Dr. Vanessa is a highly sought after and dynamic speaker with years of experience being in front of audiences of parents and professionals. She is known for her ability to deliver key messages about important topics related to parenting, child development, mental health, and school success using humor, story-telling, and a good dose of compassion.

Dr. Vanessa is happy to tailor a workshop to your group’s specific needs. Some of the child development topics she is often asked to present on include –

  • Discipline
  • Behaviour
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment
  • Anger
  • Mental health in children
  • Why adults need to be in charge
  • Play
  • Resilience
  • Sensitivity
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Divorce
  • Screen time
  • Adoption
  • Sleep
Dr Vanessa offers presentations on the following topics, however, it may be possible to tailor workshops to the needs of your organization. Please contact our team via the form below for more information.
Click here to read about some of Dr Vanessa's most popular presentation topics

What? Me Worry?!?: Supporting Children with Anxiety

The purpose of this workshop is to provide a framework for parents who are working to support and nurture a child who is struggling with anxiety. Anxiety comes in many shapes and sizes, and manifests differently for younger children than it does for older children and adults. Participants will learn about the different forms of anxiety that are commonly diagnosed in children (including Separation Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, among others). We will work to understand what unites these different expressions of worry and how to best support the child feeling overwhelmed by such worry so that participants leave with a better sense of how to help put a child’s worry monster to rest.

Discipline Without Damage: How to get your kids to behave without messing them up

When your child is threatening a meltdown in the grocery aisle, is it really possible to keep your cool, get the behaviour turned around, and support healthy development, all at the same time?! Parents, caregivers and big people of all kinds will discover how discipline affects children’s development, why our reactions to our children’s behavior should reinforce connection instead of introduce more upset, and why the disciplinary strategies that may have been used on us as children are not the ones that children really need. In addition, you’ll learn: How the concept of “childhood” has been understood in different ways historically and why we must understand it anew today. The basic and impactful truth behind Dr. Vanessa’s mantra “See it, feel it, be it.” The foundation of a healthy, effective approach to discipline that respects your child’s developmental needs… and works!

The ABCs of Childhood Mental Health

Mental health has taken a central place in the minds of parents, caregivers, educators and other “big people” do to the significant number of children who are struggling. This workshop will explore the reasons for this struggle, the way mental health challenges typically present in children, and most importantly, what can be done to support children towards healthy development and actualizing their fullest potential.”

Parenting Right from the Start: The science and heart of growing up children

Our children don’t come with a manual. And it turns out that how we parent them has a LOT to do with how life will go for them. In fact, the science of child development has resolutely linked our approach to parenting with how successful our children will be in school, in relationships, in the workforce, and as contributing members of society. Dr. Vanessa has spent 20 years as a psychologist and researcher to pull together all of the key pieces so that parents might have a clearer path to follow as they take on the magnificent task of growing a human. And while it helps to parent right from the start, it is never too late to get started!

Anger & Eruptions: Understanding anger in our children and what to do about it

Anger in our children is one of those emotions that often takes us by surprise, and indeed, provokes interesting responses out of us as parents. Where does anger come from? When is anger a problem? What does anger have to do with brain development? Understanding anger and a child’s needs when anger erupts out of them is central to ensuring that anger is actually a positive aspect of our children’s growth rather than hurtful or damaging. When the emotional pathways that lead to angry explosions can be made sense of, it is easier to land on responses that are calming and facilitative of brilliant growth for the developing brain.

Large & In Charge

Sometimes things get turned upside down and you find your child telling you what to do and how to do it. In other words, being bossy, demanding, prescriptive, and generally large and in charge! There is a reason this is happening with increasing frequency for our children. Contrary to popular culture, this reason is not that children need a firmer, stricter hand. The true reason for why children are adopting the large and in charge stance is much more complex. This workshop will focus on understanding how things get flipped upside down in today’s parenting culture, and will provide ideas for taking steps toward turning it right side up!



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Dr Vanessa’s Presentation Package