The training in Melbourne was brilliant! So many people have commented, some saying it is the best training they have EVER done! People are inspired and ready to go. Staff have used it straight away, with existing clients around the reflective questions and joining questions – it is very validating of good professional practice.
The Promoting First Relationships program has made a huge difference in the way I work, and in the lives of the families I work with. Right now I’m working with a young mom who recently moved out-of-state, fleeing a domestic violence situation. She has a 15-month old and a 4-month old. When I first met with this mom, she was very depressed and wanted to end her life. She reported no bond at all with her 4-month old baby boy. She never wanted to hold him and she openly said that she didn’t feel anything for him. Everyone around her was very critical of her and her parenting, telling her that she wasn’t doing things right. When I came into the picture, I did a lot of listening, and started supporting and appreciating the positive things that she was doing. I was so impressed with this mom’s openness and transparency.
After only a few weeks into our work together, she started changing and became more hopeful. She decided that she wanted to live. She also began to fall in love with her baby. She just told me last week, ‘I can’t stop holding him now — I just love him so much’. And today she called me to let me know that she had gotten new housing, which she had been waiting for. She said, ‘I never had anyone to call before’. She knows that she can trust me, and that I am here for her and her baby. This young mom has many different providers working with her and is involved with many different programs, but PFR is what really saved her life and her baby’s.
PFR has changed our work environment. Before PFR, we all wore name tags during our meetings. Now that we do reflective practice in small groups, we really have gotten to know each other personally. We share more of our personal lives with each other, which has contributed to increased trust between all of us, and we feel much more supported. PFR has also made us more aware of each other’s feelings, which means that people are not feeling left out or criticized. Before PFR, we were all out there on our own doing our jobs, but now we are a team, part of a family. PFR has also changed the way supervisors work with their staff. We feel like our supervisors are supporting us in a very positive way. We no longer feel that we are on the “bad list” at times.
I have observed providers grow in their role. There has been an increase in work satisfaction. Teams are closer; PFR is something special that providers have in common, a tool that is helping their families.
I loved the training. I thought it was wonderful, and gave me practical knowledge to put right into play. This was one of the best trainings I have ever received in my line of work. It was easy to implement. I was impressed by the positive focus of the program, and the very comfortable learning atmosphere the trainers provided.
It has changed my ‘Way of Being’. I am more reflective since slowing down the process, and becoming more aware of relating and affirming. There has been a shift that families experience, that is being on the receiving end of hearing the positive. There is a look of joy, a discovery of an unknown strength.
In my nine years of working with families experiencing homelessness, the Promoting First Relationships program has been the most relevant technique I have learned to help parents promote their child’s development.
Child Care Provider
The child was going through a lot of changes in his life and seemed unsettled. I realized how important I was to him as an attachment figure. I learned this little boy needed the attention from me. He bonded to me and I needed to respond to this. When I wasn’t in the room, his behavior got worse. I began to make a point of connecting with him every hour. This made a difference.
Promoting First Relationships is such a different way of working with families. In particular for CPS involved families, it may be the first time that someone has ever really noticed that they are doing well and celebrated this. PFR provides us with a way to encourage and reflect on parents’ interactions and to increase and build upon the strengths that they bring to parenting.
Mental Health Therapist
I think that the Promoting First Relationships training is very, very valuable. I think that whether or not you specialize in seeing families with children 0-5 years, it’s valuable for any clinician to do home based work that’s really strengths based and has a great foundation based on attachment. I think that the families I’ve seen have benefited from this immensely.
The most important thing that I learned in this program was to identify my daughter’s cues and the ways to interact with her positively. I went into this training thinking this was more work and very stressful. In the end, this bonding with my daughter and being able to interact with her relieved my stress. It was a pleasant experience. It was comforting and safe. It was just invaluable — and it’s lasted.
The program was really helpful by helping me open my eyes to what I was already doing and pointing out things that I was doing really well in. It just gave me a boost of confidence with my parenting.
I was able to use the information learned in the PFR course on multiple occasions and wanted you to know how much it has changed the focus of my conversations with families suffering from trauma or SUD. Actually, it has altered the focus of my entire practice from problem-driven to strengths- driven, which is a welcome alteration.