• 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
LIMITED SEATS 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
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

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
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

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

Overcoming Anxiety – Helping Children & 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. 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.

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

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

    Today was an ending and a beginning. My darling girl finished year 12. The final year at school is tough enough, but this year was seismic. Our teens have moved through this year with the most outstanding courage and grace and strength, and now it is time for them to rest and play. My gosh they deserve it. 

It is true that this is a time of celebration, but it can also be an intense time of self-reflection for our teens. (I can remember the same feelings when my gorgeous boy finished so many years ago!) My daughter has described it as, ‘I feel as though I’ve outgrown myself but my new self isn’t ready yet.’ This just makes so much sense. 

There is a beautifully fertile void that is waiting for whatever comes next for each of them, but that void is still a void. At different times it might feel exciting, overwhelming, or brutal in its emptiness.

We also have to remember that this is a time of letting go, and there might be grief that comes with that. Before they can grab on to their next big adventure, they have to let go of the guard rails. This means gently adjusting their hold on the world they have known for the last 12+ years, with its places and routines and people that have felt like home on so many days. There will be redirects and shiftings, and through it all the things that need to stay will stay, and the things that need to adjust will adjust. 

To my darling girl, your loved incredible friends, and the teens who make our world what it is - you are the beautiful  thinkers, the big feelers, the creators, the change makers, and the ones who will craft and grow a better world. However you might feel now, the lights are waiting to shine for you and because of you. The world beyond school is opening its arms to you. That opening might happen quickly, or gently, or smoothly or chaotically, but it will happen. This world needs every one of you - your voices, your spirits, your fire, your softness, your strength and your power. You are world-ready, and we are so glad you are here xxx
    When our kids or teens are in high emotion, their words might sound anxious, angry, inconsolable, jealous, defiant. As messy as the words might be, they have a good reason for being there. Big feelings surge as a way to influence the environment to meet a need. Of course, sometimes the fallout from this can be nuclear.
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Wherever there is a big emotion, there will always be an important need behind it - safety, comfort, attention, food, rest, connection. The need will always be valid, even if the way they’re going about meeting it is a little rough. As with so many difficult parenting moments, there will be gold in the middle of the mess if we know where to look. 
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There will be times for shaping the behaviour into a healthier response, but in the middle of a big feeling is not one of those times. Big feelings are NOT a sign of dysfunction, bad kids or bad parenting. They are a part of being human, and they bring rich opportunities for wisdom, learning and growth. .
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Parenting isn’t about stopping the emotional storms, but about moving through the storm and reaching the other side in a way that preserves the opportunity for our kids and teens to learn and grow from the experience - and they will always learn best from experience. 
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To calm a big feeling, name what you see, ‘I can see you’re disappointed. I know how much you wanted that’, or, ‘I can see this feels big for you,’ or, ‘You’re angry at me about .. aren’t you. I understand that. I would be mad too if I had to […],’ or ‘It sounds like today has been a really hard day.’ 
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When we connect with the emotion, we help soothe the nervous system. The emotion has done its job, found support, and can start to ease. 
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When they ‘let go’ they’re letting us in on their deepest and most honest emotional selves. We don’t need to change that. What we need to do is meet them where they and gently guide them from there. When they feel seen and understood, their trust in us and their connection to us will deepen, opening the way for our influence.
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#parenthood #parenting #positiveparenting #parentingtips #childdevelopment #neuronurtured #anxiety #anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #motherhoodcommunity #parenti
    When they are at that line, deciding whether to retreat to safety or move forward into brave, there will be a part of them that will know they have what it takes to be brave. It might be pale, or quiet, or a little tumbled by the noise from anxiety, but it will be there. And it will be magical. Our job as their flight crew is to clear the way for this magical part of them to rise. ‘I can see this feels scary for you - and I know you can do this.’ 
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 #mindfulparenting #neuronurtured #parentingteens #neurodevelopment #braindevelopment #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #childdevelopment #parentingtip #adolescence #positiveparentingtips #anxietyawareness #anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #parentingadvice #anxiety #parentingtips #motherhoodcommunity #anxietysupport #mentalhealth #heyawesome #heysigmund #heywarrior
    When our kids or teens are struggling, it can be hard to know what they need. It can also be hard for them to say. It can be this way for all of us - we don't always know what we need from the people around us. It might be space, or distraction, or silence, or maybe acknowledging and being there is enough. Sometimes we might need to know that the people we love aren't taking our need for space, or our confusion or anger or sadness personally, and that they are still there within reach.
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What can be easier is thinking about what other people might need. Asking this when they are calm can invite a different perspective and can give you some insight into what they need to hear when they are going through similar. Don't worry if you just get a shrug, or a disheartened, 'I don't know'. They don't need to know, and neither do we. The question in itself might be enough to open a new way through any sense of 'stuckness' or helplessness they might be feeling.
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#parenthood #parenting #positiveparenting #parentingtips #childdevelopment #parentingadvice #parentingtip #mindfulparenting #positiveparentingtips #neurodevelopment #parentingteens
    Give them space to talk but you don’t need to fix anything. You’ll want to, but the answers are in them, not us. Sometimes the answer will be to feel it out, or push for change, or feel the futility of it all so the feeling can let go, knowing it’s done it’s job - it’s recruited support, or raised awareness that something isn’t right.

Sometimes the feelings might be seismic but the words might be gone for a while. That’s okay too. Do they want to start with whatever words are there? Or talk about something else? Or go for a walk with you? Watch a movie with you? Or do a spontaneous, unnecessary drive thru with you just because you can - no words, no need to explain - just you and them and car music for the next 20 minutes. 

The more you can validate what they’re feeling (maybe, ‘Today was big for you wasn’t it’) and give them space to feel, the more they can feel the feeling, understand the need that’s fuelling it, and experiment with ways to deal with it. Sometimes, ‘dealing with it’ might mean acknowledging that there is something that feels big or important and a little out of reach right now, and feeling the fullness and futility of that. 

Part of building resilience is recognising that some days are rubbish, and that sometimes those days last for longer than they should, but we get through. First we feel floored, then we feel stuck, then we shift because the only choices we have we have are to stay down or move, even when moving hurts. Then, eventually we adjust - either ourselves, the problem, or to a new ‘is’. But the learning comes from experience.

I wish our kids never felt pain, but we don’t get to decide that. We don’t get to decide how our children grow, but we do get to decide how much space and support we give them for this growth. We can love them through it but we can’t love them out of it. I wish we could but we can’t.

So instead of feeling the need to silence their pain, make space for it. In the end we have no choice. Sometimes all the love in the world won’t be enough to put the wrong things right, but it can help them feel held while they move through the pain enough to find their out breath, and the strength that comes with that.♥️

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