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Schools are struggling with students who have frequent, intense explosions. Rewards, consequences, time outs, and anger management seem ineffective and can make the situation worse. Using the attachment-based integrated developmental paradigm of Dr. Gordon Neufeld and the neuroscientific research on the effects of trauma on the developing brain, rooms have been established to help students in distress deal with intense emotional states.


Emotion Rooms are specifically designed to allow children to express their emotions in the presence of a caring adult. Experience with these rooms is promising. Students, once they trust that all of their emotions have permission to exist, use the room willingly. A decrease in the frequency and intensity of eruptions has been noted. Students do come to find more responsible ways to share and deal with their intense emotions. The adults help them find their tears and ultimately to increase their resilience.

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When Push Comes To Shove: The Answer to Children’s Aggression

by Deborah MacNamara (December 7th, 2019)

Aggressive behaviour in children can be alarming. Hitting, screaming and yelling, fighting with others, and even eye rolling are emotionally charged actions that can leave parents at a loss for how to respond. Getting to the root of aggression is key to helping your child navigate their feelings and develop self-control.

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Freedom of Expression: Guiding kids’ emotions into maturity

by Deborah MacNamara (March 25th, 2021)

Emotions are invisible and mysterious, while actions are anything but and often distract us from the real problem. What we need to remember about emotions is that they, themselves, are not problems, but they are trying to solve them. 

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