TALKS, WORKSHOPS & PROGRAMMES

The core Life Talk team operates from South Africa, but talks are available throughout the world.  
Contact us if you would like more information about talks in your area.
 
Topical, relevant and practical, Life Talk talks and programmes are aimed at children, teens, university students, parents, educators, school counsellors, company employees and married couples, in both affluent and underprivileged communities. They are run at a large number of schools, corporates and other organizations by the Life Talk team and facilitators, and on occasion by Life Talk’s resident psychologists.

Choose a talk, programme or workshop from the menu below (topics can be added and tailored according to the school’s/company’s individual needs, eg: substance abuse, bullying, peer-pressure, divorce, parenting etc.).
 

MENU

 

1) TALKS AND PROGRAMMES FOR PARENTS

 

FOR PARENTS

The parenting talks are tailored for parents with children of all ages. The earlier some of the challenges of adolescence can be identified, the more proactive parents can be. Talk Time: 45-60 minutes.

•  Forewarned is Forearmed – The Tug-of-Parenting: Provides essential information that will equip today’s working parents with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the future head-on and help them create a thriving environment for their family; setting them up for future happiness and success. Giving parents the tips, tools and advice that they need to win their Tug-of-Parenting.

•  Self-Esteem – A Family Affair: This talk helps parents gain an understanding of self-esteem and their role as parents in the development of their child’s self-esteem. Practical, implementable tips to nurture self-esteem in the family are provided.

•   Find your Voice, Speak your Mind: A conflict resolution parenting talk. Provides parents with the tools to help their children cope with conflict, to avoid being bullied, to nurture resilience, grow confidence and to respectfully speak up, take action and to move on.

•  The Parenting Journey – Start with the End in Mind: This talk highlights aspects critical to creating favourable family dynamics e.g. your family values, communication and discipline. The constantly changing parenting roles as our children grow are explored, and guidance provided. We then focus on the teen journey highlighting the ‘must-know’ challenges and suggested solutions and tips are shared. Special attention is placed on bullying, alcohol, drugs and hubblies as well as teen depression and suicide.

•  Teen Depression and Suicide: Suicide is preventable. This talk examines some of the root causes of suicide and provides parents with valuable insight and understanding so that we can take steps towards prevention and if necessary, intervention.

  Underage Alcohol Abuse – a sobering reality: In this talk, the realities of the teen drinking world are explored, the associated physical, mental and emotional dangers explained as well as suggestions made as to how parents can avoid the avoidable heartache associated with underage drinking.

•  What is Addiction? Every parent worries about addiction. In this talk, Mich Robb, a clinical psychologist from MWell, explains addiction, why some people become addicted and others don’t. He also looks at what happens to the adolescent brain when substances are abused and when addiction sets in. Finally he explores useful tools for parents who suspect their child is abusing substances.

•   Understanding Adolescence – An Interactive Workshop: Adolescence is the bridge that we all have to cross. Mich Robb explores this stage of life by looking at some interesting theories on how adolescents think, what their social needs are, and how they develop values. He also addresses what adolescents need to work through and how parents can help them achieve their goals. Finally Mich explores some basic tools on how best to talk to and connect with adolescents.
 

 

2) TALKS AND PROGRAMMES

 

Children and TEENS

 
 

For Children:

These talks and programmes are centred on younger children and the issues and challenges they encounter. Tips and discussions on ways to achieve success both at and after school, as well as practical tools to help avoid the unnecessary heartbreak encountered by so many youngsters, are covered.

·         Be a Buddy, Not a Bully: An interactive workshop which unpacks bullying and provides tools and solutions to help overcome the challenges associated with this scourge. Separate age appropriate workshops for children from Grade 0-3.

·         Take a Stand and Lend a Hand: This 2 hour workshop covers the importance of relationships and particularly friendships. We investigate what friendship is, why it’s important and how to deal with day-to-day friendship challenges. We also take an in-depth look into bullying and provide tools for tackling bullying. On completion, students will understand the benefits of being a good friend, treating each other with respect and kindness and will be empowered to take a stand against bullying. Grade 4-7.

·         Netiquette:Deals with the pro and cons associated with online media and their own personal online activities. Safe surfing, what warning signs to look out for online and the consequences of actions are covered. Appropriate from Grade 6.

·         The ABC’s of Sexuality: An interactive, fun workshop for Grade 7’s, examines the difference between lust and love, engages their own thinking surrounding their on-line profiles, takes a look at STI’s, different kinds of love, equips them with practical tools to withstand peer pressure and abstain.

·         The Tug-of-Teens: Explores the wide variety of issues and challenges facing our teens; informing and advising teens, focusing on choices, consequences and solutions. Appropriate for Grade 7’s.

·         Teen Life-Skills Programme: A 14-part life skills programme, which equips tweens and teens with vital life skills and tools to overcome the many challenges facing them (e.g. peer pressure, bullying, alcohol, drugs etc.) and get them to think proactively about their choices and decisions with relation to reaching goals and dreams. This programme is closely aligned to CAPS. Grade 6 & 7.

·         The Inside/Outside Story: Self-esteem and body image – many pressures exist for teens to ‘look’ a certain way; they can be very self-conscious about their physical appearance and some go to great lengths to get their ‘ideal’ body, sometimes with dire consequences to their emotional and physical health. This talk explores the origins of the relationship we have with our bodies, how it impacts on our self-esteem and gives ideas on how to start creating a loving, accepting relationship with our bodies and looks at the associated benefits. Grade 4 and up.

·         Self-Esteem –Celebrate Yourself: This programme is designed to give learners insight into how their self-esteem impacts on absolutely all aspects of their lives; how this can work for or against them; it gives them practical, simple tips to enhance their self-esteem thus building a solid foundation of self-belief and confidence. Suitable from Grade 5-7.

·         Walk Your Talk:This talk aims to equip learners with social skills in order to help them to successfully navigate their way through life. Some of the topics include alienation, competitiveness, inappropriate behaviours, manners, cyber-bullying, jealousy and envy and standing up to peer pressure. Grade 4-7.

·         Depression and Suicide: Suicide is preventable. This interactive workshop examines feelings, differentiates between feeling low and real depression, the causes and signs of depression and knowing when to get help. Students are assisted to create a safety plan.Grade 6-7.

 

For Teens:

·         Netiquette:Deals with the pro and cons associated with online media and their own personal online activities. Safe surfing, what warning signs to look out for online and the consequences of actions are covered.

·       The ABC’s of Sexuality: An interactive, fun workshop for grade 8’s, examines the difference between lust and love, engages their own thinking surrounding their on-line profiles, takes a look at STI’s, different kinds of love, equips them with practical tools to withstand peer pressure and abstain.

·       The Tug-of-Teens: Explores the wide variety of issues and challenges facing our teens; informing and advising teens, focusing on choices, consequences and solutions.

·         Teen Life-Skills Programme: A 14-part life skills programme, which equips tweens and teens with vital life skills and tools to overcome the many challenges facing them (e.g. peer pressure, bullying, alcohol, drugs etc.) and get them to think proactively about their choices and decisions with relation to reaching goals and dreams. This programme is closely aligned to CAPS.

·         Understanding Bullying: An interactive workshop which unpacks bullying and provides tools and solutions to help overcome the challenges associated with this scourge.

·         Life Comes in CANS, Not in CANNOTS:This motivational talk empowers the youth to say ‘no’ to drugs and alcohol, and prepare them for many of the challenges they face on a daily basis.

·         Self-Esteem – Celebrate Yourself! This programme is designed to give learners insight into how their self-esteem impacts on absolutely all aspects of their lives; how this can work for or against them; it gives them practical, simple tips to enhance their self-esteem thus building a solid foundation of self-belief and confidence.

·         The Inside/Outside Story: Self-esteem and body image – many pressures exist for teens to ‘look’ a certain way; they can be very self-conscious about their physical appearance and some go to great lengths to get the ‘ideal’ body, sometimes with dire consequences to their emotional and physical health. This talk explores the origins of the relationship we have with our bodies, how it impacts on our self-esteem and gives ideas on how to start creating a loving, accepting relationship with our bodies and looks at the associated benefits.

·         The Alcohol Teen-Scene: Informs teens about the dangers of teenage drinking, focusing on choices, consequences and solutions.

·         Walk your Talk: This talk aims to equip learners with social skills in order to help them to successfully navigate their way through life. Some of the topic include alienation, competitiveness, inappropriate behaviour, manners, cyber-bullying, jealously and envy and standing up to peer pressure.

·         Depression and Suicide: Suicide is preventable. This interactive workshop examines feelings, differentiates between feeling low and real depression, the causes and signs of depression and knowing when to get help. Students are assisted to create a safety plan.

·         The Power of Choice: An interactive workshop to reduce alcohol related harm in teens, it takes them on a journey of understanding the effects of alcohol on their body and brain, why they may be tempted to drink and the role media plays. They are equipped with essential tools and tips to enable decision making and wise choices in the years ahead.

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3) TALKS AND PROGRAMMES FOR pre-teens

3.1 Self-esteem - why it plays a vital role in a child’s development, how different techniques produce different results in children. 

3.2 Topic Specific  - covering a range of topics that will help children and tweens deal with the challenges they face both at school and at home. These talks and programmes help to prepare them for adolescence.

4) TALKS AND PROGRAMMES FOR churches and faith based organisations

 

5) Workshops for educators

For EDUCATORS

·         Self-Esteem for Educators: Educators are critical role models to the youth and have many demands made on them not only by the school but parents and children too.  As such, it is very easy for educators to ‘lose’ themselves along the way, become depleted and exhausted.  This workshop is essential for any school committed to the overall emotional wellbeing of their teaching body.  An educator who has the insight and tools to bolster and maintain their own self-esteem is far more likely to enjoy their chosen profession, despite the pressure, and as such add enormous value in the classroom and staffroom.  (Follow-up ongoing self-esteem coaching for educators is recommended after this workshop.)

·         Teen Life Skills Programme: (For educators, social workers and counsellors). This training will enable educators to run the Life Talk life skills programme.

·         Facilitating Safe Conversations (basic counselling skills): Often educators are the people our children turn to first when they are in crisis. This workshop equips educators with the basic skills to be able to assist students in need of first line counselling.

·         Tug-of-Life educator training workshop: As outlined below, educators are shown how they can apply the Tug-of-Life in their classroom, to assist their learners to make the best choices in all aspects of their lives.

 

6) Tug-of-life talks

Tug-of-Life talks and programmes raise awareness and stimulate debate about the key issues facing everyone (young and old) in today’s demanding world. They stimulate thought about choices and consequences, with a focus on solutions and helpful aspects. Talks cover the range of topics that are addressed by the Tug-of-Life book and they focus on identifying the various ‘contestants’ (Challengers, Galvanizers, Ch-izers etc) that take part in everyone’s lives. They also explore the most effective strategies to ensure that life turns out the way you would like it to.

Topics include the:

  • Tug-of-Teens
  • Tug-of-Young Adults
  • Tug-of-Work
  • Tug-of-Marriage
  • Tug-of-Health
  • Tug-of-Parenting
  • Tug-of-Environment
  • Tug-of-Spirit
  • Tug-of-Age

7) sponsored TALKS and programmes

A range of sponsored talks and workshops have been developed and can be constructed on request. Those currently running include:

  • The "SPEAK UP!" peer-education project for teens, parents and educators aims to reduce the harm that alcohol causes in teens (in turn aiming to reduce knock-on effects such as unwanted pregnancies, STDs, rape, school drop outs, drug use and crime).
  •  "LIFE COMES IN 'CANS' NOT CAN-NOTS".  The Peninsula Beverage Company sponsors Life Talk’s Cape team to talk to learners about standing up for themselves in order to reach their maximum potential. The talks empower the youth to say ‘no’ to drugs and alcohol, and prepare them for many of the challenges they face on a daily basis. 
     
  • TEEN LIFE TALK PROGRAMME (CPD point approval for SA’s social workers & counsellors). The 14-part Life Skills programme covers topics such as a positive attitude, values, sexuality, being a leader, making a difficult choice and many others. The programme provides opportunities for interaction, role-playing – in a non-threatening and fun way.

For more information see Projects

8) TUG-OF-LIFE Schools’ roll-out

For schools choosing to roll-out the Tug-of-Life methodology, based on The Tug-of-Life book, we have explanatory and supportive talks for the various communities affected. This way we ensure that everyone understands the philosophy and can maximize the benefits of the programme. (See the Tug-of-Life ‘schools’ tab for more details.)

·         Tug-of-Life Parenting Talk: Tug-of-Life’s approach is life-changing, provides a new way of thinking, and takes effect straight away. Its concept can be applied to any situation in life. Parents are shown how they can actively ‘tug’ for what truly counts in their family’s lives.

·         Tug-of-Life Learner Talk: The methodology is explained to the learners, using a fun, interactive approach, showing them how they can actively ‘tug’ for what truly counts in their lives.

·         Tug-of-Life Methodology Educator Workshop: Educators are shown how they can apply the Tug-of-Life in their classroom, in all subjects, to help their students and to make wise choices that will lead them to success and achieving their desired outcomes. Classroom application and ideas are workshopped and designed to support the unique needs and challenges of the school. This can be a 2 – 4 hour workshop, depending on available time.

9) Career Counselling/SuBject choice guidance

·         Psychometrics for Subject Choices:  A parent and student talk, suitable for Career Days and Subject Choice informational events. The talk focuses on the importance of psychometrics, which will help reveal the young adult’s preferences, personality traits, interests and thinking style. Matched with their aptitudes and abilities, they will be better able to find an appropriate career field.

·         Assessments:The Career Counselling/Subject Choice Guidance comprises various different assessments to help identify the young adult's preferences, personality traits, interests and thinking style. We attempt to match these interests and preferences with their aptitudes and abilities in order to find an appropriate career field. The assessment process uses fun, interactive tools, which students tend to enjoy as it is less formal than their everyday school tests. All assessment results are used in conjunction with school reports and any additional information to assist in guiding the young adult on a path that is suitable. Appropriate ages 14 years and up. 

 

 

BOOK A TALK NOW!

TALK FEES: FEES ARE SUPPLIED ON REQUEST AND DEPEND ON THE SCOPE AND DURATION OF THE TALK OR WORKSHOP, AND ITS LOCATION.

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All advice given is given in good faith and the Life Talk Forum team and its advisors/panel members take no responsibility for any consequent actions arising therefrom.

TALKS & programmes testimonials

 
"Thank you for the talk you gave to our pupils yesterday. You dealt with the issues in a way that did not involve lecturing to the pupils, but rather aimed to inform and educate them on the implications for their growth and especially brain development of their choices. You dealt with all the main challengers that they face.  I liked the Tug-of-Life Game plan, and I hope that the pupils will see the value of identifying the characters in their life's contests.  Hopefully all these interventions will help to build a community of Galvanizers that will help the pupils to defeat the Challengers in their life.  Thank you."
- John GellingPrincipalHigh SchoolDe La Salle Holy Cross College
 
"Any parent with children of school-going age would do well to spend an hour or so in the company of Izabella Little-Gates. She shared with expertise, passion and sensitivity of heart on the subject of the dangers faced by 21st Century adolescents. Her presentation held nothing back from parents who sat spellbound as she unwrapped the many layers of risks, threats and real life dramas that all too often, if ignored, serve to take young people hostage while leaving parents feeling frustrated, heartbroken, and helpless. A sobering reality check! Thanks again."
- Richard Stanley, Headmaster, Highbury Preparatory School
 
"I need to salute you for helping our parents and students, in inviting Izabella all the way from KZN to address them last night.  We sat in the very back row and trust me, judging from the comments that I could lip read/hear, the shock tactics definitely worked for our students! I think that Izabella achieved what she set out to do – create an awareness of all the issues that she addressed – that are an absolute reality. This is certainly a very different era of teenagehood that a lot of us didn’t grow up with – issues that didn’t exist, which makes it a learning curve for parents."
- D, parent
 
"We got an unprecedented turnout and everyone thought it was an evening to be remembered.  The parents had a lot of questions, and it was apparent through the rapt attention, that adults and teens alike thought the evening was worthwhile and informative.  I want to say that Sue was an angel to work with – competent, efficient and highly organised.  What a pleasure! She went out of her way to make the evening the enormous success it was."
- Carroll Coosner (Psychologist) & Ilona Hermna (Deputy Principal, Vista Nova School)
 
"A friend of mine went to a talk given by you at her daughter's school. She was completely blown away by what you shared with the parents and the amazing coping tools and advice you gave them. She has been on a mission to get all parents to tap in to the wonderful ways to raise our children in a wholesome way and to give them the mechanisms to grow up normally in a world that has changed so much since we were children.  On her advice I visited your web page and I too was amazed at what you are doing - and enormously grateful for the huge effort you are making to make a difference in other people's lives."
- C. Emberton
 
“Sue Linstrom has always been professional and impressive in her delivery and interactions. Her course material is topical, interesting, relevant, engaging and spans a range of age groups. She communicates well with pupils, as well as adults. Both our pupils and parents have benefited from her presentations. We look forward to booking Sue again in the future and recommend her without hesitation.” 
- Graham Keats, Head: Senior Preparatory/ College, Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard
 
"It was such a pleasure to host you and I am still glowing from all the good things that parents and heads have said to me about the impact you made.  As I said to you, giving a good talk is one thing, but being recognised as a speaker with integrity is quite another."
- Andrew Cook, Principal, Mitchell House
 
"Found the talk presented at Vista Nova Primary School very interesting ...  Bought a copy of "Life Talk for a Son", gave it to the 14 yr old, he got into it right away and found it “a great book!” ... I read snatches of it and would recommend it to every adult who is trying to understand adolescents."
- Jocylyn
 
"The children responded well to the content.  The presentations were well paced, well prepared and pitched at exactly the right level."
- Mary Hyam, Deputy Principal, De La Salle Holy Cross College Primary School
 
"Life Talk has provided detailed reports on the workshops our learners have had with them, which we have used to great advantage to alert us to potential problem areas and ways in which to address these.  Constructive and practical advice is given on how to deal with issues facing these young people and a healthy forum for debate is created in this fashion."
- Hein Weber, Principal, Khanyisa Education Centre
 
"Sally and Izabella are compelling speakers because one senses their passion about the issues and a desire to make a difference to all young people and families. They come across as speakers who have integrity and who have faced the problems themselves. As a result their responses are full of compassionate understanding for the difficulties that are faced in raising children but are prepared to do something positive about them anyway. They are in the trenches with us and not viewing the battle from a comfy academic distance."
- A. Cook, Headmaster, Mitchell House

"God Bless You and your organization for empowering our people, especially our children - in the hope of a better life. What you are doing is showing the country that life is not only about oneself but about everybody and everything around one - it is that which we all call HUMANITY! I really do salute you!"
- M Beharilal

Hi Sue, I attended the training you gave on Tuesday at the ACVV.  I really enjoyed it and I wanted to commend you on your presentation skills.  You managed to make boring subjects interesting again!  I am definitely going to be implementing the programme soon and I will keep you informed about the progress.
- A. C. Social worker

Hi Sally, Thank you so much for this valuable advice. It's a privilege to be able to ask such important and sensitive questions & to be able to receive quick sound advice.  I am going to purchase your book for future reference as I can see future discussions with regards to boundaries & cheekiness that seems to be creeping in now & again.
- Andrew

”Thank you so much for your talk this morning. The children really enjoyed it as it tied in with so many of the things we had been discussing at school during class – self-respect, self-esteem, etc.Tomorrow I have the Grade 10 class for Life Orientation and I shall follow up some of your ideas and topics during the lesson.” 
- Lindy Messaris, L.O., Cedarwood

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