Heart Matters: The Science of Emotion

A 5 session course created by The Neufeld Institute

Facilitated by Lisa Weiner, MSN, Faculty, Neufeld Institute

Emotions are Nature's way of taking care of us. In today's society, we often don't know what to do with children's emotions. We tell them to "calm down" or to "figure out a better way" to express their frustration/anger/outrage.

What if we better understood and respected the important work of emotion? What if we could provide the conditions for "heart health" in our children? In Heart Matters: The Science of Emotion we will dive deep into the world of emotion. We will come to undertand how to support our children in their emotional health and well-being, which, in turn, provides the conditions necessary for maturation to occur.

If your child has lots of aggression, frustration or anxiety, or is immature and stuck, this course is for you. It will provide invaluable understanding and insight for supporting the emotional health and well-being of our children.


Topics Covered Include:

  • how to foster and restore emotional health and well-being
  • the role of the prefrontal cortex in emotional development
  • the six signs of a child in emotional trouble
  • why emotional expression is necessary and what happens when it is thwarted
  • what keeps emotions from being felt and how to remove these impediments
  • how emotional eruptions are at the root of most problem behavior
  • why emotional expression must not adversely affect a child’s working attachments
  • the construct and purpose of emotional defense
  • how the capacity for mixed feelings (impulse control) develops and why this capacity is so important
  • how empathy, courage, patience and self-control are the fruit of healthy development and how these virtues can be fostered
  • how aggression and bullying stem from emotional problems
  • how to handle difficult feelings in children and ourselves
  • why emotion can become depressed and how to reverse this process
  • what happens when feelings get hurt too much
  • why the pursuit of happiness doesn’t work
  • why children need to learn the language of the heart and how this language can be taught
  • the role of emotional conflict in developing the capacity to reflect