This book is so simple to read and I can use the strategies straight away. I have read it from front to back and now it is like my bible, when things are tough I just open a page and there is generally something on that page that I needed to read today. Thanks Tan.

Challenging Change! Behaviour Strategies for Life

Further Testimonials

If you would like to provide us with a testimonial please email us via the contact form. We would love to hear from you!

My 12 year old child has ADHD and High Functioning Aspergers Syndrome. I was recommended by the school counsellor, to take him to see Tan Curtis from FABIC at Worongary. She helped me and my child to break down our days into easily achievable tasks with her simple processes. Tan has given him tools with which to interact with others. This has helped him to gain and maintain friends for the first time ever. I have had a lot of interactions with different sorts of "HELP" for my son, but feel that Tan really understands where his head is at and where mine is too! Thanks for your caring Tan.

Behaviour Specialist Consultation

OMG, there is hope! We have been to so many different psychologists, speechies, paediatricians and even a psychiatrist and no one was able to change our nightmare. When we were told to try Tan Curtis at Fabic we begrudgingly went thinking “just another waste of time”. Within my first session we felt so much better and like we were finally going to get the support we needed. The girl makes sense and we understand her! She knows what she is talking about. Thank you Tan Curtis, you are so normal and down to earth, but so knowledgeable and HELPFUL! Keep doing what you are doing. 

Kylie - Parent
Behaviour Specialist Consultation

After doing some research I was advised of Tan Curtis and her company Fabic but it was the ability to work with me through SKYPE that first tweaked my interest. No more long travelling to get to specialists now I was able to access them in my own home. After an at home visit where Tan came interacted & assessed Connor, I started on my road to understanding!! I have undertaken one-to-one sessions with Tan Curtis since April 2010 and workshop courses with the Fabic team since July 2010.

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Jodi - Parent
Behaviour Specialist Consultation via Skype

We came to Fabic to get support for our Mr 8 who we thought was destroying our family. In the process we realised we needed support with our marriage, as it was the way we were with each other that was causing our son’s anxiety and tantrums. We had been to marriage counselling before but we did not click with the therapists we saw and didn’t really get any support. Tan Curtis was quick to identify the problem and worked with us both in a way that neither of us felt she was taking sides. She gave us understanding of ourselves and how to communicate with each other. Our marriage is now stronger than ever, and our son is now enjoying life without tantrums.

Behaviour Specialist Consultation

Tan has been attending a fortnightly staff meeting via skype to support us to case manage our students with difficult behaviour. It has been great to have her part of the team so we are able to review regularly our strategies and change them quickly when not working. Our behaviour incident with our initial child reduced  dramatically but we have also noticed our school suspensions have reduced.

Central Queensland School
Staff Mentoring via Skype

I first saw Tan present her one day workshop and realised she was different to anyone else I had seen present. I wanted to know more. I approached her and she told me about her staff mentoring programme. I now Skype Tan when I am having difficulty with my own clients and she is able to help me understand my client so I can support them in a way I was never able to before. I have also found that I am now much better at understanding and supporting myself which has allowed me to work more confidentially and supportively with clients. Thanks Tan.

Staff Mentoring via Skype

Thank you. This workshop was very practical. A great template to overlay what can often be a very perplexing situation!

Sharon Wallace-Yarrow - Birdwood High
Understanding Behaviour & Changing Behaviour

The practical application of the sequential approach was great. I would like to see this and the follow up workshop repeated on an annual basis. It will help me with staff coaching

Maree Kondisenko - Endeavour Foundation. Innisfail Respite Service
Understanding Behaviour & Changing Behaviour

Thank you very much! You seem very well organised and incredibly competent at what you are doing. It's great to have a presenter that is actually doing the work they are talking about.

Alana Bolitha - Tallebudgeera State School
Understanding ASD

This Perfectionism Workshop has it all.

It was one of the most entertaining, light-hearted, interesting and in-depth look at oneself workshops I have attended. Participants were offered the opportunity to consider, reflect, share and laugh at ourselves, our choice of patterns, behaviours and idiosyncrasies from wanting or trying to get it right or perfect or instead not wanting to get it wrong.

What I discovered was astonishing. The depth of this sleeping giant that many people walk around with and the needless anxiousness, misery, angst and suffering that comes as a result – perfectionism is a world-wide un-diagnosed epidemic.

How debilitating and exhausting the “cement boots” I create are when calculating or determining beforehand if I am or am not going to be able to get something right or perfect; any remote chance of getting it wrong then it is a guaranteed NO GO zone. Any chance of negative feedback… again no way was I going to stick my neck out.

Almost every decision in life becomes excruciating – deliberating over everything. Will I? Won’t I? Second guessing constantly.

  • Is this the right job for me?
  • Are the clothes I’m wearing suiting the occasion?
  • Should I buy the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus OR what about that Android version?
  • Will I go to the ball? I don’t have anything to wear or the perfect dress or suit…
  • Will I be able to do this task or that one… brilliantly so?
  • Everything will be perfect when I buy that home, car, etc
  • When I graduate and get a job I will be set
  • I’ll invite people for dinner when I have perfected cooking my signature dish


Tanya Curtis supports us in further understanding ourselves and why we choose “perfectionism” and its associated behaviours, and offers practical tools and strategies to support us to begin to break free from this stranglehold on our lives.

The way Tanya engages and brings people together creates an environment where we all feel safe to share what otherwise may be an uncomfortable or taboo topic. The group sharings at these workshops clearly show that in fact we are all the same.

Perfectionism… Is it holding us back? offers a deeper understanding of people and our relationships with them, and why perhaps our partner, family member or work colleague may behave in a way that does not make sense.

Filled with plenty of AHA moments, this is an investment in you that is absolutely worth making.

Susan Scully - Accountant and Business Consultant
Perfectionism… Is it holding us back?

I wish I had this knowledge years ago. It would have made bringing up my son easier on both of us. Bouquets to Tan, easy to learn from, very approachable, the subject was covered extensively but effectively. Did not doodle all day!

Jan Hicks - Disability Services
Changing Behaviour

Most other seminars are useful, but give nothing practical to take away. These seminars are brilliant in that the strategies can be used right away.

Lilian Lomanaco – DETA
Understanding Behaviour & Changing Behaviour

The whole concept of collecting data is very useful to me. The thermometer concept is excellent!

Joan Sibley - DEECD
Understanding Behaviour

I would love to see some of this as compulsory component of the training for all carers dealing with challenging behaviours, The course flowed extremely well, each part leading to the next and conclusion.

June Yule - Disability SA
Changing Behaviour

The content of this workshop was very clear, gave great strategies and how to use them. It was adaptable for all levels of challenging behaviour.

Sophie Bryan - Wesley College
Changing Behaviour

I have worked in the field of Autism for ten years. I thought I knew a lot but what I learnt today was a breath of fresh air and should be taught to all professionals working with ASD. Tan knows ASD better than any presenter I have seen. Thank you for a new insight!

Michelle  - Psychologist
Understanding ASD

Great strategies for improving/assisting the lives of people we support plus implementing the sequence of Behaviour. Excellent and easy to understand.

Sandra Hammond - Endeavour Foundation
Understanding Behaviour

The information was presented in a very clear and structured manner. One of the best presented workshops I've been to in a long time.

Pat Nichols - Endeavour Foundation
Changing Behaviour

Excellent value and professional delivery! This was a wonderful course, applicable to everyone.

Lea Sycamore – GAGAL
Changing Behaviour

It felt like you were talking about and describing our students. So many light bulb moments and so great to hear someone else talk about difficult behaviour. Perfect! Please start up a clinic in Melbourne.

Kim Carroll - Good News Lutheran School
Changing Behaviour

As a presenter, Tan was very calming and well presented. Lots of useful strategies and examples were given. Informative and not too technical.

Kevin Busch - Communities (Youth Justice Conferencing)
Understanding Behaviour

Very pleased with the course. Completely different understanding on how to help my autistic son.

Bronwyn Goulding - Parent
Understanding ASD

The workshop was well structured - very informative with good examples and was very clear. Tan knew her stuff. Loved the examples Tan provided and she was able to answer difficult questions.

Inka Edrich - Ozcare Mental Health Recovery
Changing Behaviour

Thank you Tan for providing an interesting approach to an ordinary day in the life of a parent with ASD. I will be able to implement many of these strategies in our home.

Kylie Mott - Parent
Understanding ASD

I appreciated the real life examples which were very easy to follow and understand.

Andy Antl - Bluecare
Changing Behaviour

Thank you Tan. Absolutely wonderful and will aid me in assisting teachers/parents and students to gain more life. With simple, practical and clear guides and tables.

Suzanne Trisic - Cammeray Primary School
Changing Behaviour

This is the first time i have experienced behaviour management that considers the opinions and needs of the child, as opposed to control.

Niki Collins - Caboolture Early Years Centre
Changing Behaviour

Well presented - Congratulations. Clear, concise and relevant. Presenter knew her stuff!

Cheryl Martin - Angle Vale Primary
Changing Behaviour

Tan was very knowledgeable and an excellent facilitator. Lots to take away for clients, family and MYSELF.

Margaret Cox – Ozcare
Understanding ASD

As I am an intervention psychologist, i have a lot of theory, so the practical skills I have learnt have been great! ALL DSQ staff in accommodation should attend this course.

Tricia Stubberfield – DSQ
Changing Behaviour

Many thanks Tan. A very informative session. I learned a lot about ASD.

John Wylie - Finding Workable Solutions
Understanding ASD

We just wanted to say thank you very much for the workshop you hosted in Melbourne this week. My husband and I found it very interesting and have already put in place some of your recommendations with our 5 year old son, who has severe autism, verbal dyspraxia & anxiety. He has responded well.

Leah & Rob Condon - Parents
Understanding ASD

Very pleased with the course. Completely different understanding on how to help my autistic son.

Bronwyn Goulding – Parent
Understanding ASD

Very Practical! Great handouts given and Tan gave an excellent presentation full of relevant information.

Tania Gorton - Consulting Psychologist
Changing Behaviour

I found this course really understandable and I could use what I had learned right away and put it into practice.

Kathy Mason - Parent
Changing Behaviour

I recently attended Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder by Tanya Curtis and wanted to say how informative and practical it was for me as a kindergarten teacher. On a personal note the methodology Tanya presented around behaviour was simple to understand and could be used in all areas of your life not just work situations. The day was well paced and Tanya's presentation was filled with amusing but very practical examples of how to understand and deal with challenging behaviours. The resources available at the workshop to help implement Fabic's 3 step process to behaviour change was awesome. This is a workshop that you could attend numerous times and still find it beneficial to your daily living.  Thank you, Tanya.

Joanne Smith, Kindergarten Teacher
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Never in a million years did I ever consider myself to be a perfectionist or know, in any great detail, what exactly perfectionism entailed.  That was until recently, when this word continued to present itself to me from every different direction possible.  So, I took the hint, stopped and gave this topic some space to present more about how perfectionism plays out in my day to day life.

Firstly, I came across the website of Tanya Curtis from Fabic, Behavioural Specialists.  Tanya rocked my world starting with parenting videos followed on by the topic of perfectionism.

From her website I came to understand that perfectionism plays out when people struggle to cope with being corrected and go into reaction.  I was inspired to attend her workshop which was held on the same week, and from here perfectionism began to unpack.

Tanya presents that “perfection stems from one core problem that is simply the case of someone seeing their behaviour and hence their 'doing' as who they are”.

She continued that “nearly all of us at some point in our lives have experienced the need to get something perfect and while attention to detail is great, getting obsessed about it is another issue in itself”.

As I talked more about perfectionism with friends and family, many people seemed to resonate with this perfectionism tendency for themselves, and admitted to reacting when corrected.  Just like myself, they began to see how any correction from another was seen as a criticism of themselves or ‘who they are’ rather than what they were doing – that both had been bundled together in a single package. 

What was also very interesting, was observing the shame and embarrassment that came with admitting having an issue with perfectionism, like some dark secret was being exposed.

In the days that followed, I began to notice how perfectionism can lead to controlling behavior, due to not feeling equipped to deal with life when it presents in any way other than how it needs to be (or how we picture it should be) so we can feel safe and secure. 

A Neat and Tidy Home

For instance, some will have a clean and tidy home because that feels lovely and some will have a neat and tidy home to ensure it looks good should someone come around.  But what happens in the latter situation when people drop in unannounced and the kids have decided to cook in the kitchen and spread their toys all over the room – panic!?!  Maybe we feel like we have to make excuses to our guests as to why the home isn’t to the standard that we like to present; and we have to deal with not having things perfect.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong with an untidy house and certainly the discussion here is not about what constitutes a tidy or untidy home.  What I am alluding to is to how we react when situations play out in life that do not live up to the picture of what we want to show to the world – when the picture gets smashed! 

If we know who we are – beautiful, heartfelt, sweet – then whether the home is perfectly tidy or not, does not change who we are.  If we know this in truth, and if we are comfortable in our own skin, then being sprung with an untidy house (which happens) can trigger self-talk that is critical or that suggests ‘I am a bad person’, or a ‘terrible mother’ or a ‘terrible homemaker’.

Another person may have a tidy house, and if the children cook in the kitchen and make a mess, it will not cause them to react because they feel the children are equipped to be able to clean it up or that they are able to help the children clean it up.  If someone walks in and sees that mess in the kitchen, and even if that person does offer a correction or nasty comment, because they are solid in the knowingness of who they are, they will not crumble in receiving any feedback – because they know this messy kitchen does not stop them from being the beautiful, heartfelt and sweet person that they are in essence.  

Ticks and Praises

I recently came across a presentation on the internet that suggested that perfectionism was a gender issue – that boys are raised to behave in a way where they are brave and have a go, but girls are raised to behave in ways which show they are perfect.  It suggested that girls at school would prefer to show a blank page to a teacher, rather than a page with incorrect information.  It also said that girls won’t apply for jobs unless they have perfected all of the selection criteria, whereas guys will usually have a go and ‘wing it’. 

I began to question why girls are raised to be so careful, to shy away, or feel such a need to be perfect?  And as I questioned the notion of girls being raised to be perfect and guys raised to be brave, I wondered whether there was more here than meets the eye, for I do know guys who are very sensitive to correction or feedback while the façade may present as brave.

I considered my own childhood and realised that my picture was to get a Credit or Distriction grade or an A or a B.  I was able to achieve these goals with some consistency and remember enjoying looking at all of the red ticks over the page.  The report cards would come home with all the lovely comments about me and my yearly efforts.  This continued into tertiary education – great scores, not the best student, but all in keeping with my expectations of myself.  If what I did was good, then I must be good too.

Now I see this was an absolute set up, for in life corrections come in at all angles and in all shapes and sizes.  Where were my skills to deal with all of these corrections – where were my ticks and praises?

There has definitely been one part of my life where I have had to put myself in the limelight and face up to the need to let go of being perfect – speaking in groups or in public.  I believed at the time that I began to work on this aspect of my life that I was being brave and facing my fears but now I know that I was really facing up to perfectionism and learning new skills.  I had a picture that I shouldn't speak unless what I had to say was perfect and because I could never verify that it would be perfect, I preferred not to speak and avoid the situation entirely.  I had chosen to fail by lack of trying rather than having a go.

The public speaking role that I undertook became a love hate affair.  I enjoyed connecting with people and being able to say what I felt to say because for many years I had been silent.  Whilst liberating in one sense, I would berate myself if I perceived my attempts at public speaking to not be good enough.  And it was never good enough.  The picture I had created around public speaking or speaking in groups – a high bar to reach indeed – was for everyone to be engaged, to be interested and for all the feedback to be positive. 

I remember in one presentation that was going along fine, a boy at the back of the room was searching on his mobile phone and I spotted a couple of people yawning.  I found this unnerving and began to question myself and assumed I was boring, as I took on this feedback negatively.  I was so oversensitive to my environment, that it did not take much for me to want to crawl into a cave.

My friend who had been at that presentation approached me the next day and asked me how I felt about it. I was all gloomy and disappointed.  He looked at me perplexed and said “What – are you serious?!  Wow, you are a hard critic.”  I didn’t really take on board the importance of what he had presented at the time, but now it all makes sense. 

My perfectionism required every single person to respond to the presentation in a certain way for me to feel like I was OK. Why would I put my own self-worth in the hands of many people who I needed to confirm me?  

I wasn’t really asking whether the presentation was useful, I was asking them “Am I an OK person”, a very different question and one that must be known within ourselves, not something that ever needs to be asked.

It's OK to Make a Whoops

There is no way that we can live this human existence and never make a whoops, and trying to outplay others and be perfect at everything that we do is simply a self-defeating game we will never win.  The whoops is simply part of the process of returning to who we are. 

We take a step and have a go, we read the situation and if it is a whoops then we simply have another go and bring more of our loving self to the next moment.  What is the alternative?  To keep up an exhausting act of trying to be perfect and to predict and control parts or all of life in such a way to ensure that we can cope and avoid the rejection experienced when we are given feedback or a correction.

It’s not about learning to be more perfect, it is about learning to have a go, to be able to say whoops, to understand the situation more deeply, to develop skills as a human being, and to keep confirming our essence and ensure it is distinct from what we do.  When I am able to have a giggle at my whoops, there is a freedom here that supports me to grow as I try new things, learn new skills and support others along the way.

The whoops is definitely a part of life – a life which is not perfect, but certainly evolutionary.

Thank you Tanya Curtis and Fabic

Maree Savins
Online Videos

At last a book with strategies we can use and not just theory. I bought this book to help with my job but within the first few pages I realised that there is so much to support with myself and my own relationships in life. Great work Tan, will look forward to your next book.

Sue - Kindergarten Teacher
Challenging Change! Behaviour Strategies for Life

This book should be part of the university curriculums for psychologists, teachers and other health professionals.

Aaron - Psychologist
Challenging Change! Behaviour Strategies for Life

My wife has attended sessions at Fabic to help our daughter who has anorexia. My wife gets support for both my daughter but now herself. As I am working I’m not able to attend the sessions. My wife comes home and tells me what pages to read in the book to help explain her session. I now don’t feel like I am missing out and can also help support my daughter.

Riley - Parent
Challenging Change! Behaviour Strategies for Life

This book is so simple to read and I can use the strategies straight away. I have read it from front to back and now it is like my bible, when things are tough I just open a page and there is generally something on that page that I needed to read today. Thanks Tan.

Challenging Change! Behaviour Strategies for Life

I read this book on the plane home from Brisbane to Fiji after my sister-in-law gave it to me. I have suffered mental health issues for much of my adult life and I have not found anything to help. The quickest flight ever and I felt much lighter when I got off as I could feel like someone would actually understand me. Thank you Tan, an awesome book.

Alana - Adult Depression
Challenging Change! Behaviour Strategies for Life