- by Sarah Heal, Morrison Center Program Manager
Morrison Child & Family Services’ Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation team in Portland, Oregon had the opportunity to become reacquainted with Carolyn Webster Stratton earlier this month. We have been providing early childhood prevention services for 14 years and have grown to a team of 14 group leaders (half of whom have been with Morrison for 10 or more years!). Our consultation day with Carolyn made us realize The Incredible Years has become a fundamental part of our professional lives.
We reflected on the last 14 years and realized they have been 14 “incredible years!” As a team, we have facilitated over 150 Incredible Years groups. That includes training in, and delivery of, many curriculums: Preschool Basic, Toddler Basic, Advanced Program, Dinosaur School, Attentive Parenting and the Baby Program. Six team members are certified in the Preschool Basic Program and one of our group members is certified in the Dinosaur School Program.
We regularly use the Classroom Dinosaur Curriculum in the childcare centers and Head Start programs where we provide early childhood mental health consultation. Our puppets have helped us teach rules, feeling identification, emotional regulation, and problem solving. Wally and Molly (Tiny, Dina and Baby Dina too) become friends who help our preschoolers learn social emotional skills. Our work with the puppets has been useful in building relationships with children and with the childcare teachers and programs we support. (In fact, often teachers are the first to ask “Where’s Molly?”)
The Incredible Years has truly become part of what we do each day as we support parents and teachers. After our consultation with Carolyn we have more energy for keeping our practices and role plays real for parents; and we are more current on trauma, praise and time out research. A big thank you to Carolyn for the “gems” we’ll use as we begin a new year of The Incredible Years groups!