How our training is helping change the world. 


At Connections in Mind, our work is based around the core belief that if people understand their brains better they can be kinder to themselves and those around them.  For us, our work training professionals is fundamental to our mission to change the world by educating people about executive functioning. We know from experience that working with people to support their executive function skills development can be an intricate process – it can be emotionally draining work, requiring high levels of self reflection, flexible practice and rapport-building. Our work is certainly not for everyone – but for those who are good at it, it can be the most rewarding work in the world. Let me tell you a bit more about what you can expect from Connections in Mind’s professional training courses. 


Our Philosophy of Learning

We fully subscribe to the notion that learning is an ongoing and individual process.  We believe in the power of learning facilitation rather than teaching, so at Level 1 (of 4) for all our courses, we engage a hybrid self-study and live online group training approach.  We work with small groups (max 15 – 20) allowing time for discussion, brainstorming, collaboration, skills practice and case study analysis. All of our training is designed to be as neuro-inclusive as possible, the reason for which is twofold: We like to practice what we preach and how we like to coach ourselves, and many of our delegates are neurodivergent themselves. Delegates can approach the self-study component at their own pace. Each video module is short with an accompanying transcript, and we have an easy-to-follow, step-by-step 100 page plus handbook. Delegates find the live sessions to be rich in peer-based learning, facilitated by skilled practitioners including university lecturers, seasoned executive function coaches and psychologists. For Level 2 training and higher, the learning is based on practical experience, supported by professional supervision. Delegates can bring challenges to their supervisor for advice and self-reflection involved in gathering evidence for the standards. The training is designed to scaffold best practice, and support continued professional development working towards mastery. 


Neuroscience and Professional Skills

All of our training starts with the core knowledge-based modules in neuroplasticity, learning, executive functioning and individual differences. This neuroscience-based learning sets us apart from other training to support neurodivergent people, and provides a solid evidence base for further learning and use in sessions with learners or clients. 


We also take our professional skills very seriously. In the core coach training, this is learning about coaching skills such as questioning, reflective listening and paraphrasing. In all of our training programmes, we focus on communication with stakeholders – reflecting on how we can include key supporters in the journey of skills development. For the SEN training programme, this theme develops into how to roll out a whole school approach. In the coach training for psychologists programme, we dive more into our own unconscious bias, unpack  the differences between coaching and therapy, and discuss coaching as an adjacent support option in one’s supportive toolkit.  


Our three step approach

The common thread of our three step approach – Connect | Collaborate | Support – runs through all the training we offer at Connections in Mind, and we always start and build from the Connect stage. 

Connection is about building trusting relationships with people in our care, understanding their challenges, linking them to executive functioning, and deploying the skill of empathy to help them co-regulate and get ready to learn and develop new habits. 


Next is Collaboration.  In line with our philosophy mentioned above, we strongly believe in the power of facilitation over telling or teaching. We see our roles as guiding the people in our care. We work tirelessly to help them find strategies which really work for them, and fit them into their lives. 


Finally comes Support. It is something of an community mantra at Connections in Mind that change doesn’t happen overnight, but develops over 60 iterations of a task. Only then will the neural pathway be myelinated (embedded in a fatty layer of insulation) and a new habit become automatic.  For us, it is essential that professionals keep on supporting the process of change long after the novelty has worn off, so that the new habits can be secured for the long term. 


Professional standards

It is this support premise which runs firmly into the way we support our professionals.  Joining our Level 1 Course, delegates will be equipped with everything they need to get started, however mastery will only come after years of practice. Our professional standards grids, with up to 22 separate professional standards, have been expertly and carefully designed to scaffold our trainees through 4 levels of professional development from Core Skills to Master. Our accreditation process offers just enough support to guide professionals through the process, all the time improving their service to the people in their care. We are currently working with other executive function experts globally to set up an independent awarding body to accredit our training, but until this international body is established, our training quality remains world class and is highly regarded in the industry. Our courses are regularly sold out well ahead of the application deadline, with international delegates from a range of professional backgrounds including big corporations, top schools, universities and private practitioners.


The power to change the world

I wholeheartedly believe that our professional training has the potential to change the world.  We have already trained thousands of professionals in our approach and they are out there, in the world, helping people to reach their full potential. The people they work with understand themselves better, can be kinder to themselves and work sustainably towards their personal goals.  Only last week I co-hosted a training for an international school with two SENCOs who attended one of our first professional trainings in 2017.  Their knowledge, dedication to our approach and practical real life examples of how learner’s lives have been transformed blew me away.  I was quite emotional afterwards, to see the impact of our work in the long term.  If you too would like to develop your professional skills by adding an executive function based qualification to your CV then please do take a look at our courses.  We would love to see you there. 


We are very happy to share our professional standards with anyone who might be interested to learn more. Please download them below. 


If you are interested in learning more about our training,  please click on the links below for further information.