Parenting Skills Training

What is The Nurtured Heart Approach?

The Nurtured Heart Approach, created by family therapist Howard Glasser, is a powerful and transformative method of adult-child interaction designed to benefit all youth, especially those who demonstrate challenging and intense behaviors. The NHA offers children, adolescents, and teens an opportunity to develop a new, internally driven desire to engage in positive behaviors as the result of repeatedly experiencing firsthand a series of successes.

The NHA is a very pragmatic and easily understood system designed to turn the challenging child around to a new pattern of success. The approach has also been found to produce substantial success in helping the average child flourish at higher-than-expected levels of functioning.

The approach is now used with great success in hundreds of schools and thousands of classrooms and homes nationally. It is based on the understanding that intense youth (often those identified as having attention and impulsivity problems; learning differences; mood, conduct, oppositional defiant, and autistic-spectrum disorders) are unconsciously seeking the emotional energy of parents, teachers, and other significant adults in their lives.

Based upon the youth’s experiences, they are able to trigger and sustain bigger reactions and emotions from significant adults when they misbehave. Children and teens want to get your “emotional energy”.

It is this “emotional energy” that provides a sense of connectedness and relationship with parents and teachers. That is the prize!

The Nurtured Heart Approach teaches significant adults how to strongly energize the child's experiences of success while not accidentally energizing his or her experiences of failure. Most traditional approaches, because they were designed for the average child, get stretched beyond their capacity when applied to challenging children. Traditional approaches for parenting and teaching can easily backfire with challenging children: they inadvertently reward children by providing more energy, involvement and animation when things are going wrong.

Unfortunately, negative behavior gets a whole lot of your "negative energy" (i.e. facial expressions, arguing, yelling, lectures, severe punishment, detentions, suspensions, sending students out of the classroom, etc). From an adult’s perspective, these consequences should result in sufficient unpleasantness for the child and thus, reduce or stop the undesirable behavior. However, for intense children, these responses from adults actually serve as a reward – they usually only stop undesired behaviors for a little while and only often only when you are looking. Nothing has actually changed within the youth.

Often, many adults respond with higher levels and/or more severe uses of the traditional methods. For challenging youth, these responses wind up reinforcing their sense that your energy and connection are most likely obtained through negative behaviors. They also feel very confused because they perceive a high level of incentive for pushing the limits and for negative behaviors and little incentive to make successful choices. Often, despite the best of intentions, the harder adults try applying these normal methods, the worse the situation becomes.

The parents and teachers who seek help because of a difficult child are truly caught between a rock and a hard place. They are almost always doing something truly amazing: They are invariably doing the very best job they can with the tools they have.

Unfortunately, it may not appear that way to an outsider and it certainly may not feel that way to them. However, without a doubt, when examined closely, most parents and teachers of difficult children are actually using very conventional and acceptable methods of parenting and classroom management that would have an excellent chance of working well with a child with an easier temperament. The problem is that traditional and conventional approaches – the kinds that we are surrounded by on television, in film, books and magazines, as well as in our extended families of relatives, friends and acquaintances, other teachers and administrators, what we were taught to use in college and in many workshops – invariably fall short of the mark when applied to children with strong needs and stronger manifestations of temperament.

The exciting news is The Nurtured Heart Approach is a revolutionary way to facilitate success, self-esteem and greater happiness in every area of life for ALL youth and it begins to work as soon as you start to use it. Children begin to flourish, embracing their unique and positive qualities and increasing their inner sense of worth, competence, and ability to succeed. Parents and teachers acquire strategies to “create” and acknowledge positive behaviors while maintaining specific structure, with a clear set of rules and guidelines.

The core values at the heart of the technique are love, respect and compassion. The Nurtured Heart Approach, with its highly effective success rate at home and at school, provides a wonderful opportunity to empower you to:

Nurtured Heart Parent Workshops and Individual Family/Parent Training

Nurtured Heart Approach for Schools

Hundreds of schools and thousands of classrooms are already experiencing the powerful benefits of using The Nurtured Heart Approach in their classrooms. Results reported by schools include:

 We offer the following options fortraining in The Nurtured Heart Approach

It is easy to arrange a free evaluation and quote for training in your school or district. Call or e-mail today.


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