Upcoming Seminars

Course Information

The Neurobiology of Girls-CA (DEAK-6)

Translated and Applied for Teachers, Therapists and Parents


JoAnn Deak, PhD, has spent more than twenty years as an educator and psychologist, helping children develop into confident and competent adults. The latter half of that period she has focused on working with parents and teachers in their roles as guides for children. Dr Deak has written two books, How Girls Thrive and Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters, and co-edited The Book of Hopes and Dreams. She has also contributed to two books: What I Wish You Knew: Letters from Our Daughters’ Lives, and Expert Advice on Staying Connected and Instructor’s Guide to Managing Adolescents in the Field. Dr. Deak has written numerous articles and is working on her next book: The Brain Matters: A Middle of the Road Guide for Parenting and Teaching.

Course Highlights:

  • Betwixt and Between—the Pre-teen Years
  • Moving Beyond the Tyranny of Niceness
  • Teaching Girls to Thrive
  • Emotionality—It’s a Girl Thing
  • Supporting the Adult Child Relationship
  • Recognizing Optimal Learning Moments
  • The Adolescent Girl’s Struggle to Become Herself
  • How Neurobiology affects Learning, Therapy and Parenting

Workshop Description

Advances in neuroscience—the study of how the brain grows and works—are just beginning to shed light on the fascinating differences between female and male brains. Research is also advancing dramatically in the study of hormones and other physiological and psychological aspects of growing up female. Every new scientific finding not only informs us about the true nature of girls—forget the hackneyed nursery rhymes or generations of stereotypes—but also underscores the need for teachers, therapists and parents to see and understand girls in new light.

This workshop offers attendees the latest observations into how girls ages 2-18, think, act, and feel. Workshop attendees will become familiar with the basis for a new understanding of girls, and how we can best apply these findings in school, home and therapy. Dr. Deak looks closely at girls in each of three developmental stages—uncovering new insights into appreciating girls at each age, and offering specific ways to help a girl become more confident and competent and ultimately more herself.


9:00 am - 4:15 pm

Course Outline:

I.    The Layering of Nature, Nurture and Life Experience
a.    Girl Brains in the Beginning
b.    The Limbic System and “Emotion Central”
c.    The Influence of the Amygdala
d.    The Layering of Meaning
e.    Life’s Defining Moments
II.    The Preadolescent Years
a.    Camouflage: The Code of Conformity for “Tween” Girls
b.    Mismatch Between Feeling and Concrete Thinking
c.    Brain Science: Hormone Happenings
d.    The Corpus Collosum and Mature Judgment
e.    Anxiety, Uncertainty and Ambiguity
f.    Society Reinforces the Wrong Things
g.    Protecting Girls from Innocence and Ignorance
h.    Miles Apart From Boys--Developmentally
III.    Adolescence
a.    Adolescent Girl Interior: Brain and Body Basics
b.    Power and Promise
c.    Depth and Thoughtful Complexity
d.    Caring and Connection
e.    From Façade to Freedom: Becoming Herself
f.    Measuring Up: The Never Ending Story
IV.    Mothers and Daughters
a.    Mothers from Mars: Daughters from Venus
b.    Beyond Empathy---Enmeshment
c.    Temperament and Personality
d.    Disconnection
V.    Fathers and Daughters
a.    Soulmates and Strangers
b.    In Her Father’s Eyes
c.    The Father Study—Nature, Nurture and Gender Roles
d.    Gender Bridges and Gender Gaps
e.    Disconnection vs. Enmeshment
VI.    Galapagos Island of Girls Social Development
a.    Relationship Intensity
b.    When Friendship Hurts
c.    When Bad Friends are Good
d.    Girls as Second Class Citizens
VII.    The Tyranny of Niceness
a.    What’s Bad about Good
b.    The Nature of Pleasing
c.    The Nurture of Pleasing

Who Should Attend?

  • Teachers and Educators
  • MFTs and LCSWs
  • Psychologists
  • School Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • School Administrators
  • RN’s and LVN’s
  • Child Care Providers
  • Parents


Course Approved for 6 CE Hours:

American Psychological Association— R Cassidy Seminars is an approved provider of continuing education for psychologists. R Cassidy Seminars/Amedco maintains responsibility for this program.

LCSW’s and MFT’s (CA) R Cassidy Seminars is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to offer continuing education. Provider # PCE 418.

Nurses--RN’s and LVN’s (CA) R Cassidy Seminars is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing to offer continuing education. Provider # BRN 12224.