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The Science of Emotion (Känslornas roll)
– Course description, objectives and topics

Emotion, long dismissed as a nuisance factor, is now confirmed to be at the core of development and well-being. Yet little is being taught about the nature of emotion or the implications for parenting, teaching, and treatment. To make sense of emotion is to make sense of us all. There is no better way to glean insight into oneself and others than through a working knowledge of the science of emotion.

Course description

There is much focus today on children’s emotions. Constructs like emotional intelligence, emotional self-regulation, emotional well-being and emotional social learning are being bandied about like never before. Emotion, long dismissed as a nuisance factor, is now confirmed to be at the core of development and well-being. Yet little is being taught about the nature of emotion or the implications for parenting and teaching and treatment. In this course, Dr. Neufeld does a brilliant job of putting the pieces together to make sense of emotion, revealing the emotional roots of many behavioural problems, and clarifying the challenges for parents, teachers and helping professionals.

This material is absolutely foundational to an understanding of human nature. New revelations about the nature of emotion have shed fresh light on the pivotal role of feelings in play, brain development, discipline problems, attention problems, mental health issues and much more. In this course, Dr. Neufeld distils the current scientific knowledge on emotion to three basic laws and discusses the implications of each of these laws for parenting and teaching as well as the treatment of children. Neufeld also outlines five basic steps to emotional health and development so adults can foster emotional well-being and get to the root of such problems as alarm, anxiety, agitation, aggression, impulsiveness, lack of empathy, bullying, and so on. This course is powerful in the insight it provides as well as the changes it inspires.

Suitability/Applicability
To make sense of emotion is to make sense of us all. There is no better way to glean insight into oneself and others. Having a working knowledge of the science of emotion should be a prerequisite for anyone responsible for children or working with adults. While the focus of the course is on children and youth, the content is applicable to individuals of all ages. This course is highly recommended for all helping professionals, educators and parents. This course is required for the Neufeld Parent Consulting Program as well as for faculty internship candidates.

Objectives of the course include:

• to cultivate an appreciation of the pivotal role of emotion in development, perception and behaviour
• to develop a language of emotion that can be used to reframe problems, lead to solutions, and provide access to intuition
• to understand how emotional development unfolds, so as not to get caught in a battle against symptoms or sabotage the process by pushing for results
• to be aware of the overall purpose of emotion as well as the purpose of individual emotions
• to build a working model of emotion that can be applied across situations
• to outline the five stages of emotional development so healthy maturation can be fostered
• to be able recognize and address the emotional roots of behaviour problems

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
• how emotion serves attachment and attachment serves survival
• what keeps emotions from being felt and how to remove these impediments
• how emotional eruptions are at the root of most problem behaviour
• what the primal emotions are trying to fix and what happens if this doesn't work
• 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 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 impulsiveness can be cured developmentally
• 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
• how emotional balance is achieved developmentally
• why the pursuit of happiness doesn’t work
• why true play is necessary for emotional health and development
• 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

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More information about the
distance course:
The Science of Emotion

• Course outline

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