Update from a trainer

Swedish ICDP trainer, Monica Andersson works at the Social Welfare office, located in the Tierp village 130 km north of Stockholm, where she included the ICDP programme as part of her work.

In 2020 she started to conduct ICDP training of a group of ten colleagues. She explains:

This group is smaller than the previous one, consisting of ten persons but the training proved to be a nice and meaningful process. We had to postpone the work due to COVID 19 in the spring, but we managed to continue in the autumn.

The above photo shows the small group on the fourth and last day of the training, when we had to use digital contact – which was somewhat of a challenge for me. However, everything went fine.

The participants of this training included some of the colleagues from the social welfare area where I work and in addition, there were two students. Represented areas are the department for investigation and emergency, department of foster care and department for family therapy.

I hope we will be able to make the programme grow in our community, that ICDP become well established knowledge in our community.


News from Pasto, Colombia

Report from psychologist Andrea Carolina Flórez:

The Psychology programme of the Mariana University in Pasto, in the department of Nariño, through the course of psychological intervention in educational contexts, carried out the implementation of the ICDP programme “I am a person”, during the period from August to November 2020.

The process was guided by the director of the ICDP Colombia Foundation, Carmen Lucia Andrade and it was led by Andrea Carolina Flórez, university teacher and coordinator of the area called Teaching-Learning Processes.

The ICDP programme was implemented virtually, and had the participation of 16 families consisting of male and female caregivers, aged between 26 and 55 years old.

The methodology was developed through weekly meetings consisting of reflections, workshops, exercises and conversations that in a didactic way tried to strengthen affective communication and sensitive care that substantially improves the relationships between children and their caregivers.

One of the main challenges of this implementation was the mental and emotional state of the families in times of the COVID 19 pandemic. Some caregivers declared to be stressed, worried, anxious, overloaded during this time of health, social and economic emergency.

For the team of practicing psychologists, this challenge was an opportunity to put their technological, human and disciplinary skills at the service of families, helping to transform a crisis scenario into an opportunity for caregivers to discover and re-signify their own care practices.

For this reason, the words that summarize this experience is Learning and Solidarity.


Report from Denmark

ICDP has been growing steadily year after year in Denmark with thousands of teachers, pedagogues, psychologists and other professionals receiving training in the programme.

Anne Linder has written a report of the activities by the Danish Centre for ICDP, which makes for an interesting and inspiring read. Click here to read her report.

Taken from the report:

ICDP and the paradox of the pedagogical work

ICDP – trainee Oliver Nani, also a student of psychology, has a philosophic approach to life in general, and he writes; “I have certified roughly 100 pedagogues, teachers and school leaders at ICDP level 1 this year. Furthermore, I have been engaged in the study of paradox and complexity in pedagogics. I find that a specific way in which ICDP excels, is in its encompassment of the paradoxes of pedagogical work, as exemplified in the collision of the guidelines 2 vs 8; who is supposed to “change course” – the child or the caregiver? ICDP says both, and thus gives way for working with the paradox in a sensitizing way – which is surprisingly uncommon in caregiving programs. Another paradox is encompassed in that ICDP is a proclaimed sensitizing program, which roughly translates into that the caregiver is supposed to produce new solutions herself – bottom up. Yet ICDP obviously presents a framework and guidelines for these solutions – top down. Once again, the balancing of the paradox becomes possible, because neither of the positions are completely trumping the other, but makes way for an ongoing contextualized balancing act”. Oliver will work with that paradox in his thesis at the University during 2021.

Final comments on the Annual Report

It has been a strange year. But still, we have worked on many projectors and still have many new ideas on how to disseminate and quality-assure ICDP.

ICDP is becoming more and more widespread in the educational sector and we are inventive and committed to finding solutions to the challenges we face. We are growing steadily year by year – but we are very careful to maintain our sensitivity and curiosity about other people. The world is diverse, and we are only a small part of the truth about the good life.

A Happy New Year.

On behalf of the Danish Center for ICDP,

Anne Linder


ICDP at Ubulele

ICDP has an agreement for cooperation with the non-profit organization Ububele (, with the aim of integrating ICDP as one of their activities to strengthen child and family mental health in the township of Alexandra. 

The ICDP developments and training that have taken place in Johannesburg are explained by Silje Holter, voluntary trainer:

At the start of 2020, we carried out the first round of workshops for new facilitators over a period of two weeks.  Facilitators were divided into pairs and each pair made plans for their practical work with groups of caregivers (their self-training projects).

Before the lockdown I managed to hold one support meeting during which some of the trainee facilitators presented the way they were implementing the ICDP programme with caregivers. We looked at the ICDP material brought to the meeting by some of the facilitators. Then I was forced to leave South Africa due to corona virus related circumstances.

During the period between April and August, South Africa was for the most part in lockdown, so it was not possible for facilitators to run ICDP caregiver groups. However, the country has been slowly reopening since then, and this meant that more self-training projects could be organized and carried out by facilitators. Some facilitators had a long break before re-starting.

During early December, we got together again, but this time the support meeting which lasted one full day, had to be held online. All trainee facilitators that participated in my workshops during January and February were present for the online meeting too. They talked about their self-assessments, their practical experiences, including some of their frustrations. They also had questions which we all discussed together. Due to problems with transportation, technical difficulties and other problems only some but not all participants managed to share their video material from their meetings with caregivers.

We made plans to hold our last support meeting in January 2021 – it will take a full day online. Each pair of trainee facilitators will then provide a logbook from their self-training projects for my approval. Hopefully some more videos will be available by then. The emphasis will be on planning the future work, including planning ahead how to adapt the ICDP material to the South African context.

The leadership of the Ububele organisation hopes that Ubulele may one day become a training site for new ICDP facilitators. In view of this, they are trying to provide as many opportunities as possible for the current facilitators to practice applying the ICDP programme – and not only by working in pairs but also each facilitator running a caregiver group alone. This will create solid ground for trainer level work later on.


Update from Germany

Rita Crecelius, ICDP trainer and contact person for ICDP Germany reports:

Ana Vázquez-Zimmermann is a day care leader at Hildesheim-Drispenstedt. As soon as finished her ICDP caregiver level training with me in February 2020, she was eager to bring this marvellous tool to her big team of more than 20 colleagues, who are caring for a total of 88 children.

At first, the Corona virus  rules seemed to make this an impossible mission. But Ana didn’t give up. Due to the minimum distance rule, she had to find a particularly large room for the training, otherwise, the group would not have been allowed to meet.

And Ana found this room! On the 2nd of November a group of 16 colleagues from Ana’s day care (others were sick) came together, and were able to sit down together at the correct distance. It was the kick off of their caregiver level training in the ICDP programme. Fifteen women and a man showed to be curious about this mysterious ICDP. What is it? Why is Ana so enthusiastic about it? Why should we do it?

Together, we did some exercises to study the importance of empathy, we watched videos, we were looking at the brain structure and we had discussions about sometimes difficult child behaviours. After lunch, we even did a dance in the church to wake up our body and our mind for the afternoon session.

At the end of the day, all of the colleagues expressed surprise at how fast the time had passed that day. They were eager to try out their new perspective and their new relational knowledge with their day care children. All found the day to be very helpful for their daily practical work  with children.
Ana was satisfied as it was exactly what she had wanted!

Thanks to this courageous and determined woman, we held an ICDP session in person in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions: Thank God, she found the Church! And we will go on with the Training in January 2021.

I am looking forward to it!


ICDP at a day care in Germany

An ICDP course was conducted at the “Kirchenkreis Hildesheim-Sarstedt” day care in Hildesheim, northern Germany.

ICDP trainer, psychologist Rita Crecelius conducted the course for 12 day-care professionals from the “Kirchenkreis Hildesheim-Sarstedt” day care,  which was completed on the 21st of February 2020.

Rita Crecelius explains:

“It is a big church-organization, where I held this training, with up to 60 day-cares:

The participants, mostly day care leaders, were already familiar with the neurobiological perspective, and thus they knew that the brain development of children depends on safe attachment and attuned communication. 

The question was:

How do we implement and cultivate these healthy relationships in a busy daily life under stressful circumstances in the day care?

Together, the leaders are responsible for more than 600 children. As part of the ICDP course, they chose only one child to implement the eight ICDP guidelines for good interaction, step by step. 

During the ICDP training the participants discovered that using the guidelines for positive interaction changed their relationship with the children for the better.

Not only did the children increase their self-confidence, their mood and their social behaviours, but the professionals themselves started to feel better, more satisfied and they even felt rewarded by suign their relational wisdom. Many of them were amazed to notice that by raising their awareness even a little, it facilitated remarkable changes in the child.

Eventually, their staff members got curious: What are you doing there? Why is this child so different? As a result, one day care leader decided to train her entire staff with ICDP, others may follow. In the end, all members of the training were proud to be the first ones in Germany to receive an ICDP Caregiver Diploma.

I am now looking forward to bringing more German day care professionals in contact with the ICDP technology for healthy relationships.”

In the second half of 2020, due to Covid-19 the plans for ICDP training were disrupted.


Strategies in times of pandemic

ICDP trainer, Luis Fernando Lopez shares evidence of virtual interventions that have been undertaken in recent months in the department of Boyacá, Colombia.  

“We have been organizing virtual training with professionals from a number of different institutions: the Juan de Castellanos University, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, the Zona F Foundation, the CENIX Institute.

The purpose of this activity was to enable professionals to apply the programme by working with parents, technical caregivers of early childhood care and the community in general of the department of Boyacá.

The ICDP Colombia leader, Carmen Lucia Andrade, was able to participate in the first meeting with mental health and early childhood professionals. We discussed strategies in times of pandemic and its consequences today and in the future.”


First trainers in Burkina Faso

On the 30th of November Alimata Sidibe and Aubin Sanou received their ICDP Trainer level diplomas through an online meeting with their trainer Nicoletta Armstrong.


In January 2020, ICDP started to cooperate with Save the Children (SC) in connection with their Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) project in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The ICDP programme was integrated in this project with the aim of strengthening parental competences and children’s overall psychosocial development.

During 2020 a group of 22 professionals linked to SC and their partner organizations, attended ICDP Facilitator level training in person and online, and after completing the whole process of training they received their ICDP certificates by the summer 2020. During the autumn, they continued to apply ICDP with families in their respective communities.

At the same time, two previously trained facilitators, Alimata Sidibe and Aubin Sanou, started they process to become trainers. As a requirement for certification as trainers, they trained two groups of new facilitators. In the face of many difficulties and interruptions due to Covid-19, they still managed to organize and carry out workshops for 20 facilitators and to oversee their application of the ICDP programme with families in different parts of the country. They offered support and advice to trainee facilitators through visits in person whenever possible, but also by phone and online contact. After completing the written work at the end of November, Aubin and Alimata were ready to receive their diplomas as trainers. As a result, there are now over forty facilitators and two trainers in Burkina Faso. The adapted ICDP materials were tested out in the field and will be published in 2021.

“We had received many positive comments from parents who attended the ICDP course, but the following comment from one parent seems particularly significant: The cash transfer has been very useful to our lives, but for me this learning about good parenting is even more important.” – Aubin, ICDP trainer.

Photo above: a group of women receiving ICDP in the village of Kossouka


ICDP in a Japanese care home

Hitoshi Maeshima, ICDP trainer (appears sitting in the middle on the photoabove) lives and works as a medical doctor in Tokyo. In early May 2020, Hitoshi wrote to ICDP about the following experience:

As part of my work as a doctor, I regularly visit 7 care homes for older people. During one of my visits to a care home I was asked to explain some medical findings about infectious diseases that have recently been particularly feared: – What is the mechanism by which new coronavirus pneumonia suddenly becomes severe, and how can it be prevented or treated?  According to the clinical course, the severity of coronavirus pneumonia is reported to occur suddenly about ten days after infection. Approximately ten days after infection, antibodies begin to appear in the patient’s body. The virus antigen and its antibody react in the patient’s lungs to form an antigen-antibody complex, which leads to the production of various cytokines.  The original role of these cytokines is to more effectively remove this complex from the body. However, sometimes cytokines are overproduced, causing a cytokine storm. Cytokine storms are immune overreactions and immune runaway. The main cause of the cytokine storm is the excessive function of the cytokine IL6. This was investigated in a pathological condition called juvenile rheumatism. It is known that an inhibitor of IL6 can prevent or treat the cytokine storm.  The severity of new-type coronavirus pneumonia and its treatment are partially possible with IL6 inhibitors. IL6 inhibitor was invented about 15 years ago by the Japanese Doctor, Chuuzou  Chuuzou, whom I met at the Conference of Japanese Internal Medicine.  

After explaining the above story, I conducted an ICDP meeting that was attended by three nurses, one care manager and one doctor. I explained the different aspects and characteristics of ICDP. We discussed how ICDP puts empathy at the basis of human communication. Empathy makes one more sensitive to the feelings and thoughts of the other person, whether in the communication between the child and caregiver, the older person and caregiver, or in general adult to adult communication.  After our discussion, a participant nurse, whose daughter is 3 years old, said that ICDP is extremely useful to her in her parenting role. A care manager who has a teenage daughter said she now feels motivated to learn to better express love to her child.

ICDP is about strengthening the formation of loving relationships. By raising children in this way, it can be expected that they will in the future make the human society richer in humanity. – Hitoshi Maeshima


Iranian trainee facilitators

In the early autumn 2020, ICDP established cooperation with two Iranian professionals, Laleh Javaheri and Anita Zangeneh, both based in Vancouver, Canada. Their aim is to introduce the ICDP programme to Iranian families that are living in Vancouver and other parts of Canada.

With their background in counselling and psychology, they have been working with groups of parents for many years, both through the government and private networks. Anita has been providing basic counselling in family settings both in Farsi and English. Her work includes connecting families with resources available in community based on their needs and their cultural values; organizing training/workshops on parenting skills; working at the joint office with the Ministry of Child and Family development in case of child protection concerns and providing services to the community with cultural sensitive lens.

Having attended the first phase of the ICDP training online, Laleh and Anita are now in the process of translating the ICDP training materials, as well as preparing photos, videos and other support material. They will be using this material in their self-training project with caregivers, which is starting in January 2021. They are currently discussing with their ICDP trainer, Nicoletta Armstrong, how to adapt the ICDP material designed for group meetings in person so that they can deliver the programme to a group of parents via Zoom.