Simon Santosha

Workshops & Presentations


‘Simon is renowned for delivering innovative, evidence-based training that inspires people to create change personally and professionally’

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All workshops can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organisation or audience.
A list of our frequently requested workshops are outlined below.


Hearing the untold stories of men: Working with and engaging separated fathers

Research shows that most men do not initiate separation. Why is this and how do many men find themselves so disconnected from their wives/partners, children and themselves? 

This workshop will explore the complexities of male interpersonal relationships and how masculine socialisation, attachment, trauma and gender differences impact on men who are dealing with separation, divorce and co-parenting. Engaging and supporting separated men and fathers during this highly emotive and often conflictual time is imperative for the wellbeing of separated men/fathers, their ex-partners, children and families. Family relationship services play a crucial role. In fact, newly separated fathers are the single largest group of men who will seek out these services to help them. However, if they do not receive the help that they feel they need they will quickly disengage from the service and develop their own problem solving strategies. 

This workshop aims to equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills to engage and work with separated fathers more effectively in their programs, services and groups. 

It will focus on: 

 
 

Examining male interpersonal relationships—insights from masculine psychology/neuroscience to understand why men do the things they do in intimate relationships during separation and divorce. 

 
 

Strength-based approaches when working with separated fathers—what are they and why they are so effective. 

 

 
 

Dealing with grief and loss during separation and divorce. Understanding men’s reactive and/ or disconnecting behaviours and barriers to moving on and seeking help. 

 
 

Impact of men’s mental health/masculine
depression on relationships. 

 
 

Developing respectful co-parenting relationships and positive father-child relationships

 
 

Maximising the effectiveness of referral and support networks for separated fathers. 

 

 

“Loved this workshop. The best PD I’ve been to.”

“Engaging, skilled and experienced presenter—great narratives, practical exercises and strategies to use in practice.” 

“Great workshop—very relevant and useful. A good mix of theory, practical skills, metaphors and thought provoking concepts.” 

“Simon’s passion and expertise is commendable. He shares in an easy to comprehend manner using appropriate examples via role plays.”

“I take away a greater appreciation for dads affected by separation, as well as some new tools to be able to work in a more knowing way with men.” 

 

"He said, She said": Why we are wired for difference and what we can do about it

Men and women dealing with relationship conflict, separation or divorce often display reactive behaviours when interacting with their partners or ex-partners, particularly when emotions are high. This workshop will explore the gender differences that commonly occur between men and women and the impact this has on a couple’s ability to maintain healthy relationships or deal effectively with separation, divorce and co-parenting.

Often men and women talk without hearing each other and perceive the same thing very differently. This can result in increasing levels of frustration, conflict and disconnection. This interactive, experiential workshop will draw on neuroscience, attachment, trauma and masculine psychology to explain the complexities of gendered communication and interpersonal relationships. Participants will be guided through an intervention model that explains the negative cycle of interpersonal conflict and strategies to help resolve relationship conflict in their lives.

This approach has been used successfully to: 

Help men and women form respectful co-parenting relationships with their ex-partner’s

 
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Improve relationships between couples

 
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Reduce conflict between mothers and their teenage sons

 

Reduce interpersonal conflict within workplace settings. 

 

“Very enlightening and comprehensive presentation on differences between men and women, solidly grounded in research and theory”

“Everyone should do this course. I benefited from this entire seminar both professionally and personally“ 

“Very informative. Helped give extra approaches to deliver services for clients. I would like to see more of your courses – Simon is great presenter”

“The explanations gave insight to myself and how I can better work with couples” 

“Really enjoyed the practical activities, ice-breakers and visual learning tools. I will take away a lot of new skills to work with separated couples and families.” 

Underneath the masculine mask: How to effectively engage and work with fathers experiencing depression

Men often resist the term ‘depression’ due to traditional masculine socialisation which views talking about problems and admitting to not coping as weak, shameful and unmanly. Men are often socialised to be independent and task orientated, and so depression is often ‘masked’ and can present as workaholism, substance abuse, withdrawal from relationships, irritability or reactive and/or aggressive behaviours. They also tend to externalise and blame the people around them, including their partners or children. This can have a detrimental impact on men, family relationships and the wellbeing of children. It can also be a contributing factor in the breakdown of relationships and lead to problems in co-parenting after separation. 

Some fathers may realise something isn’t right and may even admit to being depressed, but can be reluctant to seek help, or if they do often quickly disengage from services. Without support many men can be at risk of suicide. Research has consistently shown that fathers will access support services if the approach is male friendly, non-judgemental and builds on their masculine skills and strengths. This presentation aims to equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills to work more effectively with fathers experiencing mental health issues such as depression into their programs, services and groups.

Participants will: 

  • Increase their awareness of the barriers experienced by fathers who have depression in accessing support services

  • Increase their knowledge and understanding of what lies behind the mask - Different types of masculine depressions (implicit and explicit) and how they can present in men

  • Gain individual skills and strategies to effectively engage fathers who are depressed but refuse or are reluctant to admit or seek help

  • Gain knowledge and skills to maximise the effectiveness of referral and support networks for fathers experiencing depression. 

“This has helped me personally and professionally—I now understand the men in my life much better” 

“The whole workshop was beneficial. I am taking away a lot of extra knowledge that I can now implement with my male clients”

“This gave me an insight to why men act the way they do and how to help them more effectively” 

“I now have a greater understanding of fathers and how we can easily misinterpret or miss the signs of depression and the need for help”

“This workshop encapsulates why we need to engage and work with fathers early in ways they will respond, both for their benefit and their families.” 


Men's Mental Health and Wellbeing - Workplace workshops and courses

 Workshops for blue collar workers and team leaders at their various worksites to raise awareness about men’s mental health and wellbeing.

Simon's specialty is engaging everyday men in ways they will engage and stay engaged. Using a male-focused approach he connects with often hard-to-reach men who would not normally seek out support services for their mental health and wellbeing. Simon's approach has proven to be very successful in workplaces helping men experiencing mental health or family relationship issues to seek help and to improve their wellbeing. This approach is a key feature of his facilitation style and helps create a culture of men looking after themselves and their mates in the workplace.

Men's health and wellbeing - looking after yourself and your mates.This workshop can be delivered in various formats (series of toolbox talks, half day or full day) and covers:

  • Men's mental health and wellbeing - The facts
  • Recognising the signs of common mental health issues
  • Risk factors for men's mental health issues 
  • Managing life problems that can affect your work (relationship issues, separation/divorce, FIFO/DIDO demands, stress and anger, family issues)
  • Breaking down barriers to seeking help
  • Supporting your mates 
  • Looking after your mental health and wellbeing
  • Available support services in your community and workplace.

Relationship roadworthy for men.  This one day workshop covers: 

  • Common relationship issues
  • Male and female gender difference in relationships
  • Communication styles of men and women
  • Reducing conflict and developing healthy relationships
  • Regulating your reactions and emotions during conflict
  • Maintaining connection with your partner
  • Tips for building healthy relationships.

Getting my life back – Two-day course for male employees dealing with separation or divorce. The course covers: 

  • What men typically experience during separation or divorce
  • Separation and masculinity
  • Coping with change
  • Managing conflict and dealing with strong emotions
  • Moving beyond the conflict with ex-partners
  • Co-parenting your children after separation
  • Respectfully communicating with your ex-partner
  • Re-partnering after separation and negotiating the complexities of a step/blended family
  • Self-care and support resources.


 

 


 

Peeling away the mask: Using relational-neuroscience in the classroom to improve social and emotional wellbeing

“I was midway through class, when one of the boys in the classroom began acting out. He’d come into my classroom angry and ready to explode. When I told him to stop disrupting the class, he stood up, pushed his chair over and screamed at me. My heart raced and the mood in the classroom shifted. I tried to refocus but the experience left me feeling on edge for the rest of the day.” 

This scenario demonstrates the hidden human and neurological connections that are ever present in the classroom. Teachers are constantly interacting with these factors, and while emotional and behavioural concerns seem like distractions, whether or not we see, recognise and address them has an enormous impact on teacher and student mental health and wellbeing, student-teacher relationships and learning. The good news is that we can harness these aspects. Research shows that when we tend to the human connections in the classroom; students and teachers emotional wellbeing improves and learning flourishes. If teachers and students can both understand how their brains work, why they react the way they do, they are better able to regulate their emotions, cope with stress more effectively and focus on teaching and learning. Our workshop is designed to improve teachers’ knowledge, responsiveness and capacity to address social and emotional wellbeing both on a personal and professional level. Teachers will gain an understanding of the web of neurological and human connections that play out in the classroom and learn how to recognise, adapt and harness these both within themselves and their students to improve student teacher connections and relationships, mental health and wellbeing, learning and development. 

The workshop will examine:

  • our perceptions of student’s behaviours and emotions and how this shapes our interactions and relationships with students

  • our brain, emotions and behaviours: aligning the classroom environment to how the brain works
  • teacher-student relationships in the classroom (triggers for reactivity and conflict) 

  • dealing with disruptive students/students at risk and the importance of creating ‘safe’ classrooms
  • the importance of self-regulation for self, the student and the classroom
  • developing connected relationships with students to improve student-teacher relationships and improve mental health and wellbeing. 

Format: Available as a two hour, half day and full day workshop.

“This was the best PD I’ve ever attended. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire learning experience.”

“Loved it. We need more sessions like this. I would recommend this to other schools.” 

“Extremely interesting for professional and personal reasons. Simon was on the mark in terms of looking after teacher wellbeing and being aware of students mental health needs.”

“Very engaging presenter. Great opportunity for all of us to reflect on what we bring into the classroom environment and the effects it may (inadvertently) have on our students and colleagues.” 

“Very inspiring. There are many things that he talked about that I can adopt in my classroom and introduce to students to help them.”