Sibylle Janert, MA
Autism Therapist For Children and Families
Sibylle Janert’s Approach to Autism and the Human Mind
I have been interested in the human mind and mental pain, as well as how the mind can heal from emotional wounds, provided we can find the right kind of therapeutic and feelingful support from another genuinely interested person, since I was a teenager and experienced my own struggles of growing up, mental pain and feeling lost, and that of close-by family members. Later I became fascinated by very early mental processes and autistic states of mind as well as the familiar human experience of feeling confused, stuck or trapped. How does one get out of such painful states of mind? This is how I see it:
Human beings are born for relationships. A human baby on its own is not viable: ‚There is no such thing as a baby‘. A human baby needs the relationship with a caring (m)other to survive and to build his/her mind. The human mind is built through relationships and interactive experiences with other people and the world, hence: MindBuilders!
The human brain is born to wire up to the body. It is a dynamic system designed to re-organise and improve. It is constantly growing and changing with new experiences. This is called brain plasticity. The human brain is not a machine, that is either fixed or broken/defective. It can re-wire itself, kinaesthetically, through movement and feelingful relationships. Every brain can! That’s why movement activities are so crucial for children.
I am a London based psychologist and have been working with families, children and autism for over 30 years using a therapeutic approach that has feelings and emotional states of mind at its centre, with a focus on emotional relationships and communication in the family. My approach is influenced by the helpful work of many other practitioners including DIRFloortime, Waldon Approach, psychodynamic psychotherapy, form drawing and music therapy.
In response to parents asking for more personalised support with their children’s behaviour at home, I developed a unique approach combining Autism Home Consultations, Video Interaction Guidance and Reflective Review Meetings with parents as the most comprehensive approach to supporting families with a child with developmental issues, autism or autistic-like behaviours: MindBuilders’ Home Consultation Programme.
I also run workshops, activity sessions, training and study groups for parents and/or professionals on DIR* Floortime, PLAY Activities and Techniques, Functional Learning Waldon Method, and Treasure Basket sessions, – some of these also as online courses, or in different parts of the UK, in Germany, India, Bangladesh, …
I am the author of several books and other therapeutic materials, including ‚Reaching the young autistic child‘, ‚Autism in the Family‘ which is a picture book to encourage parents to talk about their child and the issues they face (co-authored with Merete Hawkins et Sheila Coates). My most recent book is also a picture book that embraces the child with autism as a child with needs like any other for ordinary family life: ‚MindBuilders‘ Play Manual: Playing with Babies – Playing in the Family – Playing and Autism‘. It is full of illustrations and packed with practical ideas.
If you would like to know more, have a look at my books and my websites: www.mindbuilders-consulting.org