Public Events

Australia – Various Locations (More dates and cities to come)

Building Brave – For anyone who lives with or works with kids or teens.
  • Wellington Point, Brisbane – Wednesday 11 September, 6:30pm-8:30pm (Tickets here)
  • Bray Park, Brisbane – Thursday 12 September, 6:30pm-8:30pm (Tickets here)
  • Rochedale, Brisbane – Tuesday 22 October, 6:30pm-8:30pm (Tickets here)
  • Toowong, Brisbane – Wednesday 23 October, 6:30pm-8:30pm (Tickets here)

    What could our children do if they truly believed they were brave? In this transformational, heartfelt event, Karen Young and Michelle Mitchell come together to equip parents, carers and professionals with powerful strategies to help children and teens build resilience, thrive through anxiety and reach their potential. We will explore:

    • the powerful role that caring adults play in building brave; 
    • a new way of understanding the role of anxiety and resilience in your child’s life; 
    • the often unrecognised and different ways anxiety can manifest in children; 
    • the impact of anxiety on friendships and school work;
    • proven, practical ways to respond to anxiety and make way for calm and courage;
    • how to build social resilience and equip them for the challenges of life;
    • how to strengthen your connection and influence.

      You know your child is capable of greatness.  With some very specific strategies and solid information, we can make sure they know it too. 

    If you would like BUILDING BRAVE to come to your school or community, please let us know. We will be touring nationally with this new project. 


    Australia – Brisbane and Toowoomba (More dates to come)

    Working with Anxiety in Kids and Teens (For anyone who works with young people)

    For as many as one in five young lives, anxiety is an intrusive part of everyday life. The effects of anxiety can steal into families, classrooms and friendships. They can undermine the way children see themselves and shrink their world – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Anxiety is very manageable when it is recognised and properly managed. With the right support, children can be empowered with the skills and knowledge to manage anxiety and move forward with courage and resilience. This dynamic workshop will help participants to recognise anxiety disorders in children and adolescents (5 – 18yr olds). It will delve into the obvious and not so obvious signs of anxiety, discuss where they come from and why they exist, and offer a range of practical, powerful interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context.


    New Zealand – Various Locations

    Overcoming Anxiety – Working with Children & Young People Find Their Brave (For anyone who works with young people)

    Anxiety disorders are the most common child and adolescent mental health concern. Anxiety is a very normal human response, but for as many as 1 in 5 young people the symptoms become so intrusive so as to interfere with day to day living. Anxiety can potentially undermine the way children see themselves, the world and their important place in it – but it doesn’t have to be this way. When recognised and properly managed, anxiety is very treatable. This transformational workshop will help participants to recognise the symptoms of anxiety, distinguish anxiety from other similarly presenting conditions, and provide a powerful scaffold for understanding, explaining and working with anxiety in children and adolescents. This scaffold will then be used to present participants with powerful, practical, research-driven interventions to strengthen young people against anxiety and build courage and resilience.

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    Anxiety will always tilt our focus to the risks, often at the expense of the very real rewards. It does this to keep us safe. We’re more likely to run into trouble if we miss the potential risks than if we miss the potential gains. 

This means that anxiety will swell just as much in reaction to a real life-threat, as it will to the things that might cause heartache (feels awful, but not life-threatening), but which will more likely come with great rewards. Wholehearted living means actively shifting our awareness to what we have to gain by taking a safe risk. 

Sometimes staying safe will be the exactly right thing to do, but sometimes we need to fight for that important or meaningful thing by hushing the noise of anxiety and moving bravely forward. 

When children or teens are on the edge of brave, but anxiety is pushing them back, ask, ‘But what would it be like if you could?’ ♥️

#parenting #parent #mindfulparenting #childanxiety #positiveparenting #heywarrior #heyawesome
    Except I don’t do hungry me or tired me or intolerant me, as, you know … intolerably. Most of the time. Sometimes.
    Growth doesn’t always announce itself in ways that feel safe or invited. Often, it can leave us exhausted and confused and with dirt in our pores from the fury of the battle. It is this way for all of us, our children too. 

The truth of it all is that we are all born with a profound and immense capacity to rise through challenges, changes and heartache. There is something else we are born with too, and it is the capacity to add softness, strength, and safety for each other when the movement towards growth feels too big. Not always by finding the answer, but by being it - just by being - safe, warm, vulnerable, real. As it turns out, sometimes, this is the richest source of growth for all of us.
    When the world feel sunsettled, the ripple can reach the hearts, minds and spirits of kids and teens whether or not they are directly affected. As the important adult in the life of any child or teen, you have a profound capacity to give them what they need to steady their world again.

When their fears are really big, such as the death of a parent, being alone in the world, being separated from people they love, children might put this into something else. 

This can also happen because they can’t always articulate the fear. Emotional ‘experiences’ don’t lay in the brain as words, they lay down as images and sensory experiences. This is why smells and sounds can trigger anxiety, even if they aren’t connected to a scary experience. The ‘experiences’ also don’t need to be theirs. Hearing ‘about’ is enough.

The content of the fear might seem irrational but the feeling will be valid. Think of it as the feeling being the part that needs you. Their anxiety, sadness, anger (which happens to hold down other more vulnerable emotions) needs to be seen, held, contained and soothed, so they can feel safe again - and you have so much power to make that happen. 

‘I can see how worried you are. There are some big things happening in the world at the moment, but my darling, you are safe. I promise. You are so safe.’ 

If they have been through something big, the truth is that they have been through something frightening AND they are safe, ‘We’re going through some big things and it can be confusing and scary. We’ll get through this. It’s okay to feel scared or sad or angry. Whatever you feel is okay, and I’m here and I love you and we are safe. We can get through anything together.’
    I love being a parent. I love it with every part of my being and more than I ever thought I could love anything. Honestly though, nothing has brought out my insecurities or vulnerabilities as much. This is so normal. Confusing, and normal. 

However many children we have, and whatever age they are, each child and each new stage will bring something new for us to learn. It will always be this way. Our children will each do life differently, and along the way we will need to adapt and bend ourselves around their path to light their way as best we can. But we won't do this perfectly, because we can't always know what mountains they'll need to climb, or what dragons they'll need to slay. We won't always know what they’ll need, and we won't always be able to give it. We don't need to. But we'll want to. Sometimes we’ll ache because of this and we’ll blame ourselves for not being ‘enough’. Sometimes we won't. This is the vulnerability that comes with parenting. 

We love them so much, and that never changes, but the way we feel about parenting might change a thousand times before breakfast. Parenting is tough. It's worth every second - every second - but it's tough. Great parents can feel everything, and sometimes it can turn from moment to moment - loving, furious, resentful, compassionate, gentle, tough, joyful, selfish, confused and wise - all of it. Great parents can feel all of it.

Because parenting is pure joy, but not always. We are strong, nurturing, selfless, loving, but not always. Parents aren't perfect. Love isn't perfect. And it was meant to be. We’re raising humans - real ones, with feelings, who don't need to be perfect, and wont  need others to be perfect. Humans who can be kind to others, and to themselves first. But they will learn this from us. Parenting is the role which needs us to be our most human, beautifully imperfect, flawed, vulnerable selves. Let's not judge ourselves for our shortcomings and the imperfections, and the necessary human-ness of us.❤️

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