Thirty-six IY mentors from Norway, Denmark, England, Ireland, Wales, New Zealand, Portugal and the United States met September 5-7 at beautiful Islandwood on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride away from Seattle, WA.
Day #1 New Mentors-in-training
Carolyn introduced five new mentors to the group. These included Ty Rivå from Norway (Basic IY Parent Program), Eadaoin O’Brien from Ireland (Teacher Management Program), Suzy Hannen from US (Classroom Dina Program), Ditte-Maria Ravn from Denmark (IY Baby Program) and Lisa Herewini from New Zealand (Basic Parent Program).
We were pleased not only to enhance our gender diversity with another male mentor (Ty) but also our cultural diversity. In small groups Lisa helped us to think about cultural sensitivity as part of our fidelity program delivery and taught Carolyn the Māori greeting.
Accredited Mentors! Four people completed their mentor training certification/accreditation.
Micah Orliss from US completed the Small Group Dina program mentor training. Diana Linforth-Howden from New Zealand and Lene Straaup from Denmark completed the Basic Parent Program. Janne Evertsen from Norway completed the Classroom Dina program.
Five Presentations by 9 IY Speakers
Sue Evans from Wales presented 3 research randomized control group studies done by Judy Hutchings’ team who evaluated the IY Toddler Program, the implementation of the Basic Parent Program with foster parents, and the pilot work using the new Autism Program for families with children with ASD.
Diane Lees from New Zealand presented her doctoral research study which evaluated the added benefits of supplementing the Basic Parent Program with home coaching. She not only has completed her doctorate but is also presenting her research at several international meetings. In addition she won 1st, 2nd and 3rd ribbons at the IY Olympics.
Maria Filomena Gaspar and Maria João Santos from Portugal presented their research comparing the effectiveness of the IY Teacher Classroom Management Program for teachers working with preschool children.
Tania Anstiss and Lisa Herewini talked about their work bringing the Incredible Years Parent Program to the Māori population in New Zealand.
Anna Dickson and Kim Thompson presented their clinical work promoting the sustainability of the Teacher Classroom Management Program with additional consultation and support following completion of the 6-day training.
Carolyn presented an overview of how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) alter how children’s brains develop and cause social, emotional and cognitive impairment. Children who experience four or more ACEs are more likely to develop health harming behaviors such as depression, academic problems, drug or alcohol, suicide, violence and crime.
She discussed protective factors to promote resilience to reduce the effects of ACEs. Research indicates that helping families and teachers cope in healthy ways when ACEs do occur can have a major impact on long-term emotional and health outcomes for children.
Small Group Breakouts
Groups broke up to discuss how the IY Parent, Teacher and Child Programs are trauma-informed and used to help children with multiple ACEs. Please see the drafts of two papers written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton on this topic in our library: How the Incredible Years (IY) Child Dinosaur Social, Emotional and Problem Solving Curriculum Prepares Children to Cope with Trauma, and Trauma-informed Incredible Years Approaches and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) Approaches To Help Children Exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Carolyn started the day by presenting Incredible Years updates in IY manuals, programs, articles, measures and translations. She also presented data showing the numbers of group leaders trained in different programs around the world. See Incredible Years web site for breakdown of these numbers by program.
Home Coach Training with Carolyn and Kimberlee
Carolyn and Kimberlee met with one group of IY mentors to present the IY Home Coaching version of delivering the parent program. Participants seemed eager to bring the home coaching program to geographically isolated families who cannot attend groups, or to add this as a supplement to the IY group program for families who need additional practice and support.
Small Group Break-Out Groups
Three other groups met in separate rooms to view workshop and group DVDs. Videos were presented by Suzy, Kim, Caroline, Eadaoin, Peter, Micah, Dean, Stephanie, and Anna.
The end of the day everyone met together for a review of the gems generated by each group. There was an emphasis on being trauma informed and connecting thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Prior to dinner, Peter hosted the IY Olympics and there were many winners!
Our meetings opened and closed each day with the New Zealand group singing to us. These beautiful songs were meditative and created a feeling of connection amongst all of us.
On the third day one group attended a training by Carolyn to view the Helping Preschool Children with Autism: Teachers and Parents as Partners Program for teachers and parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. Carolyn started by modeling delivery of the first vignette and setting up a role play followed by the mentors practicing delivery of other vignettes. Then, Sherrell showed a video of her delivery of the parent program to New Zealand parents who have young children with autism and received feedback.
In the other three groups videos were presented by Lindsay, Diana, Maria, Ty, Lisa, Astrid, Carolyn R, Oddbjorn, and Gary. The groups were reconstituted for the last small group break out to practice doing reliability video reviews. Presenters were Kimberlee, Siri, Jamila and Oddbjorn.
At the end of the day everyone met together to review more gems that were learned from the discussions.
I was very impressed with the participation of our new mentors in training who not only presented their videos for feedback but also took on the role as peer coach. It seemed our goals to think about ways to promote connections between thoughts, feelings and emotions, to explore ways to incorporate trauma-informed approaches in IY programs and to support each other were met.
Thanks to all the IY mentors for their commitment to fidelity program delivery, to supporting families and teachers and to supporting each other. You are an incredible team and I feel very fortunate to have you all part of this mission to make the world a better place for families and children.