Marte Meo method features international documentary film entitled 'Dear Brother' 23 October 2019

Maria Aarts and the Marte Meo method were recently featured in an international documentary film entitled "Dear Brother" by Julia Horn. Following its world premiere in Toronto, Canada, the film will debut in German cinemas in autumn of 2019. „Dear Brother“ is a very special story of the power of love which illuminates the many facets of Marte Meo in action. So, what is the movie about and how did Maria end up in the film?

The film introduces us to Markus, who sustained severe head injuries in car accident in 2008, leaving him with permanent neurological impairments. We witness the long and intense journey of Markus‘ brother, Michael, to re-connect with his beloved brother and focus his life around caring for him. Michael’s deeply held belief that "Markus's brain is damaged, but not his personality," carries him through each stage of rehabilitation with Markus. He closely follows Markus' strongest initiatives with intensive observation and thoughtfulness. Through shared experiences that draw upon Michael’s creativity, humor, wittiness and developed interactive rhythm with Markus, a stable and supportive connection develops between them. From the daily reality they slowly build together, we see how Markus steadily grows and develops, far exceeding the expectations of family and professionals.

Throughout the film, we witness how Michael must strongly defend his vital and intense focus on his brother’s rehabilitation against other’s doubt and skepticism. Michael’s incredible importance to and bond with Markus is pivotal, and does not transfer to any other person. We see how Markus‘ deep attachment to Michael year after year becomes increasingly burdensome, along with the escalating responsibilities of managing and coaching Markus‘ caregivers. Despite Michael’s efforts to supervise and guide carefully selected employees, Markus‘ care providers are unable to truly understand and connect with him.

Michael is keenly aware of how much his brother, who cannot run away, talk or eat independently, must be able to trust others to build relationships. Over a six year period, we watch how difficult the situation is for Markus and Michael, and how the pressure on both of them steadily builds. After a few years, despite the support of friends and another brother, Markus appears to lose more of his motivation and abilities.

In 2014 Michael learns about the Marte Meo method, which he realizes can address all of the challenges he faces. He becomes a college coach, and finally discovers a language for his intuitive approach, including a learnable, transferable method and a new model for his compensatory leadership style.

In 2017, Michael received guidance from Maria Aarts to continue improving his own and Markus' development. "I am very grateful to Maria Aarts for inventing her Marte Meo method that helped me to get out of this trap. I immediately found myself in Marte Meo, and moreover, at last, I no longer felt powerless. "

Today, Markus understands everything again, and even drives his electric wheelchair independently. He is continuing to develop with the support of great team, and is even learning how to deal with his own feelings.

Michael is now a Marte Meo therapist. Currently, The 5th Marte Meo Practitioner Course for care assistants, occupational therapists and physiotherapists is being facilitated by Michael and Bernd Stade (Supervisor) in Markus‘ Cologne apartment. Michael now advises relatives of craniocerebral trauma victims and their therapists at an occupational therapy practice in Germany.

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