Marte Meo in Amerika 3 January 2020
In early December of 2019, Maria Aarts, director and founder Marte Meo International arrived for the first time in the San Francisco Bay Area of California to introduce Marte Meo to the United States of America. A diverse group of enthusiastic professionals representing many organizations and disciplines, including psychologists, special educators, early childhood teachers, occupational therapists, autism specialists, and mental health therapists came together to learn about Marte Meo. People were moved and inspired as they immediately realized the power and potential of Marte Meo to improve the quality of care for so many children and families in California, the most populated state in the USA. Here’s what participants shared about their experience:
· “It was both affirming and inspiring to learn of practices that emphasize the "person" and their developing skills”
· “I see how valuable it is for families to receive…relevant information in a step by step fashion so that they feel successful!”
· “What a fabulous couple of days! Maria’s so personable and makes everything so clear and simple, the sign of a good teacher and thinker!””
· “Listening to Maria's passionate message was amazing! I left feeling motivated, validated, and excited to see where this journey will lead us.”
· “I am meeting with our Department Chair at the college to share and begin a dialogue about Marte Meo's concepts to think about how the faculty of Child Development could practice and embed Marte Meo into their instruction.”
Following Maria’s introductory training, Marte Meo was so well received that many participants invited Maria to meet with leaders and staff from their respective organizations. Possibilities were discussed for training staff within these organizations to use Marte Meo to improve the quality of interactions and care. It was very exciting to see how Maria’s 40 years of worldwide experience and confident encouragement helped leaders see how their staff could be trained to harness the strengths and potential of children and families during everyday interactions. It was quite powerful for leaders to see videos of the family members and professionals in a child’s life being supported to interact in ways that activate the child’s development far beyond therapy sessions. Smiles of hope and possibility spread across people’s faces as they fully digested Maria’s “circle of love” concept and its implications for children, families, professionals and organizations across California and beyond.