• Karen is an effortless and passionate presenter – a world of knowledge on this topic. Felt this [Anxiety in the Classroom] was a great add on to previously attended workshop ‘Hey Warrior!’

    Psychologist
    – Townsville

  • I found her amazing. I found it relatable and accessible. There were lots of good practical strategies and I acquired a much deeper understanding. It gave me tools, tips and hope.

    Teacher/Counsellor
    -Perth, Australia

  • Great session! So much information and knowledge. I could listen to Karen all day.

    Counsellor
    – Perth, Australia

  • I can’t put into words how helpful this seminar has been for me, personally as well as professionally.

    Counsellor
    – Central Coast, Australia

  • Great! I love the deep and wise understanding of what can be an elusive concept, and then Karen’s ability to make that understanding ‘come alive’ with her storytelling. I appreciate the tangible sense of deep understanding and care for children with practical, loving help – also extended to their parents. Warm, authentic, wise, and practical.

    Guidance Officer
    Brisbane, Australia

  • So well organised and expertly presented. Karen is an engaging, entertaining, and professional speaker who balances heavy information with relevant, memorable anecdotes. Karen is well-informed and imparts her knowledge with ease.

    Teacher
    – Newcastle, Australia

  • One of the best trainings I have attended. Nice to have a seminar whose facilitator is real, down-to-earth, and doesn’t use a lot of jargon. Fabulous to have had Karen as a presenter, lots of knowledge and brilliant to listen to! Thoroughly useful training to continue using with families. Lots of tools and ideas.

    Social Worker
    – New Zealand

  • The seminar was one of the best I have attended. Karen presents in an easy to understand and engaging manner. Her use of anecdotes made the day interesting and practical. She is one of the best presenters I have had the privilege of listening to.

    Art Therapist
    – Brisbane, Australia

  • Awesome presentation! Great break down of anxiety. I liked how there were lots of practical ideas and separation between working with parents and children. I feel much more equipped to work with children and families with anxiety.

    Occupational Therapist
    – Melbourne, Australia

  • Karen was absolutely wonderful – so engaging and informative. This has been one of the most useful and inspiring seminars I have ever been to.

    Counsellor
    – Melbourne, Australia

  • I hung on to Karen’s every word! Fantastic seminar with comprehensive background and fantastic practical strategies.

    Paediatric Occupational Therapist
    – Canberra, Australia

  • I have found the content to be informative, clear and transformational. I have found that the concise and practical way it was presented has truly opened my eyes to new ways of helping students with anxiety. Brilliant job.

    Language Teacher
    – Canberra, Australia


Upcoming Events

Hey Warrior (Aus)

For as many as one in five young lives, anxiety is an intrusive part of everyday life, with the effects often stealing into families, classrooms and friendships. 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. Anxiety is very manageable when it is recognised and responded to. This dynamic workshop will help participants to recognise anxiety in children and adolescents (5 – 18yrs). 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, research-driven interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context.

Tuesday 16 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
SOLD OUT Register Now
Monday 15 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Liverpool Catholic Club, Prestons, NSW, Australia
SOLD OUT Register Now
Wednesday 17 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Vibe Hotel Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
SOLD OUT Register Now
Thursday 18 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Best Western Hobart, Hobart, Tas, Australia
Friday 19 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Launceston Conference Centre, 50 Glen Dhu Street, South Launceston, Tas, Australia
Selling Fast Register Now
Thursday 11 March 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
ANZAC HOUSE, Perth, WA, Australia
Friday 23 April 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Commercial Club, Albury, NSW, Australia
Monday 03 May 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 am
Vibe Hotel, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Tuesday 09 March 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Mantra Parramatta, Cnr Parkes St and Valentine Ave, Parramatta, NSW, Aus

Overcoming Anxiety – Helping Children & Adolescents Find Their Brave (NZ) – (Interactive Live-Stream)

Anxiety is 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 in New Zealand the symptoms become so intrusive so as to interfere with day to day living. The effects can ripple from children, to their families, to the classroom, and into friendships. 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. 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 and respond to anxiety in children and adolescents. It will delve into the obvious and not so obvious signs of anxiety, discuss where they come from, why they exist and offer a range of practical, powerful interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context. It will also explore how to work with parents and carers in ways that strip shame and guilt, and unlock their capacity to move their children through anxiety and towards brave behaviour.

Friday 28 May 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Rydges Latimer, Christchurch NZ
Wednesday 02 June 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington NZ

Neurodevelopmental Theory to Practice (Aus)

Recent developments in neuroscience have expanded our capacity to be more effective in all areas of practice in child development. We now have remarkable insight into what the growing brain needs to thrive from infancy through adolescence and beyond. Drawing on neuroscientific insights, we can ‘neuro-nurture’ the developing child and dramatically influence the growth and development of the young brain to provide the foundations for a happy, successful life. As the need for neuroscientific knowledge amongst practitioners increases, its convergence with key approaches to attachment, trauma, and learning have seen watershed changes in how we understand and support optimal development, behaviour and social-emotional wellbeing. This opens the way for us to take a more compassionate, targeted and effective response when working with children and adolescents in any capacity. This dynamic workshop will translate neuroscience into powerful insights and practical strategies to support the holistic development of children and adolescents. 

Monday 22 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Esplanade Resort, Cairns, Qld, Australia
SELLING FAST Register Now
Tuesday 23 February 2021, 12:00 am-4:00 pm
Mecure Townsville, Townsville, Qld, Australia
Wednesday 24 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Souths Leagues Club, Mackay, Qld, Australia
SELLING FAST Register Now
Thursday 25 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rockhampton Leagues Club, Qld, Australia
Friday 26 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Northlakes Hotel, Northlakes, Qld, Australia
Wednesday 17 March 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
City Golf Club, Toowoomba, Qld, Australia
Friday 19 March 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
The Glen Hotel, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Monday 07 June 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
The Function, Glenelg, SA, Australia
SELLING FAST Register Now
Tuesday 26 October 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Vibe Hotel, Melbourne, Vic, Australia

Previous Events

Overcoming Anxiety – Helping Children & Adolescents Find Their Brave (NZ) – (Interactive Live-Stream)

Anxiety is 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 in New Zealand the symptoms become so intrusive so as to interfere with day to day living. The effects can ripple from children, to their families, to the classroom, and into friendships. 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. 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 and respond to anxiety in children and adolescents. It will delve into the obvious and not so obvious signs of anxiety, discuss where they come from, why they exist and offer a range of practical, powerful interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context. It will also explore how to work with parents and carers in ways that strip shame and guilt, and unlock their capacity to move their children through anxiety and towards brave behaviour.

Tuesday 26 November 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Invercargill
Register Now
Wednesday 27 November 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Dunedin
Register Now
Thursday 28 November 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Christchurch
Register Now
Friday 29 November 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Nelson
Register Now

Hey Warrior (Aus)

For as many as one in five young lives, anxiety is an intrusive part of everyday life, with the effects often stealing into families, classrooms and friendships. 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. Anxiety is very manageable when it is recognised and responded to. This dynamic workshop will help participants to recognise anxiety in children and adolescents (5 – 18yrs). 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, research-driven interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context.

Friday 21 August 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
The Glen Hotel, Eight Mile Plains, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Thursday 03 September 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Esplanade Resort, Cairns, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Monday 14 September 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
The Function, Glenelg, SA, Australia
Register Now
Friday 06 November 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Mantra Twin Towns, Tweed Heads, NSW, Australia
Register Now
Friday 13 November 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Gosford RSL Club, West Gosford, NSW, Australia
Register Now

Overcoming Anxiety – Helping Children and Adolescents Find Their Brave (NZ)

Anxiety is 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 in New Zealand the symptoms become so intrusive so as to interfere with day to day living. The effects can ripple from children, to their families, to the classroom, and into friendships. 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. 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 and respond to anxiety in children and adolescents. It will delve into the obvious and not so obvious signs of anxiety, discuss where they come from, why they exist and offer a range of practical, powerful interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context.

Monday 23 November 2020, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Trinity Wharf, Tauranga, New Zealand
Register Now
Tuesday 24 November 2020, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Novotel Tainui, Hamilton, New Zealand
Register Now
Friday 27 November 2020, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Napier Conference Centre, Napier, New Zealand
Register Now

Strengthening Children and Teens Against Anxiety at School and Beyond (NZ)

As much as school can nurture, nourish and build children and adolescents, the very nature of school means that it can also be abundant with anxiety triggers that can significantly compromise their growth and development. Anxiety can be fuelled by anything unfamiliar or any situation that comes with the potential for embarrassment, failure, humiliation, shame, or separation – and school is ripe with all of them. School presents many children with some of the greatest challenges to their mental health, but it also presents some of the greatest opportunities to strengthen against anxiety. 

This workshop is for any professional who works with or within the education system, or with children or adolescents struggling with anxiety at school. Participants will learn practical strategies to effectively respond to children and teens with anxiety, as well as ways to capture the powerful buffering role school can play in strengthening all young people against anxiety at school and beyond. 

(At this stage, this event will be live-streamed to the event because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.)

Tuesday 20 October 2020, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Auckland, New Zealand
Register Now
Friday 23 October 2020, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Distinction Hotel, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Register Now

Strengthening the Relationship With Your Teen (Scotland, online)

Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution International Online Conference.

Cyrenians Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution are holding an all-digital festival of events in place of their annual conference. This exciting programme includes several internationally-renowned special guests. SCCR have made this available for free, and you are welcome to sign up to as many as you wish. I will be speaking on 15 October from 10:00-10:30am (Brisbane time) about ways parents and other important adults can strengthen the relationship, connection, and influence with their tweens and teens. The 30 minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Thursday 22 October 2020, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution, Online (Time is Brisbane, Aus AEST)
Register Now

Superpowered! – Transforming Anxiety into Courage and Resilience, with Renee Jain & Dr Shefali Tsabary

Join me for this Facebook Live event where I’ll be speaking with Renee Jain and Dr Shefali Tsabary about anxiety, courage and resilience.

Tuesday 22 September 2020, 10:00 am-11:00 am
Facebook Live (Time is Brisbane, Aust - AEST)
Register Now

Strengthening Children and Teens Against Anxiety at School and Beyond (Aus)

As much as school can nurture, nourish and build children and adolescents, the very nature of school means that it can also be abundant with anxiety triggers that can significantly compromise their growth and development. Anxiety can be fuelled by anything unfamiliar or any situation that comes with the potential for failure, shame, embarrassment, humiliation, or separation from a loved one – and school is ripe with all of them. School presents many children with some of the greatest challenges to their mental health, but it also presents some of the greatest opportunities to strengthen against anxiety. This workshop is for any professional who works with or within the education system, or with children or adolescents struggling with anxiety at school. Participants will learn practical strategies to effectively respond to children and teens with anxiety, as well as ways to capture the powerful buffering role school can play in strengthening all young people against anxiety at school and beyond.

Friday 04 September 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Mercure Townsville Resort, Townsville, Qld, Australia
Register Now

Supporting Children in Post-COVID Era (India, online)

Experts from the fields of education, psychology, paediatrics, philosophy and Montessori education will be joining together in a live Q & A to discuss how best to support children in a post-COVID era.
Wednesday 02 September 2020, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm
Vidyanjali Academy, Bangalore - Webinar
Register Now

Nurturing Self-Control

Self-control – what every parent/carer needs to know about this essential skill, including why it matters, how it impacts a child’s behaviour and how we can best support our children now and into their future.

Friday 05 June 2020, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Mother Duck Childcare & Preschool, Lawnton, Qld, Australia

Building Brave – For anyone who lives with or works with kids or teens.

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.

    Wednesday 11 September 2019, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
    Wellington Point, Brisbane
    Register Now
    Thursday 12 September 2019, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
    Bray Park, Brisbane
    Register Now
    Tuesday 22 October 2019, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
    Rochedale, Brisbane
    Register Now
    Wednesday 23 October 2019, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
    Toowong, Brisbane
    Register Now

    Raising Brave Kids

    With anxiety in children (and parents) on the rise, it’s more important than ever to learn what we can do as parents to help children thrive in this chaotic world. Join us for this 4 hour parenting event, with Maggie Dent, Karen Young, and Warren Cann.

    Sunday 13 October 2019, 9:00 am-1:00 pm
    UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Register Now

    Strengthening Kids and Teens Against Anxiety

    This transformational session will provide parents and carers with the essential information and strategies to support their children and teens to build courage and resilience, uncovering their strengths, and take anxiety back to small enough.

    Thursday 11 April 2019, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
    Whitby School, Greenwich, CT, United States

    The Adolescent Brain

    During adolescence, the brain goes through a massive ‘renovation’. This talk is for anyone who lives or works with adolescents, and will explores changes that happen in the adolescent brain and how these influence relationships, friendships, and behaviour. 

    Tuesday 09 April 2019, 8:15 am-10:15 am
    Whitby School, Greenwich, CT, United States
    , -

    Follow Hey Sigmund on Instagram

    When things feel hard or the world feels big, children will be looking to their important adults for signs of safety. They will be asking, ‘Do you think I'm safe?' 'Do you think I can do this?' With everything in us, we have to send the message, ‘Yes! Yes love, this is hard and you are safe. You can do hard things.'

Even if we believe they are up to the challenge, it can be difficult to communicate this with absolute confidence. We love them, and when they're distressed, we're going to feel it. Inadvertently, we can align with their fear and send signals of danger, especially through nonverbals. 

What they need is for us to align with their 'brave' - that part of them that wants to do hard things and has the courage to do them. It might be small but it will be there. Like a muscle, courage strengthens with use - little by little, but the potential is always there.

First, let them feel you inside their world, not outside of it. This lets their anxious brain know that support is here - that you see what they see and you get it. This happens through validation. It doesn't mean you agree. It means that you see what they see, and feel what they feel. Meet the intensity of their emotion, so they can feel you with them. It can come off as insincere if your nonverbals are overly calm in the face of their distress. (Think a zen-like low, monotone voice and neutral face - both can be read as threat by an anxious brain). Try:

'This is big for you isn't it!' 
'It's awful having to do things you haven't done before. What you are feeling makes so much sense. I'd feel the same!

Once they really feel you there with them, then they can trust what comes next, which is your felt belief that they will be safe, and that they can do hard things. 

Even if things don't go to plan, you know they will cope. This can be hard, especially because it is so easy to 'catch' their anxiety. When it feels like anxiety is drawing you both in, take a moment, breathe, and ask, 'Do I believe in them, or their anxiety?' Let your answer guide you, because you know your young one was built for big, beautiful things. It's in them. Anxiety is part of their move towards brave, not the end of it.
    Sometimes we all just need space to talk to someone who will listen without giving advice, or problem solving, or lecturing. Someone who will let us talk, and who can handle our experiences and words and feelings without having to smooth out the wrinkles or tidy the frayed edges. 

Our kids need this too, but as their important adults, it can be hard to hush without needing to fix things, or gather up their experience and bundle it into a learning that will grow them. We do this because we love them, but it can also mean that they choose not to let us in for the wrong reasons. 

We can’t help them if we don’t know what’s happening in their world, and entry will be on their terms - even more as they get older. As they grow, they won’t trust us with the big things if we don’t give them the opportunity to learn that we can handle the little things (which might feel seismic to them). They won’t let us in to their world unless we make it safe for them to.

When my own kids were small, we had a rule that when I picked them up from school they could tell me anything, and when we drove into the driveway, the conversation would be finished if they wanted it to be. They only put this rule into play a few times, but it was enough for them to learn that it was safe to talk about anything, and for me to hear what was happening in that part of their world that happened without me. My gosh though, there were times that the end of the conversation would be jarring and breathtaking and so unfinished for me, but every time they would come back when they were ready and we would finish the chat. As it turned out, I had to trust them as much as I wanted them to trust me. But that’s how parenting is really isn’t it.

Of course there will always be lessons in their experiences we will want to hear straight up, but we also need them to learn that we are safe to come to.  We need them to know that there isn’t anything about them or their life we can’t handle, and when the world feels hard or uncertain, it’s safe here. By building safety, we build our connection and influence. It’s just how it seems to work.♥️
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#parenting #parenthood #mindfulparenting
    Words can be hard sometimes. The right words can be orbital and unconquerable and hard to grab hold of. Feelings though - they’ll always make themselves known, with or without the ‘why’. 

Kids and teens are no different to the rest of us. Their feelings can feel bigger than words - unfathomable and messy and too much to be lassoed into language. If we tap into our own experience, we can sometimes (not all the time) get an idea of what they might need. 

It’s completely understandable that new things or hard things (such as going back to school) might drive thoughts of falls and fails and missteps. When this happens, it’s not so much the hard thing or the new thing that drives avoidance, but thoughts of failing or not being good enough. The more meaningful the ‘thing’ is, the more this is likely to happen. If you can look behind the words, and through to the intention - to avoid failure more than the new or difficult experience, it can be easier to give them what they need. 

Often, ‘I can’t’ means, ‘What if I can’t?’ or, ‘Do you think I can?’, or, ‘Will you still think I’m brave, strong, and capable of I fail?’ They need to know that the outcome won’t make any difference at all to how much you adore them, and how capable and exceptional you think they are. By focusing on process, (the courage to give it a go), we clear the runway so they can feel safer to crawl, then walk, then run, then fly. 

It takes time to reach full flight in anything, but in the meantime the stumbling can make even the strongest of hearts feel vulnerable. The more we focus on process over outcome (their courage to try over the result), and who they are over what they do (their courage, tenacity, curiosity over the outcome), the safer they will feel to try new things or hard things. We know they can do hard things, and the beauty and expansion comes first in the willingness to try. 
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#parenting #mindfulparenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparent
    Never in the history of forever has there been such a  lavish opportunity for a year to be better than the last. Not to be grabby, but you know what I’d love this year? Less opportunities that come in the name of ‘resilience’. I’m ready for joy, or adventure, or connection, or gratitude, or courage - anything else but resilience really. Opportunities for resilience have a place, but 2020 has been relentless with its servings, and it’s time for an out breath. Here’s hoping 2021 will be a year that wraps its loving arms around us. I’m ready for that. x
    The holidays are a wonderland of everything that can lead to hyped up, exhausted, cranky, excited, happy kids (and adults). Sometimes they’ll cycle through all of these within ten minutes. Sugar will constantly pry their little mouths wide open and jump inside, routines will laugh at you from a distance, there will be gatherings and parties, and everything will feel a little bit different to usual. And a bit like magic. 

Know that whatever happens, it’s all part of what the holidays are meant to look like. They aren’t meant to be pristine and orderly and exactly as planned. They were never meant to be that. Christmas is about people, your favourite ones, not tasks. If focusing on the people means some of the tasks fall down, let that be okay, because that’s what Christmas is. It’s about you and your people. It’s not about proving your parenting stamina, or that you’ve raised perfectly well-behaved humans, or that your family can polish up like the catalog ones any day of the week, or that you can create restaurant quality meals and decorate the table like you were born doing it. Christmas is messy and ridiculous and exhausting and there will be plenty of frayed edges. And plenty of magic. The magic will happen the way it always happens. Not with the decorations or the trimmings or the food or the polish, but by being with the ones you love, and the ones who love you right back.

When it all starts to feel too important, too necessary and too ‘un-let-go-able’, be guided by the bigger truth, which is that more than anything, you will all remember how you all felt – as in how happy they felt, how loved they felt were, how noticed they felt. They won’t care about the instagram-worthy meals on the table, the cleanliness of the floors, how many relatives they visited, or how impressed other grown-ups were with their clean faces and darling smiles. It’s easy to forget sometimes, that what matters most at Christmas isn’t the tasks, but the people – the ones who would give up pretty much anything just to have the day with you.

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