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Dealing With Big Feelings

Facilitating Emotional Regulation With Children & Young People

Dr Emma Woodward


Friday, 18 Oct 2024


9:00am - 3:00pm


Novotel Hamilton Tainui

7 Alma Street
Hamilton Central 3204


Lunch & Tea Break Catering

Workshop Notes


Bookshop at Seminar

Emotional regulation is all about being able to manage feelings so they don’t intrude heavily on relationships or day-to-day life. This might involve being able to resist ‘losing it’ in upsetting or frustrating situations, or having the skills and techniques to be able to calm down when big emotions start to take over.

Most of us unconsciously use a broad range of emotional regulation strategies to cope with difficult situations every day. Some children and young people however will become overwhelmed by their feelings and appear unable to self-regulate. This can manifest in different ways depending on the child. For some there is an instantaneous response (outbursts, violence, self abuse), for others the distress can build up with a cumulative pressure eventually manifesting as more complex problems (substance misuse, depression, eating issues etc).

As helping professionals, educators, and carers we can assist these young people to learn to regulate these strong emotions at the point they first experience them and learn the skills to express and manage emotions in more resilient and confident ways.

This workshop examines the what, why, and how of emotional regulation. It is brain-based, strengths-focused, and full of practical tips and strategies to use when talking and working with children and young people about their emotions. Participants will explore and practice a rich and wide variety of interventions to help young people (of all ages) tolerate, manage, and shift their affect states so they can reduce their dependency on actions that cause harm.

Some of the specific areas Dr. Woodward will discuss include:

• The neurobiological perspective of emotions and their specific purpose.

• What is emotional regulation and why is it so important?

• A tool-box full of emotional regulation strategies and skills and how to practically utilise them in your work with children and young people.

• Considerations for facilitating emotional regulation in a trauma informed manner with children who have faced adverse childhood events.

Dr. Emma Woodward is a Child, Educational and Community Psychologist. She completed her Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and an Undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Sussex. Now based in Auckland, Emma established the “Child Psychology Service” (a national child psychology practice network) and is a sought after presenter on a range of topics relating to positive psychology. Emma is also a regular guest on network
television providing expert comment on issues to do with child and adolescent wellbeing.

"Emma is so easy to listen to and the flow of her presentation was just as great."


"Emma is brilliant. Puts things into words that are easy to understand and lets us into her world."

Guidance Counsellor