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Nurtured Heart Approach® PDF Print E-mail

What is The Nurtured Heart Approach®?

  • The Nurtured Heart Approach, created by family therapist Howard Glasser, is a powerful method designed to offer all youth, especially those challenging and intense, an opportunity to develop a new behavioural model through a series of successes.
  • The approach is based on the understanding that intense youth (with attention deficits, LD, mood, conduct & oppositional defiant disorders) are unconsciously seeking "relationship & emotional energy" of parents and other significant adults in their lives.
  • Children & teens experience they get bigger reactions & more attention when they misbehave. Applying traditional methods (lecturing, arguing, punishment, detentions, sending students out of the classroom etc) fail or worsen situations with intense youth. Youth realize that they receive more focused attention, more relationship & more connection in exchange for pushing the boundaries or breaking rules. When we give energy to what we don't want, we get more of it. This is upside-down.
  • The Nurtured Heart Approach is founded in an idea of relationship as an energetic exchange - which is right-side up! Parents and teachers, YOU are the prize! Children and teens want to get your “emotional energy & relationship."
  • This approach gives tools for changing the way energy flows between adults and children. This is an exciting revolutionary way to facilitate success, self-esteem and greater happiness in every area of life for "ALL" youth, plus it works as soon as you use it. Children begin to flourish, embracing their magnificent qualities and increasing their inner wealth. Parents and teachers acquire strategies to acknowledge positive behaviours while maintaining specific structure, with a clear set of rules and guidelines.
  • The core of the technique is love, respect and compassion. Nurtured Heart Approach, with its highly effective success rate at home and at school, provides a 180-degree environmental and personal shift for you, your whole family, and other caregivers.

Family Interventions

The Nurtured Heart Approach®: Parent Workshops

Our sessions are designed to promote knowledge & application of the NA approach. In our group parents:
  • Learn empowering "new" parenting techniques to energize successes.
  • Download a nourishing vocabulary of "positivity"
  • Balance the art of limit setting with clear, simple consequences when rules are broken.
  • Transform child's/teens negative portfolio into a florishing, positive one.
  • Create successes which transforms the lives, minds & hearts of youth.
  • Increase youth's inner strength, self esteem, ability to make good choices & maintain friendships
  • Enhance & pazazz your parent-child connection..
  • Not only will you experience successes in their children's lives, but also in you own.

Theraplay® Social  Thinking Skills Sessions:

(age appropriate groups for children / teens ages 5-14 & their parents) The Nurtured Heart Approach is incorporated throughout group sessions.

Our sessions provide a safe, playful, fun, engaging, milieu
  • a leading intervention that builds social competence
  • lively, fun engaging program, where parents & youth acquire new skills & friendships
  • youth explore who they are & how their behaviour affects others
  • fosters self-regulation, emotional control & peer relationships
  • develops perspective taking, flexible thinking & problem solving skills
  • presents visual concepts, Theraplay activities, social stories & games
  • utilizes our TACTICS TOOLBOX- with over 45 concrete strategies for success
  • targets: friendship skills, reading faces / body language, respecting boundaries, reactivity & anxiety reduction, compromising, negotiating, accepting “no”, bullying prevention & more
  • Parents easily transfer new skills to home life, expanding & creating new successes.

Nurtured Heart Approach School Wide Interventions

There is no lack of students who have dismal relationships with themselves, others and life in general. Many wonderful, good intentioned teachers state they feel ill prepared for the emotional, behavioural and regulatory difficulties they frequently encounter with intense, sensitive and needy students within their classrooms. Teachers are truly powerful influences and their relationship is the prize. All students want attention and many seek teacher's energy through negative attention.

When Nurtured Heart Approach is implemented in the classroom, negative attention seeking behaviour shifts to positive. Teachers possess the strategies and skills that strategically create actual experiences of success for "all" students within the context of their activities and relationships. The Nurtured Heart Approach is a "positivity" vocabulary recognizing first hand experiences of success and /or hijacking them into success, therefore increasing a student's inner wealth.

The Nurtured Heart Approach®: Teacher Workshops

  • Our workshops provide teachers & school staff with NH knowledge and techniques
  • Educators and school staff begin to utilize skills in their respective schools & classrooms.
  • Increases student's inner wealth, decreases bullying, anger and aggressive behaviour.
  • We provide teacher assistance to implement the approach in their individual classrooms.

Classroom Theraplay® Social Thinking Skills Sessions

The Nurtured Heart Approach is incorporated without group sessions.

  • this format provides a safe, playful, fun, engaging  milieu within the "classroom family" that promotes rich relationships.
  • students & their teachers incorporate new skills to embrace character building, positive qualities & values.
  • youth explore who they are & how their behaviour affects others
  • fosters self-regulation, emotional control & peer relationships
  • develops perspective taking, flexible thinking & problem solving skills
  • presents visual concepts, Theraplay activities, social stories & games
  • utilizes our TACTICS TOOLBOX- with over 45 concrete strategies for success
  • decreases bullying & aggressive behaviour.during sessions, we create successes, acquire pro social & friendship skills, increase trust in self & others and self-esteem.

Why Use The NHA In Schools?

  • Schools are a viable hope for a better society. Five days a week, 10 months a year, students are captive audiences, learning academics and embracing impressions of who they are and will likely become.
  • It is a process that is about creating relationships that energize and support success and positive choices.
  • When NH is implemented school-wide, classroom by classroom, the entire school advances to inspiring levels of respect, emotional safety and development of character which promotes greater academic achievement.
  • Using rich relationships balanced by clear limits, it increases in time actually spent teaching, grades and morale.
  • Teachers and school staff will feel more effective at helping students overcome problems.
  • It works almost as soon as you utilize it.
  • If there is a disruption, it stays contained.
  • Students will truly sense that they are living in a sea of "positivity" while at school
  • Students oftern begin doing better in other classes where NH isn't being used.
  • It transforms students so they are better prepared to befriend, work, cope, endure, reason, love and hope.
  • Teacher retention improves
  • It helps parents become involved and see their child in positive new ways.

Benefits of The Nurtured Heart Approach®

  • Empowering parenting & school approach for every child & those with ADHD, LD, oppositional defiance, conduct disorder, anxiety, Bi Polar, FAS and attachment issues.
  • Mindful parenting /teaching skills help to reduce family / classroom tension and conflict.
  • Positive emotional nutrition vocabulary from parents /teachers to children
  • Greater child self-control.
  • Positive shift in a child’s behaviour and focus.

"When mindfulness embraces those we love, they bloom like flowers."

- Thich Nhat Hanh


  • HeartMath
    Stress, Anxiety & Anger reduction workshops

  • Nurtured Heart Parent Workshops

  • Support Groups for Parents of Children/Teens with ADHD, LD & Aspergers Syndrome

  • Theraplay Social & Thinking Skills Groups for Children/Teens AND their Parents

  • Sunshine Circles for School: Nurture Your Classroom with Play

  • Nurtured Heart School & Teacher Workshops:

Presented as a
Guest Speaker at:

  • (QPAT) The Quebec Provincial Teacher's Convention

  • LDAQ Montreal Chapter 1 Parent Conference

  • The Bronfman Educational Teacher's Convention

  • McGill Distinguished Speaker's Seminar

  • AQETA Learning Disabilities Association Conference

  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board SEAC Parent Conference

  • Tyndale St. George

  • St. Colombia House

  • plus numerous Montreal schools