The Incredible Years® Blog

18th Annual Mentor Meeting, Forcalquier, France

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September 19-21, 2018

Charembeau Hotel, Forcalquier, France

by Carolyn Webster-Stratton



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This year 48 Incredible Years mentors/trainers met at Charembeau Hotel about 2-3 miles from Forcalquier village in France. This beautiful, meditative and relaxing place with panoramic views of the Luberon mountains allowed lovely walks by lavender fields, pear and olive trees, swims in the hotel pool, and breakfasts & lunches together including local croissants, homemade honey from nearby bee hives, fig jam, cheeses, French bread, salads, desserts and more.

All this served as the backdrop for our IY mentor presentations, small group break outs, discussions and practices with Incredible Years friends.

2018 Mentor Meeting Theme: “Tailoring the Incredible Years Programs to Fit…”

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Helping Wally Pack his Tailored Clothes


Carolyn introduced Wally, dressed like a French boy with beret, scarf and purse, who talked to the mentors about his problem with packing all his highly tailored clothes into his suitcase. He said he needed help with packing in a more tailored way because he had all the clothes he thought necessary for dancing, being a detective, calming down, and for sharing his play times and puppets with his favorite mentors. Carolyn reassured him that the mentors would help him tailor his suitcase more efficiently and strategically.


Each morning our days began with presentations related to IY research, dissemination and tailoring of IY programs.

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2018 Mentor Meeting Presenters

Tailoring the Incredible Years Programs to Fit….

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Carolyn presented the metaphor of how IY group leaders, coaches and mentors are not only “builders” with construction tools supporting secure parent-child relationship foundations and “gardeners” providing adequate scaffolding, water and sunshine so the child can grow to its full potential but also are “tailors” whose job it is to make the clothes fit each individual according to their size, shape, culture and preferences. She presented some examples of how to tailor the IY programs when there has been family trauma or marital conflict, as well as how to promote healthy life styles in order to reduce obesity and promote physical health, and how how to tailor programs for families who have children with ADHD and Autism. She talked about the tailor’s tools such as sizing things up and taking accurate measurements, customizing to different body sizes and goals, the importance of using patterns (or protocols), getting good “fittings” with pins, practices and adjustments, to layering and using appropriate materials (selected vignettes), to taking time to untangle thread knots and working through barriers, to getting the right fit and providing space for growth with additional IY programs and sessions. She showed a video of herself tailoring in a training by doing spontaneous role plays addressing different children’s language needs for those who are on the autism spectrum. Carolyn introduced the new program Experts in Action: Tailoring IY for Working with Children on the Autism Spectrum and with Language Delays. Tailoring was the theme or goal for subsequent small group break outs to look at how to tailor the IY programs to participant goals, needs and child developmental status.

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Attachment:  Stephen Scott started with a talk entitled,The Cost of Love: Financial Implications of Insecure Attachment in Antisocial Children. Stephen presented his attachment study and talked about how the IY focus on supporting responsive parenting as well as limit setting is promoting secure attachment which in turn is related to positive outcomes for children.



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Incredible Beginnings: Jane Davidson presented her clinical work and outcomes delivering the Incredible Beginnings (IB) Program to 4 different groups (56 practitioners) involving 38 nurseries and kindergartens and 2770 children in Dorset. See her presentation, “Incredible Beginnings in Dorset, UK”.


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Caroline White and Joanne Singleton presented their Incredible Beginnings program delivery in Brinnington, Stockport, to daycare and preschool teachers and early years providers. See their presentation, “Incredible Beginnings – Brinnington Trial and Evaluation”.


Carolyn opened the day with welcomes to new mentors in training as well as celebrating mentors who have completed accreditation and/or received awards. New materials, publications and translations were reviewed. The rest of the day continued small group breakouts to discuss tailoring in different programs as well as implementation support and review of our time-out message.

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IY Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) Program Research in Norway

Oddbjørn Løndal presented the outcomes of a study evaluating the IY TCM program in kindergarten and school age settings. The effects for the universal sample on problem behavior and social skills especially for 1049 kindergarten children are promising.  See his presentation, “Evaluation of the IY-TCM Program in Norway”.



Carolyn opened the day with a brief overview of the numbers of group leaders trained in the various parent, teacher and child programs by country.  Click to view these pie charts on our web site.  Carolyn shared current numbers of certified Peer Coaches and Mentors around the world, as well.

Ten Years of the Ministry of Parenting

Jeannie speaking 9039.jpgJeannie Gordon presented her Incredible Years story of moving from NHS to developing a not-for-profit community interest company. This allowed her with the help of grants to offer IY programs such as School Age Basic, School Readiness, Autism program and Home Coaching. She presented SDQ data and parent satisfaction outcomes for 219 parents in the last 3 years. She talked about obstacles and successes inspiring her team’s work.  See her presentation,Ten Years of the Ministry of Parenting – Our Incredible Years Story”.


Small Group Research in North Carolina

Desiree speaking 9044.jpgDesiree Murray presented her work with a study evaluating Small Group Dina pull-out sessions in schools for at risk early elementary children. She talked about program adaptations made in consultation with Carolyn, including recess coaching, teacher in-service trainings, parent evening meetings and school counselor inclusion. Her study included 11 diverse schools and 17 groups with 172 students (87 intervention & 85 comparison). Fidelity of program delivery was very high. Satisfaction according to teachers and parents was presented.  See her presentation, “Implementation of the IY Dinosaur School Program for At-Risk Students”.  Stay tuned for outcome measures next year!

New Mentors

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Tatiana, Kate, Joanne, Stephanie, Carolyn, and Andreia

Congratulations to Newly Accredited Mentors

In the past year 6 mentors completed accreditation in their respective program. These included:

  • Astrid Honoré from Denmark (not at conference) for the Basic Parent Program
  • Carolyn Rubenstein and Lindsay Sherman from USA (not at conference) for the Basic Parent Program
  • Joanne Singleton from England
  • For the Teacher Classroom Management Program Stephanie Shepard from USA
  • And for Parent Home Coaching, Kate Rhee from Scotland.
  • Tatiana & Andreia, Mentors-in-process, from Portugal (with paperwork pending)

Small Group Breakouts

Afternoons were spent in small group breakouts sharing video clips of workshops, coaching, and group sessions for various programs. On some days groups met around topics such as Time Out resistance, use of puppets, tailoring role plays, implementation support and video inter-rater reliability. Carolyn led a partial day presentation of the Attentive Parenting Program and Kimberlee covered the IY home coaching model.

Advisory Board

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IY Advisory Board

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IY Advisory Board member Sue Evans with our newest Mentor from Wales, Anne Breese


The advisory board met to discuss peer coach selection and needs as well as accreditation processes.  Sorry the picture above is missing Sue but she is included here with Anne Breese, our newest Mentor from Wales for the Classroom dinosaur program.






Food and Dinners Together

The first night most people met in town for dinner at one restaurant.

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Workshop breakfasts and lunches were served on the hotel deck in the sunshine. The food as well as the staff were truly incredible.




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The second night Stephen and Carolyn hosted a wine and snacks at Stephen’s lovely house including some live music entertainment. The views were amazing as was the company. Afterwards people split up for walks and dinner in small groups.

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Norwegian Team



Workshop Threads

At the end of the 3rd day. The workshop “threads” present the key points learned.

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The final night was a wonderful celebration dinner at L’Esperleuetil Cuisine and Cave on a deck with again amazing views.


Solving Wally’s Problem

Carolyn with Wally travel packs9180.jpgSince the workshop began Wally thought that with all the information he learned from mentors about tailoring his suitcase more strategically plus the help of the new red travel packing cubes he received from Carolyn that he had room in his suitcase to buy some baby shoes, herbs, meringues and a new basket. However, the travel packs were not big enough for everything! What should he do now?





Carolyn Jamila hands up9087.jpgThanks to Jamila for all her incredible organizational skills and to all the Incredible Years mentor team for supporting each other and for making this a successful meeting. I am proud of the IY mentors’ persistence, passion and committed efforts to promote fidelity IY program delivery by tailoring to every parent’s or teacher’s or child’s goals and needs.




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At the Forcalquier market I see all the tools that tailors can choose from. These are just the choice in buttons and below I try to select the color of the threads. Our work is multidimensional, diverse and must be sensitive to preferences and context as well as evidence based strategies. Thank you to all of you. Carolyn

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One thought on “18th Annual Mentor Meeting, Forcalquier, France

  1. Delighted mentors had a refreshing time together with themed reflections and discussions around ‘fitting’ programmes to diversity of parents and kids. It will benefit us all, group leaders, coaches but ultimately parents, teachers and kids we work with. Lisette

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