The Nurtured Heart Approach – Part 2: The ‘Special Ingredient’ of The Benjamin Foundation

In 2019, our staff continue to use The Nurtured Heart Approach every day to enable to the people we support to recognise their inner wealth and to build their confidence and self-esteem.

Advanced Nurtured Heart Approach Trainers, Julie Mears and Kirsty Pitcher pick up part two of our Nurtured Heart story about how they have shared our charity’s passion for the Nurtured Heart Approach with a global audience.

“After receiving funding from the Edith Murphy Foundation in 2012, we were able to train every member of staff at The Benjamin Foundation in the Nurtured Heart Approach.” Kirsty explains.

“At this time it was 132 people. We then trained 25 Certified Trainers in 2013, and 3 Advanced Trainers in 2016 along with 3 new Certified Trainers.”

Of course, fully embedding the Approach into the organisation wasn’t without some challenges. The Certified and Advanced Trainers were passionate and committed; where there were leaders we needed others to follow, but slowly and surely it became the ‘Golden Thread’ that ran throughout The Benjamin Foundation.

“It was transformative.” Kirsty says.

We’ve been able to show people that, in many cases, they are already using the Nurtured Heart Approach, or we’ve shown people how to introduce it into their lives, such as on our parenting courses. It enables people to look at what is going right, to self-regulate and truly consider how they are using their energy.

Kirsty continues: “The Nurtured Heart Approach belongs at The Benjamin Foundation – it’s our special ingredient.”

Of course the approach has developed over the years, but the constant has been the positive results, so when Kirsty and Julie had the opportunity to present about our charity’s work with The Nurtured Heart Approach at the 2019 Children’s Success Foundation Global Summit, they jumped at the opportunity to share their passion with like-minded people from across the world. The summit took place in New Jersey, USA where they have embedded the approach across the state’s system of residential care for children.

Julie explains: “We presented on the Creative Development of Inner Wealth. We knew others would find it useful and we felt we should share our story.”

In January 2019, they heard that their application to be presenters had been successful and the excitement started to build.

“It didn’t feel real! Not only were we looking forward to sharing our knowledge and learning about The Nurtured Heart Approach, but we were also looking forward to the like-minded people we would meet.”

There were over 250 people at the summit, over the course of four days. Julie continues: “The energy was so positive; it was like being part of a tribe who all think in the same way! Everyone was so supportive. My highlight was meeting the NHA trainers in person after connecting with them on the phone and internet. I loved listening to some of them presenting and learned much to take back into my work. Some of them were experts in their field of Core Attachment Therapy and Trauma work.”

“I was also delighted to see someone wearing the ‘Greatness Flower’ (a Nurtured Heart Approach technique I often use) made for him by his wife and again when I saw the flowers idea being made by a NHA trainer group in New Jersey after the event.”

One of the most interesting things was seeing how the Nurtured Heart Approach has evolved and is now being used in such diverse way and how new evidence is providing new insights about The Nurtured Heart Approach.

“One Keynote Speaker, Dr Velia Nuno, talked about research on the impact of the Nurtured Heart Approach in reducing the symptoms of ADHD. Currently, the approach is evidence informed, but they are working towards evidence based, which is a significant development.”  Kirsty says.

The whole experience was inspiring and the pair have come away with new aspirations, ideas and clearer insights into how the approach can be used.

Julie adds: “I feel incredibly proud, honoured and humbled to be have been part of it.”

For more information about The Nurtured Heart Approach, please visit:

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