HOLISTIC BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY
Holistic Behaviour Coaching (Therapy) and Educational Support
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(+27)66 256 8468
Do not let anyone become a vacuum and suck the happiness out of you.
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A Holistic Approach – The Conscious Teaching and Parenting Process
When I moved to the Middle East in 2000, I found myself in a totally new and unfamiliar environment. This made me question classical behaviour therapy and inspired me to develop my own method of working with children that have that have behavioural problems; a method based on my understanding of children as energetic beings.
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 the 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 other’s 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 blueprint 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 behavioural symptoms. The holistic behaviour model (see below) helps you understand how the imbalances in the child and family's energetic blueprint express on a physical level.
All behaviour has a purpose. Subconsciously children plug into our energetic systems to meet their energetic needs using inappropriate behaviour sometimes.
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” behaviour and quickly recognises how negative attention satisfies their energetic needs. This effectively reinforces their inappropriate behaviour. Unwanted behaviours force their parents to pay attention to them. How parents choose to react to this behaviour has the power to either reinforce or eliminate behaviour. What might look like an unsatisfiable need for attention on the surface, is however always, a bit for connection.
This conscious 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 does not go deep enough and that a conscious or energetic model is required to better understand the role-plays that develop between children and members of their family (or caregivers).
Traditional behaviour therapies are focused on data gathering and eliminating unwanted behaviour symptoms as soon as possible. The conscious 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 behaviours are not really problems, but symptoms or signs that the energy system is out of balance.
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 behaviours 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. Behaviour 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 behaviour.
Behavioural 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 behaviour 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 behavioural (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 behaviour 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 behaviour symptoms.
Mariette Carstens is a skilled Behaviour Therapist. Her greatest assets lie in her connection with the adults with whom she works to find solutions for students who find their current contexts challenging. She takes a holistic view of children, with "behaviour" merely an indicator of how adults can meet students' needs. Mariette's ability to work in mainstream classrooms alongside teachers and leaders prompted British Schools in the Middle East (BSME) to include her as an Approved SEND Provider for our network of 144 schools in the region. Her professional, caring approach is of value to any school regardless of students' age or phase.
A new way of understanding and treating children with behaviour symptoms
The word “therapy” can be emotionally charged, I prefer “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 conscious 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
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 can trigger their negative reactions or inappropriate behaviour. 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 caregivers. 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 Conscious Parenting 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.
Ultimately, the biggest gift that we can give a child is to cultivate a life-long love of learning, while we support them to become authentically self-expressed, responsible for themselves and energetically independent.
“Motherhood is not an easy journey and it is especially hard when we step into it with little or no support of your family. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a mother, sister or another close relative to teach you how to deal with yourself after the experience of pregnancy and labor and with the little human just brought into this world and ready to discover it through you. Here is where Mariette stepped in. I was lucky enough to be introduced to her in the first couple of months of this new journey and ever since I could rely on her support. 2 years later, my baby is growing up and becoming a beautiful, smart and healthy toddler. While I still struggle, it helps to know that I can always find her good advice and a professional solution. I am very thankful for her professional support and human touch.”
Former Deputy Head of Special Needs School