Heart Matters: Science of Emotion Course

Making sense of emotion is relevant to everyone. This course would be a helpful prerequisite to any caregiving or supporting role with children or adults. This course lifts the veil, and like Disney’s “Inside Out”, reveals the inner workings of emotion and it’s role in behaviour. Michele is a passionate and engaging facilitator of this material, and brings the content to life with personal and professional examples.

A Parenting Scenario:

Sofia is a four year old, energetic and usually happy child. Lately, she has been witnessed pulling the tail of the family pet, she has pushed a playmate, and bedtime has suddenly become a very stressful time  for parents and Sofia. Whatever is going on? How we respond to Sofia depends upon what we “see” as the source of this change in her behavior.

Reading Emotions

In this course, we spend time looking beneath the surface behavior, beyond the words said in the heat of the moment, making sense of what’s stirring Sofia up inside. Participants learn how to foster closer relationships, and recover the child’s sense of safety, rest, and joy in her world. Reading the emotion, Sofia appears frustrated (pulling the tail and pushing) and alarmed (cannot rest when faced with bedtime separation, possibly also frustrated). If one sees the emotion and her developmental stage, Sofia’s behavior makes sense.


As a preschooler, she feels one big emotion at a time, and developmentally, is prone to extremes. Frustration is the natural emotion that arises when something is not working. Frustration needs room for expression without getting her in trouble. If physical expression is her “go to”, how could the adults in her life make room for safe expression of big feelings?


Looking at the bedtime challenges, when she feels alarm at bedtime, how could adults let her know they “get how she’s feeling” and “will be there”. Sofia may need help to hold onto her attachments through the overnight separation, as well as a sense that her feelings are understandable.

Adults’ Role

Adults have an important role in helping children move through key developmental stages toward emotional maturity.There are several possible responses that would take into consideration her emotions and her developmental attachment needs . . . as parents and caregivers, we have the answers when we can “see” what’s happening.

As Sophia’s parents provide options for her expression, Sophia may feel better understood, more accepted, and she may sometimes be able to avoid trouble (she is still a preschooler, after all). She could be released from worry that she would be on her parents’ “bad side” (less daytime separation). As she is reassured that feeling frustrated will NOT lead to separation (rejection, sending her away), she is more likely to confide in her parents WHAT she is frustrated about. Children often perceive things as bigger than what is real. Coming alongside her feelings, parents would be able to alleviate some of the nighttime alarm, and address the source of the frustration. Sophia could discover not only options for emotional expression, but also that parents were able to give her words for her feelings (growth toward emotional maturity).

Science of Emotion Course Structure:

In addition to live web-based weekly discussions, this course all about emotion includes six one-hour recorded video sessions with Dr. Neufeld. Participants also have access to a group forum for Q & A, and three month access to the Neufeld Institute Virtual Campus. If you are interested in the science of emotion course, you will find more information about content, suitability and course objectives on the Neufeld Institute website.

If you’d like to know when it will be offered in Langley next time, you may contact Michele or sign up to receive notification about this and other courses . . .

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