Nurturing Growth: A Journey of Connection and Healing – John J. McGee

Gentle Teaching has always been at the heart of our approach, recognizing that who we are is deeply rooted in our personality, upbringing, life story, and culture. Each individual’s unique journey shapes their past, influences their present, and foreshadows their future moral development. In the spirit of Gentle Teaching, John J. McGee shares profound insights on the transformative power of relationships in the healing process.

John emphasizes that the key to healing a broken heart lies in our relationships and connectedness with others. Rather than viewing behaviors as consequence-driven, he advocates for understanding them as relationship-driven. Creating a safe and loving environment is the foundation for facilitating healing, starting with the individual’s capacity to feel secure within a circle of friends.

Acknowledging that fear and deep-seated hatred may be significant hurdles, John offers a compassionate approach. Caregivers, he suggests, can initiate the healing process by gently entering the individual’s space for brief encounters throughout the day. This gradual approach communicates a fundamental message: we are here not to burden, but to offer our presence momentarily. The process begins with physical proximity, followed by a quick farewell, and then a gradual increase in the duration of these interactions.

In the face of profound challenges, caregivers persistently show that they do not demand anything from the person but their momentary presence. The objective is clear—to teach that the caregiver’s presence is not a demand, but a source of comfort. Through these early encounters, marked by patience and understanding, individuals start to experience a shift. Moments of waiting for the caregiver’s return become an indication that connection and closeness are desired.

The crux of this transformative process is entering the person’s space on their terms, respecting their boundaries, and avoiding the imposition of external demands. John emphasizes the importance of recognizing that the central aspect of all learning is the acceptance and longing for human contact. As the initial brief encounters evolve into longer periods of connectedness, individuals gradually learn that the mere presence of caregivers is a positive and comforting force.

In essence, Gentle Teaching teaches us to approach healing with patience, understanding, and a commitment to building connections based on mutual respect. John J. McGee’s insights remind us that fostering growth and healing is a journey, one that begins with acknowledging and respecting the unique stories and spaces of each individual.


John J. McGee