Holistic Behavior Coaching (Therapy)
To discuss your child and his/her needs please book an appointment
When I moved to the Middle East in 2000, I found myself in a totally new and unfamiliar environment. This made me question classical behavior therapy and inspired me to develop my own method of working with children that have behavioral problems; a method based on my understanding of children as energetic beings.
The Holistic Approach – The Process
An energetic perspective on behaviour: I shifted my focus from working with the child as merely a physical being with behavioural symptoms, to an understanding that the child is an energetic system learning life lessons within its family field.
Every time we interact and communicate we are connecting with other people on an energetic level and exchanging energy or information with their energetic systems. We develop and learn in our soul groups (family, friends and caregivers). We form energetic relationships between ourselves and the people we are learning with, that allows us to affect and trigger each others learning. When we are in an energetic relationship (child to parents/teacher/caregiver) there is a constant flow of subtle energy between energetic systems (people) that occurs on many levels. In effect we each have an energetic blueprint much like an architectural blueprint for a building. The energetic blue print of each child and that of their family determines their health on a physical and energetic level. Energetic blockages in this blueprint manifest in the child’s life as mental, emotional and behavioral symptoms. The holistic behavior model (see below) helps you understand how the imbalances in the child and family's energetic blueprint express on a physical level.
All behavior has a purpose. Subconsciously children plug into our energetic systems for their energetic needs using inappropriate behavior. Children instinctively plug into the systems of the people around them. On some level they recognise that by being “good, perfect, cute and smart”, they will get energy in the form of positive attention. When their needs are not being met the child reacts unconsciously through “inappropriate” behavior and quickly recognises how effectively negative attention satisfies their energetic needs. This effectively reinforces their inappropriate behaviour. Unwanted behaviors force their parents to pay attention to them. How parents choose to react to this behaviour has the power to either reinforce or eliminate the behavior.
This holistic approach allows us to focus on more than the child as an individual, but rather on the dynamic learning and growth that takes place within the family and all fields of influence. Within our families there are certain energetic imbalances that are passed on from generation to generation. These energetic disturbances often dictate our way of being that may trigger intense emotional reactions between family members. These reactions are a reflection of our life lessons for both parent and child. It quickly becomes clear that the traditional model of understanding children is not enough and that a holistic or energetic model is required to better understand the role-plays that develop between children and members of their family (or caregivers). In future blogs I will share and discuss this model further.
Traditional behavior therapies are focused on data gathering and eliminating unwanted behavior symptoms as soon as possible. The holistic model focuses on energetic relationships; how children meet their energetic needs and the resulting inappropriate behaviours that develop when these needs are not met. From an energetic perspective each person is a spiritual being on a journey, learning life lessons. Therefore inappropriate behaviors are not really problems, but rather a sign that the energy system is out of balance. A vital clue to determining what the energetic disturbance is that is triggering the behaviour.
Within a family where a child is relying on inappropriate behaviour to satisfy their energetic needs, the parents are often unaware of the role that they play in this process. The parents feel a drain on their energy and instinctively recognise their connection to that reaction. They certainly play a part in that reaction, but no blame or guilt need be allocated. This “role-play” is part of an amazing design by which we learn and evolve through our connection with one another. This energetic exchange is an unconscious process, and it takes a shift in perspective to become aware of the process. This awareness allows us to change the process and eliminate unwanted behaviours in the child. Equally as important, it creates an opportunity for parents to balance their own energetic systems.
Similarly in Homeopathy we use the symptoms of an illness to identify the cause; we do not suppress the symptoms because we understand that they are merely a manifestation of a deeper energetic disturbance. As an example traditional (allopathic) doctors will prescribe cortisone to suppress eczema. Even though the symptoms showing on the skin may clear up, leading us to believe the disease has been cured. In reality the disturbance is still present and may express elsewhere in a more acute form. In my experience with traditional behaviour therapy I noticed a similar process where inappropriate behaviors were being suppressed without a deeper understanding of the cause. To address the cause we need to focus on the child as an energetic system and the relationships that exist within the family’s energetic field of influence.
On a physical level we understand that behavioural systems also link to other health problems that these children have in common. Children that express inappropriate behaviour often share the same symptoms such as allergies, eczema, unexplained high fevers, inflammation , chronic ear and other infections. Behavior symptoms can be seen as the body’s way to discharge energy from the underlying disturbance.
As mentioned above, behaviour is not a problem but an opportunity to identify and dissolve the deeper underlying energetic disturbance. Once we understand this process that affects the child on an energetic level we can identify the true cause of the inappropriate behavior.
Behavioral symptoms may also be a reflection of lifestyle choices (see regimen) that are out of balance, by correcting these imbalances in nutrition, supplementation, sleep, hydration and exercise, many of the behavior and other symptoms will automatically be eliminated.
Past traumas (mental & emotional) and shocks (vaccines, toxic medicines and injuries) may also leave deep energetic disturbances that express as symptoms on a physical level. There is a distinct link between physical symptoms like leaky gut, allergies, eczema, rashes, coughs, constant colds and behavioral (mental emotional) symptoms like fears, phobias, anger, screaming and stimming. In these cases sequential homeopathy is a very effective treatment. Once we have identified a timeline of all the shocks and traumas that have occurred during the child’s life span, we use homeopathic remedies to dissolve these blockages in the child’s energy system. This facilitates the flow of energy and supports healing and detoxification allowing the child to perform to their full potential.
Once we complete the treatment of shocks and traumas on the timeline we then address inherited disturbances that also express as behavior symptoms on the physical level. Within our family we are all working on the same life lessons and automatically pass any unresolved energetic disturbances from generation to generation in a kind of relay race. Addressing these inherited disturbances go a long way in resolving many behavior symptoms.
Coaching - a new way of understanding and treating children with behavior symptoms
First blog relating to spiritual growth in 7 year cycles (coming soon)…
I do not like the word “therapy” and prefer to think of what I am doing as “coaching”. The word therapy often carries a negative connotation and may imply that there is something wrong with the child. I would rather reinforce the awareness that we are each on a unique journey as part of a divine spiritual process of learning that is focused within our families, but common to all of humanity. It is often easier for the child to relate to having a coach, who is supporting them in achieving their goals and full potential.
As a coach I also support the parents and teachers to empower the children in developing everyday life skills. We work on listening skills, following of instructions, developing effective language skills, fine and gross motor skills, pencil control and writing, attention span and focus as well as foundational or necessary academic skills. Self awareness and self esteem are other very important skills that we focus on at Inner Connection. It is important for children to develop a strong sense of self, impulse control, confidence and self control.
To learn more and gain a better understanding of the various techniques, refer to the Behavior Basics Sheet below, or see the Workshops page.
Coaching also includes helping the child to think of themselves as an energetic system. This helps them to understand when, how and why they might lose focus or self control, which triggers their negative reactions or inappropriate behavior. The goal of this process is for them to ultimately manage their energetic systems and become responsible for their choices. When they are able to make good choices in terms of their nutrition, hydration, sleep and exercise, their energy systems are more balanced and it becomes easier to control their impulses (thoughts and feelings). Initially this process requires a lot of support from parents, teachers and care givers. As the child develops they become more independent and are able to understand the consequences of their choices.
During this process we need to understand that energy flows where attention goes and once this principle is understood it can be used effectively to reinforce or eliminate certain behaviours. E-motion can be thought of as energy in motion. This best describes the flow of energy between the child and parents. The more emotional our response is to unwanted behaviour the more powerful the flow of energy, effectively reinforcing the behaviour. This shows how our emotional reactions are a part of the problem.
When we consider the energetic perspective we realise how important our relationships are, especially with our family members with whom we share a bond. This powerful connection not only affects the learning of the child but forces us as parents to become conscious of our reactions towards our children. In this holistic model it becomes clear that we learn together as a family.
This process extends to teachers and caregivers with whom the child automatically forms a bond.
In my coaching method I have incorporated behavior techniques from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Verbal behaviour (VB), that I have found to be effective and relate to the energetic relationship model.
If you would like a better understanding of the holistic behavior model and coaching techniques based on energetic principles, please contact Mariette or visit the Workshops & Talks page for more information.
“Mariette gets it.”
“Whatever it is that’s really going on, the root cause of a symptom, a behavior, an issue -
She gets it! She can see past the layers of what we would see and treats the cause. That’s what brings the healing, the solution, the relief. Mariette treats the mind, the body and the soul. And she does it with empathy, compassion and a practical, hands-on approach which makes me feel like I can do it too! For 3 years, I have had the privilege of working with Mariette in her professional capacity as Behavior Therapist in a special needs school. Mariette’s approach to behavior management is unique. She uses her knowledge of diverse personal development and behavior management techniques to tailor specific strategies for each student. Alongside this holistic approach to students of all ages, she teaches staff how to apply these strategies, gently and consistently. She empowers those around her to use active and engaging learning to manage pupils’ distractions and develop independence.”- Mrs O. Roth (Former Deputy Head of Special Needs School)
Behavior Management Basics Sheet
See what past and present clients have to say - Testimonials