FEATURE: INTERVIEW WITH MY MENTOR MAR DE CARLO
Mar De Carlo is the founder of The International Maternity and Parenting Institute, the organisation from which I received my education and child sleep certification. She has written “The Baby Planner: A Guide to Becoming a Baby Planner and Starting Your Own Business and most recently launched her new book Awakening Through Sleep: A Transformational and Spiritual Guide to Pregnancy, Adult and Child Sleep.
I am privileged to have been taught and mentored by such a leader in the field of child sleep and will carry this knowledge throughout my career as I work with many families in need of restoring balance in their lives with regards to sleep, wellbeing and routine.
It was Mar’s holistic and integrative approach to sleep that attracted me to this course. I feel that her interest and expertise in the fields of pregnancy, sleep, yoga, nutrition and wellbeing offers a unique angle to solving a whole range of sleep issues. The most important lesson I have learnt through my mentoring with Mar is to remain curious and to dig deep into the bigger picture. A sleep issue doesn’t just affect or arise from one person. It affects the whole family and before we look for solutions it is important to understand all the factors that contribute to any given situation. This will involve assessing not just immediate family members, but extended family, daycare, temperament, views on sleep, lifestyle, support structure, environment and nutrition. The list is endless in terms of what can affect a situation and having gone through this learning process with the IMPI, I feel very well equipped to tackle most issues by asking the right questions. I also have developed the tools through this course to understand when it is appropriate and necessary to suggest referring out to those with more specialised knowledge.
Before this course, when I was a new mother with my first child, I viewed my child’s sleep in complete isolation without understanding the many factors that influence it. I was simply thinking about the quickest way to fix the problem but now I understand the importance of taking time and analysing every angle, which even involves looking as far back as pregnancy and the birth itself. By asking all of these questions, and understanding the family and the baby in as much detail as possible, I feel confident with my approach and the route to progression.
It really has been such a great experience not only learning from Mar, but also finding the confidence to launch my own business as a result. I was lucky enough to be able to interview Mar and ask her some questions that I know will be useful for those taking her course or thinking of doing so. It is also valuable for clients to really understand the process that Mar’s graduates go through, including myself, to feel confident with the support that will be provided.
In what ways do you feel that your certification program sets your students up for success in the world of professional sleep consulting?
There are a few ways in which this program sets our students up for success. Firstly, we ensure that our participants not only receive all of the theoretical information out there regarding sleep but in addition to everything we teach, we include a practical component. This means that our students are applying everything that they are learning in every module, thinking things through; it is not just memorisation and retaining information. The way we set them up for success is that our students need to work through each module and we have assignments for that. This is component one of the course.
In addition to this, the second component allows us to go through various case studies where all our students are taught the structure of how to work with each client that comes our way and how to prioritise information. They are taught how to understand what questions to start with and how to put together an action plan.
We also mentor our students with the business portion and assist with advice on websites and marketing so that our students have the confidence to go out there and apply their knowledge. A lot of our students have gone to be big successes and have made a name for themselves in various areas, which is amazing to see. We also have weekly support calls so that graduates continue to have additional support, as well as the facebook group where they can exchange information to ensure that they continue to follow the IMPI holistic approach.
For those who haven’t taken the course, please explain the scope and breadth of knowledge that certified consultants graduating from your program receive?
There is a lot that they receive besides just the knowledge relating to sleep. We cover all areas of sleep including the science, health, psychology, environment and relationships behind sleep. It is so comprehensive because we really understand that so many factors influence sleep and it is not just the study of sleep in itself.
Those who study with is will really understand from every angle of life how sleep affects every area of life and how every area of life affects sleep. As consultants we are educating, investigating, empowering and supporting our clients with a practical and realistic plan to set them up for success and so we teach our consultants how to do this as well. It is also about understanding how to coach and consult. Finally, it is a non-medical profession so we also teach the very clear boundaries of practice that must be applied with each client.
How would you summarise your approach to improving adult, infant and child sleep?
To summarise as simple as possible, we gather information of all areas that are affecting sleep for our clients, i.e physical, emotional, mental, environmental etc. We assist clients in identifying their goals and their progress as so often, clients will be focused solely on the challenge and solution.
We actively listen to them and give them the space to share and think. We introduce achievable steps which are practical and realistic, whilst motivating them the whole way through with no judgement. This is incredibly difficult to summarise as I could talk for over half an hour on this but in essence, this is a summary of my approach.
Our specific method is an adult and child sleep system that combines a holistic way of thinking, intuition and application with science to provide long term balanced solutions. We see sleep as a natural function of the human body that doesn’t need to be taught or trained. It is about finding out and addressing what is interfering with the body’s natural rhythms and inviting a lifestyle for the family that supports sleep.
With so many interests, credentials and businesses, what do you currently find the most interesting and inspiring part of your work?
If I had to really hone in on what I’ve been doing for the last ten years with all my businesses and credentials, it is about empowering others to shine to their best potential. Even though our programs are training others to start their own businesses and be coaches and consultants, in essence I am actually preparing them from the very start to own their business, to be financially independent and believing in them. This is the most inspiring part of my work. I’m actually releasing a few videos very soon on a few graduates that I have worked with from almost ten years ago, looking at where they started and where they are at today.
Having started the process with them, many have gone on to study different areas and they are open to a lot of the credit because they put the work into it. I’m a huge motivator and inspiring person and its hard to be around me and not be energised and excited about what you’re going to do. I really allow them to believe nothing can stop them and invite the vibration of getting what they want. I lead, manage, motivate, and inspire every participant that has come along the way, including the instructors who work with me.
Thanks for taking the time to read more about the course, my mentor Mar and my certification program. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to get in touch.