What Parents Say After Taking the Class 

This course was one of the best investments I’ve made for myself. Thank you so much for the exciting, uplifting, thought-provoking, hands-on 8 week course. Your experience, both joyful and painful, as a parent really resonated with me. Looking forward to the refreshers which I plan to attend regularly!
— Mother of two (8 & 6)
I have learned methods to understand my child’s emotions more. I learned a lot about myself and now string words and structure messages whereby I’m more articulate and my messages are more effective.
— Mother of two (3 & 1)
This course was so useful to me. I had so many ‘A-ha!’ moments. I never realized that I put up roadblocks and shut down my kids’ expression and labeled their behavior all the time. I am resolved going forward to stop “ruling by threatening” and start active listening to change my parenting paradigm.
— Mother of three (ages 6, 4, 2)
[This course teaches] mind-blowing, sensible skills to help you communicate and interact as a family with respect and peace. I have read many, many parenting books – this makes the most sense, provides real skills and asks a lot of the parents in a good way (there is no quick fix for personal growth).
— Mother of three (ages 12, 9, 5)
I’m very glad I took this course as it was enjoyable and very useful. I like the structure - theory with practice and lots of discussion time.
— Mother of two (12 & 10)
This course makes a big difference to the way I feel as a parent. I am more accepting of my children and understand that it is “us” rather than me and them. I’m also now more compassionate with myself. Catherine is very methodical, yet fun and highly knowledgable.
— Mother of two (12 & 10)
This was the most amazing course I have ever taken — skills learnt that will be used for a lifetime.

— Mother of two (5 & 4 months)
This course has been a real eye-opener. First, I learned that not everything was my problem, that I didn’t have to solve everything. Also, I articulate and understand my own needs better. My family is now more willing to communicate with me, to explain their needs. Catherine was excellent; we were comfortable sharing and felt understood, not judged.
— Mother of three (16, 14 & 13)
I had no idea what to expect but as I put the skills to use I felt very gratified to see their effectiveness. The successes reinforce a desire to learn more. At the end, I was sorry there were no more classes.

— Father of three (ages 11, 8, 8)
This should revolutionize how I parent and even interact with others. Catherine is very warm and enormously conscientious, concerned and involved.
— Father of two (ages 14 & 11)
I got to learn a lot about empathy, feelings and values. It was a journey of self-discovery. I learnt a lot about myself as well as using the skills to communicate more effectively with my child. I find I’m practicing Active Listening with my child and spouse a lot and have noticed a positive change in our relationships.
— Mother of one (4)
The course has brought to my attention all the different ways I respond to my daughter’s behavior and if I can be mindful of this, hopefully I can Roadblock less and Active Listen more. It’s work in progress!
— Mother of one (15 months)
Thank you Catherine. You really model the P.E.T. skills.
— Mother of two (16 & 11)
My husband and I have attended several P.E.T. refreshers with Catherine after taking the full course last year, and we never fail to learn something new from her at each one. Catherine has unfailing energy and insight into communicating with children. Her empathy and language are inspiring and I always leave determined to improve my own skills following her example. The P.E.T. techniques continue to offer a priceless armature for building healthy and lasting relationships with our children and Catherine continues to be an awesomely skilled and inspiring teacher.

— Mother of three (ages 12, 9, 9)
Catherine is a really passionate teacher. Moreover, the fact that she is a mother herself who managed to successfully apply P.E.T. skills makes her so much more credible. She created a very intimate and friendly atmosphere.

— Mother of five (ages 17 to 1)
I love this course. It has made me more patient, understanding and kind, not just with my kids, but with my husband and people in general. So happy to have the tools to parent (although I have to practice, practice, practice). I feel like I need at least 2 more sessions though. Life changing! Catherine is lovely and an excellent role model.
— Mother of two (4 & 1)
I’m very glad I took the course. I feel it has added new tools to my toolkit of communication, working with others. I still blew up at a friend though much milder than before and the bounce-back apology came faster. Catherine was very dedicated, prepared and enthused.

— Single woman & private academic tutor
I’m glad I took this course because it’s an investment in the rest of my life. I realize that I will lose my power over time. And I never felt comfortable using power anyway. I am more patient and empathetic now and getting better at understanding what’s behind the behavior. Catherine’s passion and sincerity shine through.
— Mother of two (7 & 5)
Catherine is excellent and thoughtful; the material is so tailored and relevant to our lives.
— Mother of three (11, 6, 4)

One participant helps her daughter gain insight and emotional release


P.E.T. participant mother lay down with her 8 year old daughter to put her to sleep. This usually takes a long time and she was checking emails on her phone. She had just had her first session on Active Listening that day (Session 2).

The Active Listen:

Daughter: "Pen tips don’t have poison in them, do they?”

Mother: (realizing Whoa, maybe this is a chance to try this new skill out! quickly turned her whole body [attending]) “Something’s bothering you about pens.” (Normally she would have said “Of course they don’t!”  and gone back to her emails.)

Daughter: “Molly said today that pen tips are poisonous so I shouldn’t draw on my hand!”

Mother: "That really upset you!"

Daughter: (tearing up) “Yes! If there was poison in the tips of pens why would so many kids draw on their hands!?” 

Mother: "You feel annoyed that Molly would say such a thing!"

Daughter: “And then Sally agreed with her!!” (Sally is her daughter’s best friend.)

Mother: “Oh, that was hard because then it was two against one.”

Daughter: “Molly always tries to say things to make me mad and get Sally to be on her side.”

Mother: “That’s hard for you and can feel lonely.”

Daughter: "Actually, you know, I think Molly is jealous of me because I’m best friends with Sally. But we ARE best friends, and we’re both Korean and you and her mom are friends so Molly can’t change all that!” [energy shift, insight]

Mother: "You believe even though Molly envies your friendship with Sally, your friendship is strong and so you don’t really have to worry!"

Daughter: “You know, I think it’s because Molly’s mom is always so concerned about hygiene. She must have told Molly that about the pens.” 

Mother: "Uh-huh."

Daughter: “Let’s go to sleep!” [emotional release]

Mother reported delight & shock that her Active Listening had worked!!

Catherine's 13 year old son puts the skills into action!


I was away helping my ill mother and my husband was on a business trip. Our wonderful helper was holding down the fort for our children, then 15, 13 and 10. Xavier (13) stayed home from school one day with a slightly infected eye (which was diagnosed by my doctor brother over FaceTime who advised hot compresses and said it was not necessary to visit the pediatrician).

The next day Xavier decided his eye still hurt too much to go to school. Our helper felt frustrated and stressed. She sent him to his room for a nap; he instead went to our study and that's where she found him later -- in front of the computer.

The Active Listen:

Helper: “Xavier, I told you to go to sleep if your eye really hurts! Maybe it doesn’t really hurt and I don’t have time anyway to take you to the doctor! Mom is coming home tonight and I have to make dinner and this recipe is very hard. I also have to pick up your sister!!”

Xavier: “You seem really frustrated because you have so much to do and me being home is a surprise.”

Helper: “Yes, it’s just too much! You were about to go to school and then you didn’t. It’s just too much!”

Xavier: “Yeah, it’s a lot of stress for you.”

The Confrontive I-Message: (after sensing Helper's emotional temperature drop) 

Xavier: “But when you say that I am faking my eye hurting, I feel really annoyed because I feel judged.” 

Helper: “Sorry, Xavier!”

Xavier was so excited to tell me this story the night I returned. According to him, “It really feels good to Active Listen someone and have it work. And then I gave her an I-Message and she apologized, Mom!” Our help later told me that the Active Listening had “felt good” and she was feeling so loving and open toward him that she then bought him a treat for lunch - a steak!

Catherine's kids share their views in this 2 and 1/2 minute video