The Neufeld Institute ( is committed to putting parents back into the driver’s seat with regards to their own children. Our mission is to use developmental science to rejoin parents and teachers to their own natural intuition. All our endeavours are based on the understanding that the context for raising children is their attachments to those responsible for them. The primary thrust is prevention although the paradigm is also applicable to the most troubled of children and in the most turbulent of situations. Dr. Neufeld refers to parenting using this appraoch as maze walking. When we walk a maze we are often walking it blind, having to utilize our senses and intuitions in order to find a way through. This is what differentiates this appraoch from other contemporary approaches to parenting that provide one size fits all instructions. When we walk the maze we do so alongside of our child every step of the way. It is not about having all the right answers but presenting to our child as the one who is the answer for them. As we walk the maze along side our children we convey that nothing…no behavior, incident, nor difficulty can break the union. We provide constant reassurance that we will find a way through together. Even through the stormiest weather we are inviting the expression of emotions and providing comfort. Most importantly we, as parents, are letting go of those things that don’t work in favour of discovering what does work with the unique little spirit in our care. The outcome is a deep emotional connection with our child that allows for growth and fulfillment of potential.

Dr. Neufeld has been recognized for his work by Dr. Martin Brokenleg’s Reclaiming Youth International as his approach is most closely aligned with traditional ways of living and parenting. 

Parenting quote


Distinctives of A Developmental Approach
Source: Dr. Gordon Neufeld, PhD.

GOAL – The realization of human potential NOT behavior, success nor social fit
PROCESS – Maturation – the spontaneous unfolding of human potential NOT genetics, instruction, shaping, socializing
PROBLEM – Stuckness NOT problem behavior or disorder
PIVOTAL FACTOR – Emotion is the engine of maturation NOT consequences, social experience, or cognition
IMPEDIMENT – defendedness impedes the maturing process NOT disorder, lack of learning, lack of experience/social interaction
CONTEXT – relationship NOT roles, practices or programs

Denise Findlay has completed a 2 year advanced studies training program and is authorized Neufeld Insitute facilitator and Course Assistant. The following Neufeld courses can be delivered in person or online.


The Art & Science of Transplanting Children

The impact of attachment disruption, even when in the best interest of the child, can be deep and profound. This course provides effective and encouraging strategies for resolving these challenges and bringing these children to their full potential as human beings. The material is useful for all those who are involved with transplanted children: adoptive parents, adoption agencies, foster parents, step parents, teachers, supporting relatives, social workers, psychologists, pediatricians.


Making Sense of Aggression

Aggression problems in children and youth are of the most perplexing and disturbing. In a society where incidents of aggression and violence are on the rise Dr. Neufeld’s approach offers a well of relief for all those working with and caring for children and youth. Making Sense of Aggression provides participants with concrete explainations and genuine insight into the root causes that can make a child difficult to parent, teach and care for.  Dr. Neufeld provides heart felt solutions for raising children that have empathy and who are able to manage their emotions effectively. With bullying, cutting, suicide and violence on the rise this workshop is a necessity for anyone working with children and youth.


The Attachment Puzzle

The science of relationship currently exists in fragmented bits and pieces all over the empirical map: biology, sociology, embryology, ethology, epigenetics, neuroscience, psychology, medicine, psychology, and so on. The irony is that we have never known more about the relational context required for parenting, teaching and treatment, and yet this knowledge is failing to inform our everyday practice and policy. According to Gordon Neufeld, this failure of implementation may stem from the current lack of theoretical coherence as well as the esoteric language typical to these fields of inquiry. Neufeld`s unique contribution is to put the puzzle pieces together to create a coherent model of attachment, using language that is accessible to all. His model of attachment has profound implications for practice, whatever one`s involvement with adults or children.



Dr. Neufeld’s 3 part series delivers the best that developmental science has to offer to those raising or working with children. The focus of this series is on restoring and strengthening the connection between children and those who care for them. It is through these relationships that children are able to grow and meet their full potential. This course is for anyone looking for genuine insight into what children need to become their own people….resilient, emergent and adaptive!


Part 1: The Vital Connection

Part I of the Power to Parent series focuses on the child-adult relationship as the context for raising children. Parents and professionals learn how this relationship is meant to develop, what can go wrong, why parents must matter more than peers, how to cultivate a context of connection, how to win back one`s child if need be, and more. Parents and professionals are also introduced to discipline strategies that are attachment-safe and developmentally friendly.

Part 2: Helping Children Grow Up

Part II of the Power to Parent series focuses on how to help children realize their potential as human beings. Since growing older is no guarantee of growing up, knowing how to foster maturation is key to raising children. The material is presented in such a way that engages parents while educating professionals as well.

Part 3: Common Challenges

Part III of the Power to Parent series focuses on the typical challenges of parenting. Every child gets stuck from time to time on the road to maturation. Dr. Neufeld helps equip parents to read the signs of a child in trouble, live with a sensitive child, cultivate resilience in a child, lead an alpha child, soften a defended child, discipline a stuck child, and more. Dr. Neufeld offers effective and safe practices that honour and preserve the relationship, even when the problems seem daunting.

Contact us at or (778) 772-0368

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *