Who can benefit from gentle teaching

Gentle teaching is often seen as an approach especially for people with an intellectual disability and severe behavior problems. This maybe because in the early years of gentle teaching the emphasis was on the need of these people for a more humane support.

We know that most behavior problems are caused by feelings of insecurity or fear. Due to the domineering approach of these people, this fear will rather increase than decrease.

The effect of gentle teaching on people who are labeled as behavior problems is that the relationship  between them and the caregivers improve and that they will feel better. Usually this will result in decrease of the behavior problems, but not always. Changing the behaviors is not the goal of gentle teaching. The central goals of gentle teaching is to help the person feel safe and loved in warm relationships with others.


Experiences show that – even if the behavior of the person doesn’t change – the relationship does improve and caregivers enjoy their work more. The old negative image of the behavior lost its meaning.

Actually gentle teaching is suitable for everybody. Is may not be a cure for all wounds, but it is an approach many people can benefit from. For whom would it be good to feel criticized or rejected or for which caregivers  would it be nice to be irritated by the behaviors of people they serve.


Gentle teaching assumes that for everybody it’s important to engaged in safe and loving relationships. In these relationships you don’t have to fight with the other, but you can guide him in a loving way through the difficult moments in life.

This goes for people with an intellectual disability, people with a mental illness, people with dementia, children, etc. Gentle teaching is for all people who feel marginalized or are at risk of becoming marginalized.