To me, one of the most compelling things about a developmental approach is the deep faith it is built on: the faith that growth can always happen, that no one is “too far gone” to heal, transform, soften, grow and mature.

When defenses soften, because something has finally made things feel safe enough for this to happen, growth can pick up where it left off, even if it “left off” thirty-years prior!

One of my colleagues like to summarize Dr. Neufeld’s developmental approach thusly: “We’re all growing until we’re lowered into the grave.” I love that: so hopeful, so true, and so evident in this beautiful story about a terrified dog transformed by love and safety. 

The story of this dog could be you, your child or the juvenile offender; warmth, patience and an unconditional invitation (notice how the dog owners in the article never thought about giving this dog away) are the transforming elements.


Would you like to learn more about how to provide the foundation needed for development to take place? Heart Matters: The Science of Emotion begins on 2/26. In this class, we will spend one week on each fundamental element needed for emotional health to develop optimally.