Gentle Sleep Coach certification and training
In January 2015, I completed my Gentle Sleep Coach training and certification which consisted of a four month interactive, online program with 80+ hours of training content as well as an Advanced Mentorship Program.
GSC Program Summary
The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coach training and certification program available. The program involves over 80 hours of training with a faculty panel that includes 2 medical doctors, a psychologist, an attorney, lactation counselor, postpartum doulas and a family therapist. Each coach must pass an exam and participate in case supervision with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “the Sleep Lady”) who has been helping tired parents for over 17 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach. Some of my training topics included:
- Basic counseling and child development
- Sleep science and behavioral modification techniques to help parents of children age 0 to 6 years old.
- Secure attachment theory
- Support for the breastfeeding mother
The training also consisted of lectures from top specialists, including:
- Postpartum Depression from Dr Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression
- Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children led by Dr Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Center
- GURD and Sleep led by Dr Anthony Loizides, pediatric gastroentrologist.
4/5 month program
The GSC Program also includes an exclusive advanced training series directly centered around how to gently work with babies 4 and 5 months of age. This program which I have also completed consists of over 40 hours of instruction and mentorship.
Some of the curriculum training topics include:
- In depth knowledge of the delicate nature of infants under 6 months of age and how to consider all elements of their well-being.
- Current evidence based guidelines and instruction on how to evaluate the 4-6 month old child and family and determine if the child is ready for sleep coaching.
- Gentle sleep solutions and strategies that are effective and developmentally appropriate for the younger baby.
This specialty training is designed to give coaches the knowledge, education and all the tools and resources they need to successfully work with families of babies 4-6 months of age in a safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate manner.
Infant mental health training
Community Training Institute at The Hospital For Sick Kids
This 15 part training program aims to raise awareness and understanding of the needs of infants and toddlers in order to promote healthy social emotional development in the early years and reduce the likelihood of poor mental and physical health outcomes in the later years.
Goals of the Infant Mental Health training include:
- Understanding of just how critical early mental health is for a child, a community, and society at large;
- Understanding of risk and protective factors that contribute to early mental health and development;
- Promotion of infant mental health practices within a community agency that can be shared with families and other community agencies;
- Integration of practices that focus on the prevention of infant mental health trauma;
- Embedding of screening practices to identify when a child may be experiencing poor mental health in the first three years of life; and
- Integration of interventions that can be provided to a child who is experiencing poor mental health or at risk of experiencing poor mental health within the community.
Association of Professional Sleep Consultants
APSC: Supporting sleep consulting professionals worldwide
The APSC is an organization dedicated to supporting Professional Sleep Consultants who serve adults, pregnant women, families, children, infants, and teens by promoting and upholding the highest level of excellence and industry standards for professional sleep consulting throughout the world.