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Making Sense of Anxiety

  • Argyll Centre 6859 100 Avenue Northwest Edmonton, AB, T6A 0G3 Canada (map)

The escalating level of anxiety in our children begs for an explanation as well as a solution. Dr. Neufeld sheds light on this age-old problem, paving the way for natural ways of responding that can actually get to the root causes as opposed to just managing symptoms. This course brings a fresh and promising perspective to one of our most troubling and perplexing human problems. Although the focus is on children, this enlightening material will benefit anyone suffering from anxiety.

Course Description

The time has finally come to be able to answer the problem of anxiety. What makes it possible now is that we currently have enough pieces of the puzzle to create a coherent picture: a mastery of attachment theory, an understanding of human vulnerability, a working knowledge of attention, and the discoveries of neuroscience. Possessing the pieces are not enough however. It takes a theorist’s mind to put the pieces together and a seasoned therapist’s wisdom to test this model against human experience.

Neufeld has been uniquely positioned, not only to answer this question but also to understand the implications for our children. The picture that emerges from his integrative synthesis resonates with current research as well as natural intuition. The resulting solutions are surprising, not in that they are counter intuitive but rather that they run counter to the prevailing practice.

The focus of this course is the anxiety of our children and what we can do about this, both as a society and as the adults responsible for them. The dynamics and insights however apply to all ages.

Course Delivery

The instructional video serves as the ‘textbook’ for the course and is shown as part of the workshop but this is only the part of the learning adventure. The course is delivered as an interactive workshop in a group setting over 4 weeks in 2 hour sessions. 

Location and Dates: Tuesdays May 14, 28, June 4 & 11 (no class May 21) from 6-8pm in the Library of Argyll Centre School 

Cost: $80 per person. To register send an email and payment by email transfer or paypal to


This course is designed for all those involved with children and youth: parents, teachers, helping professionals. Although the focus is children, the dynamics and insights apply to individuals of any age. In fact, although most participants come for their children, they end up with significant insights about their own anxiety and how to best deal with it. Helping professionals will learn how to treat the anxiety of children effectively and without depending upon medication. Helping professionals also learn how to work through the parents in addressing the anxiety of their children. Teachers will gain insights about their own role in the anxiety problem and what they can do to reduce the anxiety of their students. Parents will learn how to address the roots of the issue and so reduce the symptoms of anxiety.


Topics addressed include:

  • the anatomy and working model of the human alarm system

  • how to recognize anxiety in all its various manifestations

  • an updated and insight-based working definition of anxiety

  • how anxiety-based problems are related to agitation-based and attention problems and adrenalin-seeking behaviour

  • appropriate and inappropriate ways we alarm our children

  • the role of the prefrontal cortex in anxiety

  • the role of attachment in anxiety

  • why some children cannot see their dragons and treasures simultaneously

  • the three natural outcomes of alarm and how to foster them

  • seven common themes in our obsessions and compulsions

  • why we tend to feel anxious instead of alarmed

  • why what alarms us can also blind us to the source of alarm

  • the role of the brain’s limbic system in anxiety

  • how emotional and perceptual defenses lead to alarm-system dysfunction

  • how the alarm system is meant to work

  • why anxiety is increasing in our children

  • why alpha children tend to be much more anxious

  • why current discipline methods are alarming our children

  • why some children are conscientious, careful and concerned and others are reckless, careless and without fear

  • the relationship of courage and anxiety

  • effective ways of addressing the roots of anxiety without relying on medication

  • what parents can do to help their anxious children

  • what teachers can do to help their anxious students