Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning

Dr. Sandy Gluckman on “Reversing Children’s Behavior and Mood Problems by Treating Root Causes.”

November 8, 2020

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #95 with Learning, Mood, Behavior, Author, Educator and Speaker Dr. Sandy Gluckman.

You can watch the interview on YouTube here. 

Dr. Sandy Gluckman describes her quest as saving the next generation from a growing explosion of learning, behavior and mood problems.  Her work is rooted in the science that shows that children will thrive when parents thrive.  Dr. Sandy empowers parents to raise healthy, resilient, confident children primed for success, by showing them how to first heal themselves. 

Dr Gluckman is sought after for her expertise on a range of children’s challenges such as Anxiety, Defiance, Emotional Resilience, Self-Worth, Screen Addiction, Stress as a Survival Mechanism and the Sensitive Child. 

Rather than offering quick-fix, superficial solutions to these complex issues, Dr Sandy uses science to teach parents how to create the kind of parent-child neurochemistry that prevents and heals these problems.

Welcome Dr. Gluckman! Thank you so much for being available to speak with me today.

I have to say, that when I was reading your book, Parents Take Charge[i], and saw the acknowledgements, I can see how you fit in perfectly with the content we have been focused here on this podcast, especially with our most recent jump that focuses on health and mental wellbeing. If we are not healthy physically and emotionally, how on the earth can we expect ourselves to perform at high levels, and we definitely can’t expect it of our children, right?

I can see that many who have inspired your work, we have been focused on for the past year and a half on this podcast, with Dr. Dan Siegel a year ago this week, Dr. Amen with his daughter Chloe Amen’s interview[ii] on Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades, and then inspiring the brain scan content,[iii] Stephen Porges with his Polyvagal Theory[iv], and most recently with our focus on health and the brain with Dr. Mark Hymen, and his recent program, Alzheimer’s The Science of Prevention that really did inspire our health and wellness episodes.[v] Your life’s work is a perfect match for us, and I am so grateful to have this chance to speak with you.

Today, our topic with you is Reversing Children’s Behavior and Mood Problems by Treating the Root Causes and before I even get to your questions, I have to put my background in context for you, since your work, and this podcast will probably make some things come full circle for me, as well for those listening who might work with or know children with behavior or mood problems.

Back in the late 1990s, I was a teacher in Toronto, and I worked with behavioral students. It was my first teaching assignment right out of teacher’s college, and I had no training at all on how to deal with difficult students, and also had hardly any strategies for managing my own stress. I have had author and educational neuroscience leader, Dr. Lori Desaultels[vi] on twice to this podcast,  and her work, along with Michael McKnight, focuses on how the students’ behavior usually is a reaction to the teacher or parent’s state of mind.  I now know stress reducing strategies that help me on a daily basis, but I wish I knew them when I first started my career.

Q1: Can you take me back to the beginning of your professional career, with students in their last year of high school in South Africa, and what made you begin to wonder “why did some students have a robust, healthy and feisty spirit, while others did not?”  How did this question inspire you to further your studies and obtain a PhD in clinical psychology, and dive deep into how different people respond to stress?

Q2: In your book, Parents Take Charge, you introduce a new way of healing children’s learning, behavior and mood problems, with the story of an 11-year old named David, who was having some challenges with learning at school, was diagnosed with a bunch of different disorders like ADHD, OCD, and depression, and was given a ton of medicine to go with each diagnosis. Can you share how this Mom got the root of David’s problem, finding some challenges with his digestive system, and how he was put on a treatment program that included supplements his body was missing and some changes to his diet, and 9 months later his symptoms were almost gone?

This is such a powerful story! For this example, David became a new child, with improved grades, and a natural leadership that emerged with his new levels of confidence.  As a parent, this is all we want for our children. To be able to go through life with ease, and be successful.

Q3: Where do we begin when looking at mood problems with children, whether we are talking about the eye-rolling that I’m just starting to get with my young girls when I ask them to do something, or the flat out difficult behavior that I saw as a new teacher in the classroom?

Q4: What did your experience as a teacher, psychologist and leadership coach teach you about the mental, emotional and social well-being of a student, as well as those working in the corporate world about the importance of managing our emotional states?

Q5: What inspired you to learn more about the effect of stress, and how it can trigger learning, behavior and mood problems?

Q6: With the impacts of the pandemic, I’m hearing so many new issues emerge with learning challenges that come from the fact that some children didn’t want to return to in school learning, and prefer home schooling, or the opposite, those who are still doing virtual learning at  home, are missing the social connection that in person school provides.

Q7: What would you say to support our children in each of these situations? What about solutions for screen addiction? I saw it with my youngest daughter the most when she was doing at home learning, missing her friends, and using her devices to stay connected. Now that she has returned to school, how can we lessen her dependence on these devices?

Thank you so much Dr. Gluckman for your time today, and your solutions to what many of us are going through whether it’s with our own children at home, or those in the classroom, getting to the root cause of the behavior or learning challenge.

I highly recommend Dr. Gluckman’s books and online programs.  She does have an online program for raising confident, resilient children that are primed for success that you can access on her website.

You can follow Dr. Gluckman on

IG, LinkedIn,  Facebook and Twitter @DrSandyGluckman

And visit her website and contact Dr. Gluckman for a 30  minute FREE session


Expanded BIO: Dr. Gluckman is the founder of a private practice, Parenting That Heals, where she consults with couples, families and children. Dr Sandy’s work is based on her unique blend of her studies in Functional Medicine, Interpersonal Neurobiology and Psychology, woven together with her own insights and experience. She has consulted with, and trained, thousands of parents and teachers in different parts of the world. Her signature programs, called, “Parenting That Heals,” and “Teaching That Heals the Brain,” are presented in live workshops, as well as online. 

Dr Sandy is the author of, Parents Take Charge: Healing Learning, Behavior and Mood Challenges Without Medication, and, Who’s in the Driver’s Seat: Leading with Spirit.


Dr. Mark Hyman on Reversing and Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning EPISODE #56 with Dr. Lori Desautels on her new book Connections Over Compliance: Rewiring Our Perceptions of Discipline

Dr. Lori Desautels Connections Over Compliance (Sept. 2020)

Stress Contagion Possible Amongst Students and Teachers: UBC (Study with Kimberly Shonert-Reichl)

The 4 S’s of Parenting Dr. Dan Siegel about the


[i] Parents Take Charge: A Practical 3-Step Program by Dr. Sandy Gluckman

[ii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning EPISODE #11 with Chloe Amen on “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades.”

[iii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning EPISODES #82, #83, #84 “How a Spect Image Brain Scan Can Change Your Life”




[iv]  Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning EPISODE #59

[v]  Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning EPISODE #87 on “5 Important Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies We Should All Know.”

[vi] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning EPISODE #16 with Dr. Lori Desautels and Michael McKnight on “The Future of Educational Neuroscience in Our Schools”

Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning EPISODE #56 with Dr. Lori Desaultels on her new book Connections Over Compliance: Rewiring Our Perceptions of Discpline.

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