Nurtured Heart 6-Week Training ProgramRSVP
ESHC’s speech-language pathologist, Jennifer Dierenfeld, discusses the benefits of this special training program.
1. What is the Nurtured Heart Approach®?
The Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA) was created by Howard Glasser and provides a framework to allow people to draw upon the personal strengths they already possess while inspiring others to use their own personal strengths to build positive relationships with others.
2. What is the goal of your classes?
The Nurtured Heart Approach classes’ goal is to teach the framework of the approach in a sequential manner that makes it digestible and allows participants to build upon learning each week over the six-week course. By the end of the course, participants have a full understanding of the approach and how to apply it to their daily lives. My goal within these classes is to nurture the hearts of my participants and help them to see their own strengths, what we in NHA call Inner Wealth™, to allow them to feel the approach from the inside out to propel them into their own success as they work to implement the approach in their own lives.
3. Who can benefit from attending?
Anyone can benefit from attending! Many are drawn to the Nurtured Heart Approach because of an intense personality that is challenging in their own lives. Maybe it’s a child, or a spouse, even an in-law or a coworker. NHA is about transforming relationships. In the end, it leads to improving our relationship with ourselves and changing the voice of our inner critics into our inner cheerleaders to allow us to live our best lives.
4. What is the biggest takeaway for attendees?
I see attendees walking away from the course empowered in their relationships with themselves and others. I see attendees confident in their ability to create success and celebrate what is going right in their daily lives and even what’s NOT going wrong to transform their relationships.
5. As facilitator, what do you see as the biggest struggle for parents today? Pandemic? How does Nurtured Heart help?
As parents of two kids, ages three and six, who are navigating the work-from-home and school-from-home life that is our new normal, I’m in the thick of the daily grind of pandemic life that can be exhausting in its own right. Parents are tired, stressed and weary. Patience is running short, and it’s hard to get time and space to renew in the manner we may have formerly done. We all need to be stronger on the inside than ever before to combat what we’re confronted within our modern world. NHA gives us the clarity to get out of our head where we can get bogged down with worry, misery, and doubt, and to get into our hearts so we can see the truth of any given moment and find even the tiniest molecules of what IS going right so that we can learn how to grow those molecules into a garden of greatness for ourselves and others
6. What value do you see of parents giving up time on a Saturday to attend a Nurtured Heart class?
I see parents coming in maybe a little skeptical at first and yet courageous to learn about something new and start to give it a try. As the class progresses week by week, I see them coming in with more joy and energy as they are renewed from their kids’ and families’ daily interactions. To me, that transformation is such a cause for celebration. We’re going through the motions of living daily life, so why not make it the best we can and live our best lives?
7. Can you apply the parenting things you learned in Nurtured Heart to other aspects of your life? If yes, for example?
Oh yes, you can! As I said, I am a mom of two kids. When I first learned about NHA, I went in with my mom hat on, and it didn’t take long before the SLP in me started screaming that this approach was so desperately needed for our patients and our families. NHA has changed how I interact with myself and with others in all of my relationships. I use NHA in my personal relationships with my husband and our family as well as friends. It is changed how I approach my relationships at work with colleagues and my patients and families. The biggest change for me is that by using NHA, I can pare everything else away and have the clarity to see with my heart—to relate on a human level and celebrate all the great things happening in whoever is right in front of me.
A recent example for me at work was when a patient logged into their teletherapy session hiding under a blanket because they did not want to do therapy that day. I could see that a patient hiding from me was not the greatest thing in the world, and yet, using NHA and looking through the lens of positivity, I could see the greatness, the positive qualities my patient possessed, to come to the computer. I verbalized my sincere appreciation for their respect in honoring our time together by coming to the computer and logging into their session on time, and I celebrated their greatness of determination to work hard even when they maybe did not want to. Even the small things, like coming to the computer, are huge and worthy of celebration! I have to say, by calling out greatness to my patients and families, I can see them take a breath and calm down, and nine times out of ten, we move on and have a great and productive session that would not have happened without these NHA tools.
That is not to say I live this out 100% of the time 24/7—because I assure you that I do not! I’m human, and I have hiccups and make mistakes. The beauty is, I get to reset myself and realign myself to my goals and get right back to the juicy goodness available in the next moment.
About the ESHC Nurtured Heart Instructor
My name is Jennifer Dierenfeld and I am a Speech-Language Pathologist. I completed my undergraduate education at the University of Washington (go Huskies!) in 2005 and went on to complete my master’s program at Western Washington University. I joined Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic in 2007 and recently celebrated my 14th anniversary; the adage “time flies when you’re having fun” rings true for me.
What first drew me to Evergreen was the unique approach to treatment and collaborative care provided to our patients. I love the opportunity to partner alongside our speech-language pathology team to ensure that we provide the best possible patient care, in addition to partnering alongside patients and families to make therapy meaningful and personally relevant. The true joy for me in pediatric therapy is the opportunity to shape and support communication from an early age to make positive lifelong impacts on the ability of patients to learn and grow in all their daily interactions. I have seen how frustrating communication can be when children are unable to convey their thoughts and needs, and on the other side of that, just how amazing it can be for children and their families to build meaningful connections and relationships when communication is going well. It is profoundly rewarding to me to support the baby steps of communication success and help families to recognize and reinforce communication success within their own children. I consider myself so fortunate to get to work closely with families and play a role in their communication journeys.
In addition to providing direct speech/language therapy services, I also interact with our pediatric families through our clinic-sponsored Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA) classes, which is my new favorite part of my job. I first encountered NHA as a parent through our cooperative preschool and quickly came to see how beneficial this approach would be for the patients and families at our clinic; I then pursued further education to become a certified trainer of the approach. I am passionate about applying the approach to my interactions with patients and families directly within my sessions, and about teaching workshops for our clinic families to support positive relationships. When we use NHA and connect on a heart level, I have found the benefits and effectiveness of speech/language therapy increases significantly because, in addition to building communication, we build meaningful relationships and provide holistic care as we celebrate all that is going right, even in challenging moments.