Dirk Bryssinck (BEL)
Entering into dialogue with vulnerable people in Villa Voortman.
Dirk Bryssinck has been working as a clinical psychologist/psychoanalyst since 1986 in the Psychiatric Center Sleidinge where he has founded departments for people with psychotic difficulties and people with double diagnosis problems.
Since 2011 he founded a community-based meeting house in Ghent for dual diagnosis.
Karel De Corte (BEL)
Closing time - how to connect with people with Down's Syndrome?
Karel De Corte graduated at University Ghent (Belgium) as a master in orthopedagogics and has been affiliated with Den Dries since 1991, a center in Evergem that supports adults with an intellectual disability. Den Dries is since more than 25 years involved in the international Gentle Teaching community.
He also provides freelance education and training on Gentle Teaching, the citizenship paradigm and has developeg expertise about the singularity and vulnerabilities of people with Down’s syndrome.
In 2010 he published his first book “Eerst vasthouden, dan loslaten” and in 2016 the book “Maak me niet Down” was born.
In 2020 the English version “Don’t let me Down” will be published.
Michael A. Vincent (USA)
Inspiring gentleness: the face of Gentle Teaching and how we create new memories.
After a 23-year career with the U.S. Army, Michael entered human services in 1987 as a senior trainer for a large agency serving individuals with intellectual disabilities in southeast Michigan.
His new job coincided with the beginnings of Gentle Teaching at that agency. In 1988 and 1989 he was a member of the team that developed the first curriculum on Gentle Teaching for care givers.
He has contributed directly or as a supervisor to the training of nearly 50,000 individuals in the fundamentals of Gentle Teaching. Over the years Michael worked frequently with John McGee and co-facilitated dozens of practica designed to nurture Gentle Teaching mentors.
Michael has given major presentations at 16 annual conferences of Gentle Teaching International, primarily on the topic of training.
In 2003 he was named Director of Training, a position he held until his retirement in 2012.
For the past 7 years Michael has continued to travel internationally, conducting trainings and conferences on Gentle Teaching.
Prof. Dr. Claudia Claes (BEL)
Relationship and Quality of Life, intuition or evidence on outcomes?
Prof. Dr. Geert Van Hove (BEL)
Reflecting on a neo-liberal interpretation of the concept of ‘empowerment’ and its possible damaging effect on pedagogical relations with persons with the label of ‘intellectual disability’ and their network.
Prof. Dr. Jos van Loon (NL)
Methodically working with persons with intellectual disabilities - the importance of a good living climate, underpinned by Gentle Teaching.
Jos van Loon is a visiting professor at the Ghent University, Department of Special Needs Education, and member of E-Qual at the Ghent University College.
From 1979 on he worked as an orthopedagogue in an institution for people with intellectual disabilities.
In 1989 Jos followed a course on Gentle Teaching with John McGee in Canada, and brought this to the Netherlands and Belgium.
Later on he became a member of the management team of Arduin, a service provider in the Netherlands, where he participated in the process of complete deinstitutionalisation of the former institution Vijvervreugd, and reforming the organization into a community-based organization based on the quality of life framework and within the supports paradigm. In this process he came to work with prof. dr. Robert Schalock, prof. dr. Geert Van Hove, and prof. dr. Claudia Claes on quality of life – related topics.
With this group they developed a measurement tool for assessing quality of life: the Personal Outcomes Scale (POS).
Prof. Dr. Paul Verhaeghe (BEL)
Why gentle teaching is more needed than ever. Madness and civilization (Foucault) revisited.

Prof. Dr. Peer van der Helm (NL)
Relatedness for disadvantaged children in the classroom.
Peer van der Helm (PhD) is a psychologist and a professor of residential youth care at Leiden, University of Applied Sciences and research director of Fier, the Dutch National Centre of protection of under-age children against prostitution and sexual abuse.
The main focus of his research is a focus on positive development for disadvantaged children in our society by means of improvement of the contextual environment (the living-group- and classroom climate and the home climate).
Prof. Dr. Rudi Roose (BEL)
If it’s not gentle, it’s no teaching! About loyalty, voice and exit.
Rudi Roose is affiliated as a professor of Social Work to the Department of Social Work & Social Pedagogy at Ghent University.
His research interest concerns the development of socially just practices in managerial contexts.
Dr. Toni Start (USA)
Mindful Listening and the Art of Intuition.
Toni met John McGee, one of the founders of Gentle Teaching, in 1993 and has been learning about and involved with Gentle Teaching ever since.
From that very beginning, she embraced it and made Gentle Teaching the foundation of her professional and caregiving practices.
From 1999-2009 she worked in the vocational and psychology departments at Macomb Oakland Regional Center (MORC) where she was able to hone her Gentle Teaching skills in many ways.
In 2008, she earned her doctorate in psychology from The Michigan School of Psychology where John was on her board for her dissertation entitled, “Practicing Unconditional Love: The Experience of Applying Gentle Teaching Principles with Individuals Diagnosed with Developmental Disorders.”
Over the past 9 years, Toni has created an outpatient private practice in Grand Haven where she and 12 other psychotherapists help persons and families in the communities.
Gentle Teaching is the groundwork of how she is with people and families, how she mentors the psychotherapists, how she creates the physical space of the practice, and how the energy feels within the group.


A.A.J. ‘Ton’ Millenaar (NL)
Synchronicity related with Gentle Teaching.

Arnout Verkaemer (BEL)
4 Keys to a good Connection.

Associação QE (POR)
Project Methodology and the Development of Competences in People with IDD.

Aušra Drevininkaitienė, Kristina Danieliūtė & Urtė Stasiulytė (LT)
Children Occupation in Kaunas District Day Centre (Lithuania).

Bert De Baere, Sofie De Vogelaere & Wendy Puyenbroeck [Den Dries] (BEL)
A great teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart… and so he doesn’t use Powerpoint.

Bilal Lezeare & Simone Schipper (NL)
Anxious, the Sequel: the Battle in and for the Memory.

Brynja Vignisdóttir (IS)
Gentle Teaching Everywhere.

Charles W. Woodard (USA)
Effective Gentle Teachers Build Relationships.

Ciska Wittouck (BEL)
A Humane Approach of Persons with Mental Illness who offended.

Connie L. Jones (CAN)
The GT Generation: What It meant to grow up in a Family of Gentle Teachers.

Cora van Keulen, Bjorn Scheffler, Rick Beets & Marije Hendrix (NL)
Agressie doet mij (n)iets.

Cora van Keulen, Bjorn Scheffler, Rick Beets & Marije Hendrix (NL)
Agression does (not do) Something to Me.

Debbie Truschel en Thea de Wildt (NL)
Ik zie Jou. Gentle Teaching in de praktijk.

Debbie Truschel, Desiree Martius & Simone Schipper (NL)
How to overcome Toxic Beliefs… Schema Therapy within a GT Framework.

Delphine Levrouw (BEL)
The Development of a Positive Living Climate in Residential Youth Care.

Dr. Anthony M. McCrovitz with Mara D. Hawks (USA)
The Relation in Support and Care: in the Direction of Gentle Teaching.

Dr. Sylvia Fernandez (PR)
Lessons learned from Two Years as Dr. John McGees Assistant in Puerto Rico.

Dr. Sylvia M. Fernandez (PR)
Gentle Teaching: A Philosophy of Life for a Culture of Peace – My Chapter on this Book and how Gentle Teaching has impacted my Life for good!.

Gerda Van Olmen, Joke De Smet & Toon Boghaert [Den Dries] (BEL)
Gentle Teaching en begrenzing: een praktijkverhaal

Goedele De Swaef (BEL)
Ervaringen met Gentle Teaching in School: If There is no Safety, There is no Learning.

Health Care Professionals Council UK | Council of Social Workers Romania (UK/ROM)
Assistance Program for People in Needs in Romania.

Humanitarian and Cultural Association NARNIA Romania (ROM)
SPIRAL Concept in Personal and Organizational Development.

Ingeborg Van Gansbeke [Den Dries] (BEL)
Bodemloosheid: hulpverleningsrelatie onder de druk

Jacq Hesemans & Melissa Maijenburg (NL)
Musical Bath

Karel De Vos (BEL)
The Wild Boy from Aveyron, Fernand Deligny and the Interconnection between Images, Arrangements and Dead Ends.

Karel Schoonjans (BEL)
Een Dynamisch Natuurlijke Aanpak als Weg naar Relationeel Krediet.

Krejčí Lucie Mgr. (CZ)
1st GT Aid in Tloskov (Czech Republic).

Lien Claes (BEL)
Longing to Belonging. Spaces of (Non-)Belonging in the Life Trajectories of People with Intellectual Disabilities and Additional Mental Health Problems.

Linsey de Vries (NL)
But Who is going to Support Me Tomorrow?

Maria Carlsen & Mette Hovaldt Jacobsen (DK)
How Gentle Teaching inspires our Way to Welcome new Colleagues to be the Best Caregivers.

Masako Iwasaki, Anthony A.J. Millenaar & Nobuko Fujii (JP)
The Implementation of Gentle Teaching in Japan.

Mette Egede (DK)
The Language of the Heart is Universal.

Mr. Brendan Maguire (UK)
Relationships matter most.

Nanda de Knegt, Simone Schipper & Floris van de Kamer (NL)
An Effect Study on Gentle Teaching.

Niels Bonnerup (DK)
Expectations of Love and Feeling Safe – The Learning Dimension of Gentle Teaching.

Pancho Azevedo, Ana Saraiva & Luciana Pinto (POR)
Building Hope and Good Memories.

Sheldon Schwitek (CAN)
Person Centered Planning in a Culture of Gentleness.

Sødisbakke (DK)
Nights good Relations are Crucial around the Clock.

Tim Jones, M.A. – Saskatchewan Alternative Initiatives (CAN)
Gentle Teaching – A Grassroots Perspective.

Yvonne Haenen, Margreet ter Horst, Manon Wieringa, BertJan van Herwaarden, Sandra Vierwind & Marlette Bink (NL)
Inspiratie voor een Gentle Teaching Training op Basis van een Praktijkvraag en Filmbeelden van een Team.