The Incredible Years® Blog


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Seattle hosted an Incredible Years® Peer Coaching Training December 8-9, 2016

By Carolyn Webster-Stratton Ph.D.

Nine accredited group leaders with extensive Incredible Years group experience came to Seattle from Rhode Island; Colorado;pc1 Pennsylvania; Kentucky; Canada; California; and New York for a 2-day peer coach training with IY Trainers Carolyn Webster-Stratton and Jamila Reid.

We are excited that they will be coaching new IY group leaders in their agencies and helping them to become accredited in Incredible Years Programs. They, too, will be working on their own accreditation as IY peer coaches by sending in DVDs of their coaching process.

See link about peer coaching http://incredibleyears.com/resources/coach/

Why are peer coaches needed?

Research has shown that traditional, brief, single shot, didactic training workshops with passive participation are ineffective in changing therapist behavior. Rather, longer, quality, active training workshops have been shown to lead to increased therapist proficiency and intervention adherence and fidelity. However, despite the fact that the 3-day Incredible Years workshops are based on a collaborative, experiential, and self-reflective approach that receive very positive evaluations, there is still a need for group leaders to have consultation and coaching post workshop training. Studies have shown that new learners of evidence-based programs are often are unsure of their themselves and question new techniques or strategies. We find that many new IY group leaders are uncertain about how to use the collaborative leadership process with groups, select appropriate vignettes for particular groups, and mediate vignettes to trigger active role play practices, reflection and problem-solving. In some ways the 3-day workshop is like learning to swim on dry land and starting to lead groups is like jumping into the water to practice actually swimming. These new swimmers need additional support (and floats) as they practice the new strokes.pc2

Learning something new starts with a “survival phase” before achieving a state where new knowledge and skills are consistently and successfully applied and adapted. Studies have found that combining ongoing coaching, video feedback and consultation to quality training workshops improves the adoption of innovation, retention of therapist/group leader proficiency and intervention delivery fidelity (Herschell, Kolko, Baumann, & Davis, 2010; Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Marsenich, 2014). If group leaders/therapists reach proficient levels in adherence/competence in delivery of the program and have adequate consultation, coaching and organizational support, it possible to achieve better outcomes with clients. If therapists/group leaders lack support, then it is unlikely clients will receive the benefits that were reported in the original research.

What is peer coaching?

Coaching is non-evaluative feedback based on observation. A peer coach is someone who is learner-centered and supportive, builds on pc3group leader’s strengths, observes and monitors their skills and interpersonal processes, prompts or models skills/thoughts and self-reflections according to group leader’s goals, sets up behavioral practices and promotes their use of strategic behavior plans, and encourages, praises and reinforces group leader steps in the right direction.

Key coach roles include: relationship building, assuring group leader evidence-based knowledge, assuring quality group leader methods and processes, promoting certification/accreditation and a supportive infrastructure.

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Herschell, A. D., Kolko, D. J., Baumann, B. L., & Davis, A. C. (2010). The role of therapist training in the implementation of psychosocial treatments: A review and critique with recommendations. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 448-466.

Webster-Stratton, C., Reid, J., & Marsenich, L. (2014). Improving Therapist Fidelity During Evidence-Based Practice Implementation Psychiatric Services, 65(6), 789-795.

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Carolyn and Wally invited by National Children’s Bureau to visit Northern Ireland

Carolyn Webster-Stratton and Wally visit Northern Ireland June 1-5, 2014 at the invitation of National Children’s Bureau (NCB)  

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Wally preparing to give his speech, with Carolyn

NCB Launch Carolyn was so excited to be invited to Northern Ireland this month to help launch the Incredible Years® (IY) Northern Ireland Co-ordination Project. While there, she had the opportunity to meet Ewin Poots, MLA, Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety as well as Dr. Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, Public Health Agency. Both of these individuals spoke at the conference about the importance of supporting families by using evidence-based programs that promote positive parenting and children’s social, emotional and academic competence. Carolyn introduced them to Wally Problem Solver and they seemed to enjoy his company. To learn more about the National Children’s Bureau, click here.

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(From Left) Carolyn & Dina Dinosaur, Dr. Eddie Rooney and Wally Problem Solver, Caroline White, Deirdre McAliskey, Celine McStravick, and Maria McAleese with Molly Manners.

The objectives of NCB’s new launch is to promote effective implementation of IY, program delivery fidelity, and group leader accreditation as well as to help agencies monitor and measure the impact of their programs through evaluations. The leaders of this launch are Celine McStravick and Deirdre McAliskey from NCB. Following the conference, a cross agency steering group with administrators of schools, agencies and foundations met to discuss system implementation issues.

Carolyn with IY Ni staff (Deirdre & James)

Carolyn and Dina with James McGinley and Wally

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Molly, Dina, and Wally listen in at the conference!

At the conference, Carolyn gave the keynote speech to a group of IY group leaders and administrators. She talked about the Incredible Years® Parents, Teachers and Child programs, research outcomes, and some of the agency and clinician barriers to successful program delivery. The group seemed surprised to learn that over the past 10 years, 574 IY parent group leaders, 94 child dinosaur group leaders and 64 teacher leaders have been trained. Carolyn presented 8 key building blocks for disseminating the programs with fidelity in the “real world.” When faced with an actual technological barrier to her powerpoint and video presentation delivery, Wally Problem Solver helped Carolyn with calm down strategies and solutions for how to both hold the microphone and speak to the audience with confidence despite being unable to show her carefully edited video clips. As happens with implementation of evidence-based programs, this illustrated how to go forward despite unexpected barriers. She discussed how to overcome such barriers and the importance of delivering the programs with fidelity in order to get the best outcomes for children.

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After some technological barriers, Wally helped Carolyn with “calm down” strategies so she could finish her presentation

Caroline White, Head of CASP Early Intervention, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and an accredited Incredible Years® Parent Trainer, spoke about her successful implementation of the IY program in the Manchester area over the past 15 years area. She provided examples of ways she has addressed each of the 8 building blocks to promote quality delivery. She talked about the importance of an interagency infrastructure that includes administrators, policy makers, and IY mentors to coordinate efforts and outcomes and who are in consultation with the developer and IY trainers.

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From Left: Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Caroline White, Maria McAleese

Carolyn with Maria McAleese (IY Mentor for Parent Program)

Northern Ireland is fortunate to have an accredited IY mentor, Maria McAleese (who provides ongoing consultation workshops, coaching and authorized training workshops) as well as an accredited IY Coach and Mentor in Training, Peadar Mckenna. These dynamic individuals have already provided coaching and video review feedback to many group leaders. In the afternoon, Maria and Peadar each led separate groups of group leaders to discuss the training, coaching and support structure and to review their needs. Carolyn joined each of these groups to explain the rationale for the certification/accreditation process and to answer questions.

Carolyn with Peadar McKenna (IY Parent Peer Coach and Mentor in Training)

2nd day of Conference with Consultation Day

This day started with a visit to Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, a community center in Colin to learn about the Early Intervention Community efforts at delivering all the IY programs. The highlight of this event was two parents who talked about their experiences participating in the program.  Carolyn introduced Dina Dinosaur who talked about the dangers of violence and announced the birth of her new baby. Baby dina will be staying at this center to learn about all the ways she can survive by learning to problem solve and make good friends.

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Carolyn with the team at Colin Neighbourhood Partnership

Additionally, parent and child group leaders met to get a preview of what happens on group leader consultation days. Normally, consultation days only consist of 12 participants (6 pairs of leaders) from either parent or teacher or child IY programs, who present selected video clips of their IY groups and receive feedback regarding their personal goals. However, in order to illustrate the value of this approach, more than 30 parent and child group leaders attended to watch 4 group leaders show their video clips and receive feedback. Maria, Peadar and Carolyn took turns leading the discussion of these video vignettes and also led participants in role play practices.

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Carolyn sets up role play practice for group leaders

Issues discussed, modeled and practiced included the collaborative role of IY leader and coleader, how to help a parent work out her relationship with her child’s grandmother, how to trigger spontaneous role plays in conjunction with home activity reviews, effective use of buzzes, how to coach play times to assist children who are developmentally delayed or non interactive, and how to manage children in groups who are off task and not engaged in the learning. While barriers to videotaping were acknowledged, participants seemed to appreciate the value and immense learning opportunity provided from video review and self-reflective learning with peers and with a mentor or coach. Carolyn answered other questions about IY programs such as ways the School Readiness and Attentive Parenting Programs could be used as supplements, accreditation requirements, and the importance of being able to offer more sessions according to risk level of the population. Participants were enthusiastic and supportive of each other and hopefully achieved Carolyn’s “fun” goal.

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Full Consultation day group!

To learn more about the Incredible Years® Programs, visit our website: http://www.incredibleyears.com

~The Incredible Years® Team

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Helping Teachers Develop Successful Classroom Management Strategies

As many of you know, teachers find themselves spending increasing amounts of time attending to students’ aggressive, hyperactive and non-compliant behaviors in the classroom. Not only does this cause stress and put pressure on teachers, it can create a negative environment for students and eventually lead to serious problems in school, as well as antisocial behavior. We believe it is vitally important to equip teachers with the necessary tools and resources so they feel empowered and supported to work in the school setting and manage difficult behaviors.

The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Program aims to provide early preschool and kindergarten teachers with the skills to effectively manage their classroom and promote children’s social, emotional, and academic competence. This particular program is led by a group leader who provides 6 full day workshops to teachers, providing them with information and tools to practice in the classroom. During these  workshop days, teachers learn about the following:

  • Building positive relationships with students
  • Providing attention, coaching, encouragement and praise
  • Motivating students through incentives
  • Decreasing inappropriate behavior
  • Emotional regulation, social skills and problem-solving training

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Group leaders offer a collaborative and experiential approach, focusing on teacher goals and tailoring the groups for special needs and situations.

The Incredible Years is hosting a Group Leader training for those interested in leading these teacher groups, April 2-4, in Seattle, WA. This accredited training will be led by an experienced Incredible Years Certified Trainer and will provide group leaders with the understanding and skills to begin to implement the Teacher Classroom Management Program. School Counselors and Psychologists, Teachers, and other School Coordinators may be interested in attending this training in order to learn how to lead these teacher workshops.

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We would love to have you attend this training! For more information, click this link to view our workshop schedule or e-mail/call the Incredible Years (incredibleyears@incredibleyears.com or 888-506-3562). You can also view more information by clicking here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

For those interested in learning more about this program, we would recommend you take a look at some of our informational videos available online. These videos show teacher, group leader, and trainer perspectives regarding the Teacher Classroom Management program. View the videos by clicking on this link. You may also be interested in reading this article regarding Teacher Program Content, Methods and Process, here!

We hope you will share this information with teachers and other colleagues who may be interested. Our goal is to provide as much support and assistance as possible to all of the wonderful teachers out there!


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Incredible Years Basic Parent Group Leader Training!

Last week we were happy to have a wonderful group of folks from all over the states come to Seattle for Parent Group Leader training! Carolyn Webster-Stratton trained the participants about how to implement the Incredible Years Parent Programs (for working with parents of children ages 2-8). During the 3 days of training, participants were provided with hands on experience in the form of role plays and practices. They collaborated together to develop principles for working with parents, recruitment strategies, and more!

The Incredible Years holds regular group leader trainings in Seattle, WA for people interested in implementing our programs. See our “Workshop Schedule” for more information!

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In the photo above, Carolyn leads parent workshop in Seattle, Jan 29-31, 2014. Participants represent multidisciplines including child psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and teachers. They represent the following states California, Buffalo New York, Oregon, MA, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota and WA. Carolyn is holding her Chinese  puppet Fu (stands for luck) and is wearing a red scarf because it is the Chinese New Year.