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Demystifying the teenage brain: How to help teens reach their potential

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Dr Bettina Hohnen & Dr Jane Gilmour guide you through the makeup of a teenager’s brain enabling you to help them discover their potential

About this event

Life as the parent of a teenager can be at once exhilarating, exhausting and challenging and may even make you feel as though your own teenage years were so different to that of your child’s, that you feel wholly separate from them.

Adolescence - and all the unique behavioural changes that come with it - is a normal adaptive stage of human development, and to become a well-rounded adult, these changes can be significant and dynamic.

Dr Bettina Hohnen and Dr Jane Gilmour lead this informative and insightful masterclass, which will reveal to you how we have never before understood post-pubescent changes in the brain so well. You will learn how the implications are shifting the narrative from sulky, stroppy teens, to the view of the adolescent years as a time of great opportunity and passion, deep neural sensitivity and enormous potential - and a look to young climate activists will nod to these characteristics.

Using scientifically-backed evidence, engaging activities, and takeaway strategies, Bettina and Jane will guide you through the specific brain changes that occur in teenagers, and why they are a necessary part of the developmental process, as well as how adults are responsible for taking a different approach to helping them maximise their true potential.

You will come away with a deeper understanding for how pubescent changes can positively impact family life, how strong relationships and meaningful communication are the bedrock through which we can support teens, and the essential tools for launching your teen into a fulfilling and healthy adulthood.

This course is for …

  • Parents or carers of teenagers
  • Teachers and care workers

Course content

  • The unique aspects of the incredible human brain
  • An introduction to scientific concepts such as neuroplasticity and their relevance for learning
  • An orientation to five key facets of the world that attract the teenage brain
  • An overview of the central drivers and motivations of the teen brain, and how they translate into the real world
  • How to capitalise on the unique attributes of the teenage brain for success in school and family life
  • A practical guide to getting through tough conversations and meltdowns with young people
  • A review of communication tips that will engage the incredible teenage brain

Tutor profiles

Dr Bettina Hohnen is a clinical psychologist, author and presenter. Driven by her passion for mental health, she works with individuals, families, schools, organisations and the government to embed an evidence-based understanding of what helps young people to thrive. Her prestigious academic credentials and ongoing work as a lecturer across University College London have equipped her with the necessary skills to understand neuroscience and psychological science. She co-wrote The Incredible Teenage Brain (Everything You Need to Know to Unlock a Teen’s Potential), writes for the national press, and is a regular guest on podcasts as well as presenting her own with Dr Jane Gilmour, called Incredible Conversations. How to Have Incredible Conversations with Your Child, co-authored with Jane, is her latest book. Bettina’s goal is to help busy people understand the science and adapt ways to support young people.

Dr Jane Gilmour is a parent, mental health professional, author and broadcaster. She aims to deliver engaging, jargon-free science to inspire change in families. She is a consultant clinical psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and course director for postgraduate child development programmes at University College London, where she lectures on neuropsychology, neurodevelopmental conditions and therapeutic issues. She has published numerous academic articles and chapters. Her media presence includes appearances on BBC TV, radio and press commissions. Her first book for parents and teachers (with co-authors Dr Bettina Hohnen and Dr Tara Murphy) is The Incredible Teenage Brain Book, and was published in 2019. How to Have Incredible Conversations with Your Child, co-authored with Bettina, is her latest book. Using an innovative format, the book invites parents and children to use the book together in a shared experience, to strengthen their communication skills and understanding.

Course Details

  • Date: Tuesday 1 March 2022
  • Time: 6.30pm-8.30pm (GMT)

6.30pm GMT | 7.30pm CEST | 10.30am PDT | 1.30pm EDT

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

You will be sent a link to the webinar two hrs before the start time. Please email masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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Welcome to Guardian Masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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