarding three hidden stories that exist in almost all troubled kids, regardless of how the trouble is manifest. These three hidden stories turn out to have a singular underlying theme, which, once understood, have surprising and very practical implications all those involved with students.

To register in a specific cohort for the five-session Reaching Troubled Kids series, see Details below.


Choose your desired cohort group and complete the related registration form (fee $180). 

EDUCATORS Cohort led by IDEA Centre Team - register HERE
Educating children and youth comes with a world of challenging tasks and responsibilities. Many troubling behaviours and life experiences can get in the way of learning. As educators, there is a hope and a longing to create safe environments in which the heart of learning and connection can find its way. We look forward to exploring ways of bringing insight  and practice into the classroom.

SCHOOL COUNSELLORS Cohort led by Sandy Hitchens - register HERE
School Counsellors are often called upon to work with some of the most troubled children. There can be an urgency in our work; with a feeling of pressure and expectations from others around us while also wrestling with time restrictions. Part of our role is making sense of these kids to teachers and parents. How can we work within these tensions, holding on to relationships and working in such a way that will help these children to flourish and reach their full potential?

EARLY CHILDHOOD SUPPORT Cohort led by Karen Bollman, Laina Clugston - register HERE
The early years are a unique and precious time in a child's development. As Dr. Neufeld says, young children are not like us - and so understanding their brain development and the reasons they behave as they do is key to those of us who work with them.  We are seeing an increase in problem behaviours, anxiety, frustration, and support needs. As childcare providers, early childhood educators, and early interventionists, our task is understanding and creating the conditions necessary for the resilience, growth, emotional health, and play needed by all young children during these important foundational years.

FOSTER/ADOPTION Cohort led by Sara Easterly, Dan Nault, Tamara Strijack - register HERE

While some of the troubling behaviours of adopted and foster youth are alarming to the adults responsible for their care, there is a way through. Understanding how the brain responds to separation that is too much to bear offers clues to knowing what adoptees and foster youth need to ultimately find belonging, a solid sense of identity, and maturation to their full developmental potential.

When troubling behaviour shows up, mental health professionals are asked to put the right label on the behaviours and “fix my kid”. Behaviours draw our attention to what’s happening on the outside –the visible tip of the iceberg, yet we intuitively know that troubled kids need adults who can read and respond to more than what’s apparent on the outside. When equipped with the insights to make sense of a youth’s INNER world we see both “what’s wrong” and “what’s needed” for kids to realize their human potential.