Training Foreign Professionals
Training Therapists from Romania, 2005
from Switzerland, 2010
The Mifne Center offers a special training program for foreign practicing therapists. The program takes place at the Mifne Center located in Rosh Pinna, Israel. It consists of three stages plus supervision, covering the treatment period of three different families, and includes theoretical as well as practical aspects of the Mifne Method focusing on hands-on experience.
The Mifne training program for foreign professionals is open to graduates from the Human Sciences with clinical experience.
Duration: Each trainee takes part in the program for 3 weeks. The training program covers the treatment of 3 cases, subsequently referred to as 3 stages of 3 weeks each. Trainees may either remain for the duration of 3 months (after each treatment there is a recess of few days), or return later depending upon their choice and availability at the Center. Treatment takes place every day of the week for 8 hours daily. Trainees have a weekly day off.
Whenever possible, it is recommended that the therapist in training arrives with a family from their home community (same nationality), with whom he/she can continue working with at home, as part of the supervision. This process should be approved first by the Mifne staff, after getting to know the family.
Curriculum: The program includes training in both theory and practice.
Theory will include relevant topics such as: early childhood development, developmental disorders, attachment theory, inter-personal relations in the family, family therapy and work with siblings, the autism spectrum, diagnosis and evaluation, eating disorders in autism, and language development in autism.
Since the nuclear family participates in the treatment by learning how to use the therapeutic technique with their child, and is in itself part of the treatment, practice will include understanding the therapy components’ work with the parents’, as a couple, with siblings, and with extended family members.
Practice will include:
- Data Collection and Analysis: Observation, feedback techniques, review of pre and post treatment films, assessment, and writing reports.
- Therapy Experience: Reciprocal Play Theory, contact and body language, non-verbal communication, intervention and relationships of therapist-parent.
- Clinical Practice: Clinical discussion, feedback, personal skills, dialogues, participation in staff meetings, work with siblings, family meetings, clinical meetings with parents.
Each stage of the program will combine all aspects of treatment and will focus on hands-on experience that will naturally evolve and develop throughout the stages.
:: Tuition and Accommodation are discussed specifically according to period of the year
:: Certificate is issued from the Mifne Center upon completion of all above requirements.
Mifne Training Reports
I Attended the First Stage of the Mifne Training
Author: Karyn Joel – Trainee from Australia, 2013
Organization: Noah’s Ark Early Childhood Intervention Service
Position: Occupational Therapist
I attended the first stage of the Mifne training in November 2013. This involved learning about the 3 week intensive family treatment program delivered at the Mifne Center in Rosh Pinna. The training incorporated observation of therapy, learning to use evaluation tools, participating in meetings and feedback sessions and discussion with Mifne staff.
A major highlight was being made to feel so welcome by all the Mifne staff both when I initially arrived at the centre and throughout my entire stay in Rosh Pinna. This also continued over weekends when Mifne staff generously invited me home for dinner and took me sightseeing. All of the staff members were very warm, friendly and approachable and it was a pleasure to spend time with them. Staff members were also very helpful with logistics such as organizing the lovely accommodation, picking me up from the bus and printing off bus timetables.
The daily schedule was well organized and provided a clear structure for each day. This enabled me to utilize my limited time at the center most effectively. It also allowed me to prepare in advance for all meetings with other professionals. Having a copy of the family schedule allowed me to be mindful of the arrival, departure and break times of the family so as not cause any disruptions with these carefully planned events.
I gained practical experience in using the various tools and evaluation forms developed at Mifne including the daily follow-up and evaluation form, the ESPASI, the weekly follow-up form and the feedback sheet. Having the opportunity to conduct feedback sessions with various therapists improved my understanding of Reciprocal Play Therapy and provided an opportunity to reflect on each professional’s therapeutic style. Staff generously offered their time and expertise to have discussions and answer questions. By watching videos of other family’s treatment programs I was able to gain a broader understanding of the Mifne treatment process for children with differing needs. Having meetings conducted in English was helpful and my participation in discussions was always encouraged. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to sit on the final family meeting with support to translate the language. It was very touching to hear in his own words how the father was reflecting on his experience and the changes in his son’s functioning.
Having the opportunity to participate in several sessions with the older sibling was rewarding and insightful, particularly as it is not possible to observe these sessions. Despite the language barrier staff made me feel welcome and included in the sessions. The opportunity to have a 1:1 dialogue with Hanna around a real issue generated an understanding of the style of therapy used to work with parents. Hanna sharing stories, drawings and experiences of working with other families also helped to clarify this aspect of the process. Having access to various articles and books also helped with my understanding of the theories and philosophies underpinning the approach. I thoroughly enjoyed the many opportunities to have thought provoking and insightful discussions with Hanna and other staff members.
Observing the passion and commitment of staff and particularly Hanna to the process was inspirational. Every opportunity was always taken to maximize any potential benefits for the family and to ensure that my training was as comprehensive as possible. Observing the transformation that the family and particularly the father went through was a very heart-warming experience and seeing first-hand the potential to change the trajectory of a child’s development was a genuine highlight.
Staff created a very warm, nurturing and supportive environment at the center. This was evident in both their verbal and non-verbal interactions with each other and the family. During team meetings staff were respectful of each other, taking time to listen to each other’s perspectives. In order for the schedule to run smoothly staff were always punctual and diligent with taking on their assigned roles and responsibilities. All staff members demonstrated excellent communication skills. Staff were dedicated and committed and showed genuine joy in sharing the families transformation.
The main conclusion is that appropriate intervention at the critical stage in brain development (under 2 years) can prevent autism from developing or escalating. Work conducted at Mifne has demonstrated that it is possible to detect early signs of Autism within the first twelve months. In Australia children are typically not diagnosed with Autism until they are already three or four years old which already limits the potential benefits of any early intervention. In order for early intervention to be more effective in Australia, children need to be diagnosed and treated at a younger age. The Mifne approach also highlights the benefits of an intensive, holistic approach to therapy that incorporates in depth work with the entire family.
The Mifne Center is an inspirational place and I am grateful for the opportunity to have visited. It was an amazing journey both professionally and personally and I would like to thank everyone at the Center.
My Training at The Mifne Center in Israel
Author: Eva Major – Trainee from Hungary, 2015
Organization: Cseperedő Foundation
Position: Special Education Teacher and Psychologist
First of all, I am really happy that I had the opportunity to do the first stage of the Mifne Training for international professionals; I came home with enthusiasm and with a new point of view how to do treatment for children with autism at a very young age. Besides my study I enjoyed being in the Mifne Center, all the members of the Mifne staff were very friendly and helpful, I liked the atmosphere that I experienced there.
On the first week I was learning about the theoretical background of the Mifne Method. At the beginning I was a bit disappointed that there won’t be any families on the first week, but I realized I could also learn a lot from watching videos of therapies that were taken place in the Center and from the conversations I had with Hanna, Giora, Einat, Anat and Irit analyzing the videos and talking about the theoretical background of the Method. There was a family with a sibling of a child with autism who had treatment in the Center before, it was really interesting to see the mother-second child relationship and bonding and how it works out if there is already a child with autism in the family. I was also involved in the preparation part, I helped
I was excited when I heard that a Hungarian speaking family would come. On the first few days Hanna didn’t pay a lot attention to her parents and to the therapists but as the first week was over it could be seen that she became more conscious of her environment, she began crying when her parents left the room, she was running to her mother when she came back to the room, Hanna gave her mother a kiss. She could make a distinction between the therapists; with the new therapist she was more moderate. It was also interesting to see that she was more attentive when hearing Hungarian songs. During the treatment she began using more syllables. Hanna is a clever girl and I think she could figure out a lot what others were telling her from the context. Her eating and sleeping habits have also changed, her playing repertoire became wider and she had much more interactions with her parents and the therapists. I also had a chance to see Emma when she was in treatment with Veronica, I could see she was not very interested in being in interactions with others.
Although the method that we use at my workplace is said to be family- centered, but now I have a different point of view of a real family- centered method, when all the family members are involved in the treatment. For me it was a new experience and I realized how important it is to see the whole environment with all its members and the dynamics within the family and helping them how to interact with a child who has social, communicational and bonding problems.
During the training I found out that I have a lot of preconceptions and prejudices without asking the parents themselves about their child, about the way how they see their child and about the situations in which they were involved in.
I also experienced that I don’t use the toys as many ways as they could be used and I need to be much more creative while working with children with autism to teach the children a lot of ways playing with the same toy.
I am happy that I had a chance to be on a weekly follow up meeting where I could hear the experiences of the parents and the therapist about the treatment and I could see how the therapists were giving feedback to the parents. It might have been interesting to see a feedback session after one of the treatments with a parent.
At last, I would like to thank you this EXPERIENCE, I really feel that I came home with a new pair of glasses and hope I will have a chance to meet younger children with autism at my workplace and I will be able to export what I have learned at the Mifne Center.