COVID has led to innumerable layers of frustration and futility for all of us. In a world ravaged by an invisible ‘enemy’ which has enormous implications on every age group, in every society and every sector, how are we to remain resilient? Things that brought us joy like summer festivals, have been cancelled; visiting loved ones overseas up till now has been impossible, workplaces are unrecognisable due to many of the workforce opting to work remotely with Omicron bearing down upon us. How do we stay adaptable and avoid falling into a victim mindset given the high levels of futility that are present in our New Normal world?

As mental health clinicians, we also face our own unique set of frustrating circumstances and futilities. We have multiple new referrals per day and can’t take on any more clients, we suffer zoom fatigue, so our ‘normal’ caseload is now even more energy draining, we may feel confused by how to conduct our sessions (with or without masks, online or in person). Daily we face innumerable layers of frustration and futility which, according to Dr Gordon Neufeld, a Developmental Psychologist, can have either 3 outcomes/alternatives. Firstly, if we are powerful enough, we change our external conditions. With a pandemic ravaging the world, no one person, or nation state or chemistry lab is powerful enough to eradicate the COVID virus. Secondly, we adapt by changing our internal conditions (our mindset and our emotional responses, becoming transformed and resilient). Thirdly, if we are non-adaptive the chances are we will go into attack mode (directed either at self or others). This presentation will outline the simple yet profoundly applicable model of frustration leading to adaptation which has implications for working with a wide variety of clients in diverse settings, as well as applied as a self-care model for clinicians working in ever-changing stressful environments.

Learning Outcomes:

In this workshop Ruth will present a model of frustration leading to adaptation which can be used with our clients, and our own process of adaptation, given that the world pre-pandemic is not the same as the world we inhabit now. 

Daily the news reports changes to our living and working lives, whether that is an extended lockdown, a new traffic-light system, a mandate that affects our working lives, our travelling lives and our ability to stay physically connected as attachment beings.

What others have said about Ruth’s presentations

First, a big thank you for the excellent workshop you presented yesterday.  I have been a psychologist for almost 30 years (12 years in New Zealand, the rest in USA) and have a very high standard for the word “excellent”.  You are most definitely in that category!  You are a pleasure to listen to…. your manner of delivering information is one which makes it a pleasure to receive and digest the material!   It all made perfect sense to me and increased my understanding of a process that had not yet been understandable to me!!!“ – Psychologist, NZ

"Your presentation was top marks for presentation and delivery.  Just loved all the work put into those slides.  And I have heard only favourable comments.  And so often people refer to your warmth and lovely personality.  Can't better that!  Thank you again!!!" – Counsellor.

"Your presentation on “Developing resilience in the heart of a leader”  was one of the most outstanding presentations I have seen – anywhere!  For me it was new material and has given me a new resource to refer to and to contemplate.  Thanks for the insights from that workshop". CEO, Australiasia company.

Your presentations on attachment are easily absorbed and so missing (I have found anyway) where the people who are making the decisions are concerned. Ah...if only we had a sincerity, and passion, such as yours in those organisations.” Social Worker, Auckland.

I really appreciate your warm open-hearted style, your research and digestible way of offering complex information.” Psychotherapist, Auckland.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful knowledge, humour and inspiration with me during your awesome workshop”. Psychotherapist, Wellington.

“I was privileged in attending your seminar. I found the whole presentation flowed and you were wonderful in listening and answering everyone’s questions.” Counsellor, Tauranga.

"Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us at the Professional Development day. The feedback from participants has been SO positive. Everyone thinks you were informative, easy to listen to and they all want you to come back." Organiser of Event in Christchurch for Counsellors. 

The following peak bodies and organisations recognise that the training we offer is of a high quality, evidence based and relevant for their members CPD.

Who Should Attend:

Mental health professionals, educators (teachers, teacher aides, RTLB’s, school counsellors), social workers, counsellors, Justice Dept staff (Corrections, Police). Those supporting both adults and children who struggling to adapt to the New Normal.

This workshop is designed to helping our clients (and ourselves) stay adaptive in an ever-changing pandemic context.

About the Presenter:

Dr. Ruth Lawson-McConnell

Ruth Lawson-McConnell is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (Canada) and a member of the New Zealand Counselling Association and the NZ Psychological Society with nearly 30 years experience. She trained and worked in Scotland and Canada, and has been in New Zealand for the past 11 years. She has an MA (Honours) in Social Anthropology and Psychology (Aberdeen University) and a PhD (Counselling Psychology - Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland).

Ruth specialises in attachment issues both in adults and children. She works with a foster care agency supporting carers looking after children with complex developmental trauma. Ruth also has a private practice where she offers specialist supervision on attachment and trauma with adults, and parent consulting on children’s emotional and behavioural issues. Ruth has specialist training as a neuropsychotherapy practitioner and a trauma specialist working with partners of sex addicts.  



This workshop will be delivered via ZOOM. You will receive a pre-workshop email 1 week prior.

There will be group discussions and participants are encouraged to ask questions.

We ask all participants to have their own computer / laptop as this makes interaction with the breakout room activities and discussions easier and enhances the learning for all.

This webinar will not be recorded.

Price & Registration

Half Day Workshop

$240.00 inc GST, per person.

If you are sending 5 or more delegates, please email us for a discounted rate.

Registration process

Payment online is by VISA, Mastercard or American Express only and there are 3 easy steps to complete the online booking process.

Our registration platform is hosted by Lil Regie, our NZ based booking agent. Upon completing your registration by hitting the blue 'Confirm Booking' button, you will receive an automated email confirming the booking and amount paid by credit card. A GST Tax Invoice showing your payment in full will also be emailed to you.

We work hard to ensure that all workshops are cost effective by automating our systems. If you require an invoice (rather than paying by debit or credit card) there will be a $25.00 inc GST surcharge for this, and you will need to supply:

  1. The full name and postal address required to appear on the invoice.
  2. The contact name and email of the person(s) responsible for authorising this expense and approving payment.
  3. Any purchase order references required on vendor invoices.

If you would like to reserve a place, as our workshops fill quickly, or have any issues or questions about your booking, please contact Nathalie van Dort on 021 066 9811 or email:

What happens if you have to cancel?

We know that sometimes your plans can change for many different reasons. Should you be unable to attend, a substitute delegate is welcome to attend at no extra cost. If a substitute delegate is not available and you need to cancel your registration, please be aware of the following:

Up to 7 days prior to the event you will be provided a refund of your registration cost, less a $20.00 inc GST per attendee service charge.

If you cancel within 7 days of the event, you are not eligible to receive a refund. Please note: should your registration not be paid by the time of the event, you are still liable to make the payment. Unpaid accounts may be passed over to our debt collection agency and additional costs may be incurred. 

All cancellations must be received in writing (email). 

For more information see our full Terms of Trade.

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For further details, please contact:
p: 021 066 9811