The process

In the process of gentle teaching we don’t speak of phases or steps which follow each other in a specific order, but we speak of dimensions.  The four dimensions we distinguish are

  • 1st dimension: feeling safe and loved
  • 2nd dimension: feeling loving towards others
  • 3rd dimension: feeling connected
  • 4th dimension: social development

The reasons for not speaking about phases is that with our persons your should always keep paying attention to all four dimensions. With most people who have gone through a good attachment in their early life, there is a good and sound foundation for social development and participation. But for people who’s attachment was not good or who later in life lost the feeling of being attached due to life experiences or mental illness, we always have to pay attention to what we describe in the first three dimensions.

1st dimension

The process starts with teaching the person to feel safe with us and unconditionally loved by us. We use our tools very explicitly in a way that expresses out intentions. The technique in this first dimension is giving new meaning. We first may have to develop a new meaning about the person our self, before being able to teach the person a new meaning to our presence, hand, words and eyes. We want the person to feel that our presence, hand, eyes and words are signs of safe and not instead of control, obedience or suppression.

2nd dimension

In the second dimension we start stretching by evoking reciprocity. We try to invite the person to return our expression of love and safe with showing loving feelings towards us.  This is not because we need this as a reward for our efforts, though it will be rewarding of course if we see it happen. The reason for this reciprocity is that we appeal to the basic quality every human being has: the quality of loving and caring for others. By evoking this quality we help the person to develop his identity based on this quality. It is the preliminary for social development.

In this 2nd dimension we also see the beginning of sharing and dialogue. In the 1st dimension there was ‘me’ the care giver, giving to the other. Now there is also ‘me’, the person, giving to the care giver. We start sharing our lives and feelings and the dialogue is how we express this towards each other: ‘me and you’, the start of becoming ‘we’.

3rd dimension

With this, we are entering the third dimension. Deepening the relation and establishing a feeling of connectedness that also holds when we are out of sight, when we have to say ‘enough if ‘enough’, or if we ask the person to do something for us.  This dimension is the completion of the feeling of companionship.

In this dimension we use all types of stretching and all the other techniques described earlier.

4th dimension

After establishing the feeling of companionship we help the person relating with others also. We work in circles. In the inner circle are the people who are most important and close to the person: the parents, brothers or sisters, good friends, caregivers. In the second circle we see the home mates, class mates, colleagues at work or the activity center, co-participants at leisure activities. In the third circle are the neighbors, the more superficial friends, etc. The closer the relation with the person is, the more intense we want the relation to be.

In this fourth dimension we also developing quality of life on all basic values.