Feeling safe is vital in Gentle Teaching; it means that the person starts to feel unafraid of our presence. Feeling loved embodies the characteristics of feeling safe, but with a deeper sense of feeling safe. It creates an urge for the person to be with us, to come to us, and to want to stay with us. It can involve reaching out to us or seeking a hug from us. It is seen in a smile, a warm gaze, walking happily toward us, accepting and giving an embrace, and a host of other indicators.
It is important to recognize that old memories cannot be immediately eradicated; it is our hope to help the person evolve new memories starting with the feeling of being safe and loved. It is only when one feels both safe and loved that the individual may begin to express love toward the broader caregiving community and become engaged more fully in the outside community. These purposes are essential in all moral development and are the core of our human interdependence and connectedness with others. One’s focus must center on who the person is becoming, not what we might want to get rid of.
As part of a culture of gentleness, COR has developed a flexible, person-centred approach and a quick-to-respond management model that recognizes the depth of each person’s past experiences and the wounds and scars that these have left on the hearts and souls of those served. COR places a significant emphasis on the education and mentoring of its caregivers, as well as celebrating and sharing each person’s talents and gifts.