250 352 3504


Making Sense of Adolescence: A Parenting Course

A Gordon Neufeld Parenting Course 




Crossing the bridge from childhood to adulthood has never been so daunting. The time of adolescence is longer than ever and yet society today offers little support in understanding or facilitating this transition. This course is designed to be used by parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, professionals — anyone who desires to make sense of adolescence. Parents of pre-teens will find this course invaluable as preparation for what lies ahead.



Facilitated by:  Liz Amaral of Nelson Community Services
Liz Amaral is a Certified Canadian Family Educator with 40 years of experience in the field of working with parents and children. She supports parents in identifying dynamics so that they can see their children from the inside out in a way that makes sense of attachments.



Free              Drop-in
Come to one, some or all…

at Nelson Public Library

Tuesday evenings — April 2 to May 21
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Course Outline

This course is formatted into eight one-hour sessions on the following topics:

      1. Crossing the bridge: adolescence in perspective
      2. Two paths diverge: conformity versus individuality
      3. Walking through aloneness and sadness: the necessary road to individuation
      4. Taking a wrong turn: when peers replace adults
      5. The counterwill storm: how to survive teen resistance
      6. Becoming tempered: the key to adolescent balance and stability
      7. Reclaiming our youth: how to hold, or win back, their hearts
      8. Becoming a sexual being: the pursuit of proximity in another dimension



course objective

The objective of this course is to make sense of adolescents from inside out. Every adolescent is an individual of course, but there are some common dynamics that affect all adolescents. Understanding what these dynamics are can provide the keys to knowing how to deal with the problems that may arise.

some of the topics addressed include:

      • the psychological changes at puberty that impact adolescents and those that parent and work with them
      • how to deal with the premature loss of power and influence with an adolescent
      • the rites of passage that must be endured for the adolescent to mature
      • how to recognize when rebellion is healthy or a result of adults being replaced by peers
      • the psychological temptations faced by adolescents on their journey to maturity
      • how parents and teachers can avoid premature or forced retirement
      • the two alternate paths to adulthood and societal integration
      • how to preserve or restore one’s rightful place in an adolescent’s life
      • the dangers of peer-orientation in the life of an adolescent
      • how to differentiate between relationship problems and behaviour problems in the adolescent
      • the role of dissonance and internal conflict in the life of an adolescent
      • how to hold on without holding them back


For more information:  email Melodie Rae

Read more about the program here>>>



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In these rapidly changing times, raising a child can be a challenging experience, and in the parenting field, there is seemingly contradictory information about child-rearing, a lack of information about child development, and no magic formula. Our Family Support/Parent Support Program provides support and resources for parents and those caring for children and youth. We offer strategies that are skill-based, solution-focussed, and attachment-oriented. Understanding and identifying the parent/child dynamics can be most significant in helping parents see their child from the inside out and thus take charge of family situations. This approach is the foundation of our program with the goal of preserving, stabilizing, and strengthening families in our community.


This program is funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.



  • Liz Amaral

    Liz has been with NCS since 1997. MEd, ECE, Canadian Family Educator Certification (1993)....

  • Liz Amaral

    Liz has been with NCS since 1997. MEd, ECE, Canadian Family Educator Certification (1993).  ...

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The Family Support Program recognizes that families, for a variety of reasons, require support from time to time as they attempt to navigate through many life challenges compounded by the demands of parenting. We work alongside the family through this journey helping to bring understanding, support, and guidance.

The supports we can offer are very diverse yet are specific to the current needs of all members of the family.  This generally involves:

  • Assessing the specific needs of the family and developing goals together
  • Promoting healthy, safe parent-child relationships and overall family wellness
  • Connecting family members to key services and supports in the community in a way that works for them
  • Working as a team with the family and Ministry social workers through the Integrated Case Management approach
  • Helping families find new ways to meet life’s challenges and stressors

Referrals to the Family Support Program come from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). MCFD also funds this program.



  • Donna Wright

    Donna has been with NCS since 1999. Background in family services field.

  • Lindsay Dew

    Lindsay has been with NCS since 2015. BFA, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Art Therapy.

  • Tara Gray

    Tara has been with NCS since 2017. Child, Youth and Family Studies Diploma, ECE.

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The Family Counselling Program is available to those adults/couples who are actively parenting children yet are experiencing emotional distress. The counselling approach is based on a genuine, respectful relationship, and the assumption that clients are the best experts on themselves. The emphasis is on a deep understanding of clients and their issues, and a belief that solutions flow naturally from this kind of understanding. Clients are supported to set their own goals and discover solutions that feel authentic and personal.This program also includes family counselling and parent-teen conflict resolution as a way to promote healthy family dynamics.

For men seeking to improve their relationship skills, confidence, and experience, the Family Counselling Program offers 7-week group programs called “Building Rewarding Relationships”. Contact the Family Counsellor to find out more about this program.

This program is funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.


  • Cathy Swanston

    Cathy has been with NCS since 2000. BA, BSW, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Art Therapy....

  • Toumbi Heynen

    Toumbi has been with NCS since 2012. MEd (Counseling Psychology). Registered Canadian Art Therapist.    ...

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