Maria Aarts

S03E03 Part 2 of The Aarts and Science of Marte Meo with Maria Aarts


Maria Aarts is in Australia for the first time in 6 years and joins us for part two of a two part series to discuss the Marte Meo Approach. In part two, Maria outlines the scope of Marte Meo in a variety of settings, her love of cooking, life with 13 siblings and an introduction to Italia Parletta and how Marte Meo is a way of life.

Maria Aarts is in Australia for the first time in 6 years and joins us for part two of a two-part series to discuss the Marte Meo Approach. In part two, Maria outlines the scope of Marte Meo in a variety of settings, her love of cooking, life with 13 siblings and an introduction to Italia Parletta and how Marte Meo is a way of life. 

A special thank you to Licensed Marte Meo Supervisor Italia Parletta for organising the interview. For those interested in Marte Meo training in Adelaide, please contact Italia at 

Some resources were discussed in the episode and have been listed below:

Marte Meo International

Inaugural Words Matter Conference

Ayres’ Sensory Integration Approach

Please like, subscribe and if you have 30 seconds add a comment. If you have any questions you’d like answered, please send a question to the integration station at or at 


[00:00:00] Michael: In the second part of this series, we explore the wide ranging scope of Martimeo, when is a country ready for Martimeo, how growing up with 13 siblings led to Maria being Maria, and hear from Adelaide based Martimeo licensed supervisor, Italia Parletta.

Obviously, you started with a younger population, and starting working with autistic children, but you mentioned before that you have now You mentioned about, um, hospitals using Marta O’Meara approaches and, and even working with elderly clients. Can you tell me a bit about how that approach can go across the lifespan?

Because I think that’s Isn’t it to be able to have an approach and how to

[00:00:40] Maria: build good interaction moms is everywhere. You can use it for salesmen. People use it as a, uh, uh, to deal with teams. And so, but most interesting was I was first from six to 12 years old children. Yes. Okay. But then I thought we should have parents.

I was the director of a daycare center, Therapeutical daycare center. And then. The parents talked about how he was as a baby. He was different as a baby, but everybody said no, it will be fine. Then they discovered he had hearing problems and whatever. Or he was an early born baby. He was very long isolated from us and I felt insecure about my parenting.

Uh, we always said there was something, but nobody wanted to believe it and so on. proper help. And then they started to blame us and whatever. I thought we should go much earlier. So from the six to 12, I first went back because also in the deprived areas, I saw that the parents don’t know how to bring up the children.

So we had a child have very aggressive, uh, breaking the windows in school and so, and hitting others and refusing to do things. But when I saw then the two and the four years old at home, because we worked immediately with the parents and in the school and in the therapy center that was very new in Holland.

Then I thought when we don’t work with the two and four years old, they go to be our clients. So I said to the government, I can’t wait. I must do something in the home. Even when you don’t pay us for that, I can’t, it breaks my heart when I see when I could now advise the parents about them, the two and four years old, how you can build in structure in your communication, how to train the child in.

models instead of correcting the whole time and shouting and using words and bad words and so then, um, then, then we should have so much better chance. So I did that first. Then I started to work with school children. to see the school situations. So we worked with the school, the children of our special schools and brought them back to normal schools again.

That was very new in Holland. So I needed to convince the train, the teachers there to take back that child. They said, Oh no, we were so happy that he was gone. And I say, but I have a job. I worked one year. on him, eh, with our team to help him to develop school readiness skill. Please take him back a few days.

You don’t need to say yes. When you still, eh, say no, maybe you work too much with this kind of children that you are already happy, but for a normal school, it’s not good enough. So, And I started to do that, to work together with the normal schools. And then, in the beginning, I had about, uh, I shall say, six from the ten who could stay.

And from the four, I asked detail them what disturbs them. So, I wanted to know exactly expect in a normal school system. And then I got better and better until I had nine from the ten who could stay, then I was happy with it. So I could help them, teachers, and then I started to advise some teachers there from children who should be placed but were on the waiting list.

Many of these children could stay. So I thought, ah, I should work with teachers and with schools. Then I thought, every time I’m now writing a book, Eyeopener, and I described that process that I didn’t have an organization plan. I just saw, Ooh, when you work with these children, you should start earlier.

Our parent said, he was a baby who cried so much, so should I have a look? What kind of children are that? They’re very sensitive children. They drive parents crazy. You’re going to do things you should not do, but it happens you want to. get them quiet. And then I started to work with the babies. What’s up with these babies?

Because I analyzed all this good functioning parent, uh, baby relationships really a lot in the eighties. So I knew what to look for. Ah, so that’s the point. So I did it myself hundred times. I need to do it. I’m a practical person. Then I started to train health nurses. So at once the health nurses were in, in the system.

So then at health nurses, then you got to, when you have children with special needs, they get physiotherapy at a good therapist, all this kind of thing. So we started to train them, but it was from the elderly care. I was working in Skövde, that’s in Sweden, and then, uh, I did for child protection care, and I gave the people advice.

So I always worked from 10 to 4, and then I was there, and then one lady, Pia, asked me, could you stay afterwards to look at a clip? But they always like to do afterwards in another country to hang a little bit around and shop shopping. So I said, can’t you bring it in the group? Everybody could profit from it.

Or is it just a special case? And then she said, no, I don’t dare to do it because it’s my mother who developed dementia. And I use what you say here. Yeah, on developmental support. I use for my mother. Okay, and it works well, but you are so good in looking What exactly could do because it’s of course different as with children and how long ago was this?

24 years ago. Wow. Okay, and then and then I could not say no. I don’t look at your mama. Yeah And then I was lost when I saw the film, because people with dementia are losing models, eh, and they go backwards in development. But with the same support as you normally, eh, should be invited in interaction. We could, uh, we could keep in an interaction with them.

They can’t keep the interaction going anymore. I have a film, and then I show how Eda, the little three months old with Papa, how they build an interaction. And it is a welcoming face, inviting tones, and then give space so that Eda can come in with tones, and then Papa repeats the tones, and then Eda looks like, hmm, they hear me.

Exactly the same. I have the nine seconds film of an elderly care home, who is a Magdemeo International Competence Centre. And then nine seconds film. Then I tell to the audience, all of you first go to look. The nurse is trained in Magdemeo. We go to check if she’s using it. Does all of you look, first look, does she have a welcoming face?

And the whole audience, yeah! Then now we go to listen. Does she say, here is your breakfast? Or does she has inviting tones? With the lady who is locked up in herself, dementia, then she has inviting tones, hey, they say. So they know it’s also a superficient and an, uh, Analyzing model and then we say now we go to look, a lady with dementia needs some more time to come in.

Does she give now space? She waits and the lady looks and she gives a hand. And then because she is trained to follow initiatives, she gives a hand and then you see a beaming face of the person with dementia and saying, I still can interact. It, I’m still important. I still exist. I’m not alone in the world.

Isn’t that lovely? Yeah, that’s

[00:07:57] Michael: amazing. And as you goes back to that, that, uh, sense of concept, that self concept, regardless of what the age I am, I am worthy. I’m a person that’s worth interaction. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s amazing.

[00:08:09] Maria: And that way you train so clearly all the people who work with the elderly care and even the relatives we train, we call it again, the circle of love.

And the health insurance in Germany. Pays it that when you still live at home, all the people around you, your wife or partner, your children, the grandchildren, the neighbors, your sisters, brothers can join in and get a training. First, the basic, what are the support of communication elements to communicate with somebody with dementia, and then they make their own little films of two minutes and can bring it in.

Look here, we have trouble to let him do what he need to be doing with brushing his teeth or whatever. From here, he’s locked. up. How could I get in contact again? And they get very specific advice about their own situation. And then the whole group, the Circle of Love is with them. I get so many beautiful mails.

They say it was so good that the last period of my father’s life, we were trained in this and we were successful. Because it’s very hard that you don’t know anymore what to do, you go to blame others. You say, you are always on the phone, and you don’t stay long, and you never, uh, come, and I needed to do everything.

And then Papa dies, and Mama died already, and then you lose your family relationships. And they said, now we always say Even the things we have learned there, we use for our grandchildren. And now we say, Marta Mayo, waiting, giving space. Yeah, yeah.

Now already we try out in Europe how to use my basic information and to build it in, in university. in training for nurses, in training for daycare workers. So they integrate my Martimeo information in the basic education of people that you don’t, you work already there and then at once you learn Martimeo.

And people love it, they love to, they love to learn it because also the young students say, Oh, I use it a lot in my own relationships, or how to find a girl and how to keep her.

[00:10:15] Michael: Multi, multi use. And I guess as you said that The point is that because you’re using daily observations and daily interactions and trying to find moments from that.

It’s useful all the time. And the language is designed to be lay term, so it’s easy to understand and easy to pass on, pass on that knowledge. Again, you mentioned, I’m just thinking back to, you know, dementia, um, and I know a lot of occupational therapists It’s what we work in a lot of fields, but they

[00:10:42] Maria: should love my film, how I showed

[00:10:44] Michael: it.

Yeah. Yeah. Um, we, we as a sensory based OTs or sensory integration OT spent a lot of time working in the, you know, there are OTs that work in dementia wards that look at sensory rich environments to really try and provide a, uh, a space that supports those with, with dementia or with, um, cognitive decline.

To reconnect with the

[00:11:10] Maria: sensory world. And then we know when a baby doesn’t know it yet, the same support, the communication we can use. That’s so beautiful. I showed them the ADA, even when there are 7, 000 people, I say, now we go to do a little examination if you listen carefully. And not for nothing here, I travel totally.

And then the whole audience. Okay. Now we go to listen. Everybody’s saying, Oh, I know, but it gives the people hope. Oh, when you have a structure. In the way you observe, eh, you learn from each observation. You learn something. And I had the luxury to, uh, do it 40 years. Yeah, eh, that detailed analysis and to do it in so many cultures, so many professional groups.

I learned so much from all the professions. Can you imagine when you should make a film and I should show it to your team? There are still opportunities to build something or to help. people to integrate the knowledge to think I can do that by linking up and by detailed guidance and by, by giving words to things that you see a change, how to name it, say, I see you move over here to anything I’m that kind of person.

When you only say good boy, I think I don’t know what I did, but you are satisfied. Yeah. That kind of things. Then you experience immediately when I work with other professional groups, they show me the things and they get ideas and I follow their initiatives of ideas. So and then I said, ah, you would like to know filament and then I show something and so you develop together.

So I never developed a program for other professional groups, uh, myself, but just in connection with the people who know everything about it. I don’t know enough from your profession. But you know, you say, Maria, could we use Martimeo combined with this, what we are already successful in? So it’s

[00:12:56] Michael: quite adaptable for that reason.

So it’s safer. I’m doing a particular approach, say a psychologist, speech therapist, whatever you can do your therapy, but you’re adding in. The Mata Mera approach to promote or to increase the interactions and to increase the

[00:13:13] Maria: quality of interaction. So improve the quality of interaction. And it’s always so good in the film, you see immediately the effect, you think, and everybody in the team.

I can think, Oh, how good we are. So it gives a lot of positive energy when you have something new to look at and you can share it in easy language with each other. So you get more positive language in your team and you get more, you can be proud because you recognize better when I should film you, you should recognize a lot of, uh, recognize a lot of things.

Say, Oh, I didn’t know I was so patient in such a moment. I thought I should be too quick. And then you say, Oh, I’m that kind of

[00:13:51] Michael: person. It’s lovely. Yeah. Replay back that.

Why do you think that some countries have been able to adopt it a lot more than other countries? Because from, from my perspective, as an, as a central integration therapist, I know we had a chat before there were some like Australia is not as well known for central integration therapies may say some other countries are, and some of that has come down to the level of training that’s required.

Um, universities haven’t always taken up the central integration approach. Um, but why, why do you think that some countries have? Be more.

[00:14:35] Maria: First of all, I always follow the initiatives. When, when, um, countries are ready for it, they ask me. I never go when they don’t ask me. Sure. I always say, and then when I have an international conference, people come and say, oh, could you bring it to, and then I discuss it with them. Now they ask me for the approval.

I think it’s a little bit different. So, ooh, but somebody from Japan is training expert families in Munich. And, uh, I followed her. So she’s very good as a psychologist to study. And she said, Oh, my. Parents still live in Osaka and other people I know in Tokyo. Could you do that? And then I know how to do steps to a new country.

First, a few online, looking if people are ready for it. Otherwise I let them a little bit. And then to see you always have innovators also in Australia. KU Children’s Services in Sydney has done very well. Universities have done. TAFE has joined in. Um, uh, infant mental health care. Aim High does that? Uh, Sally, Sally and so, and so people take initiatives.

They invited me in Australia to come to Australia. And then I look, I follow initiatives and it grows as quick as it grows. We had now a little bit difficulty because four years I was not here, nearly five. because of COVID. And then my sister developed dementia. And I needed to take care for her. So I needed but now she died.

And so in October, so now I have time again, because it’s far away, I could not be four to six weeks away from her. So now I have time again. And now I go to brush them up, to think, Hey, who was, where was, we reorganize it again. So I always, it’s like with normal development. You just look, what have they done in between, where did they lose it?

Um, so I’m not so, I’m, I’m impressed about Australia and then I think, uh, some Australian people because they love Martin Meurs so much because it’s a copy of the nature. And you are so well connected to nature and even with the aboriginal culture, they loved it. So there are all kind of projects everywhere, uh, who have done it.

So I go to see the people I ever trained and they come to masterclasses. So I go to have a look. How far are you? What are you doing? Why is it not so well known what we do in, in, uh, with Matameo in Australia? So, oh. I’m always, it goes as quick as it goes, like development of our children. And I just follow their initiatives, developmental initiatives of organizations.

And then I go to think, Hey, why is it not on TV here yet? Why is it not? But now you took a good initiative to make a podcast so we can record that. More people can listen to it. They know it could be combined with this. You know about it. So I just do what I can do and for the rest now.

[00:17:35] Michael: Yeah. So you’ve, you’ve traveled to a lot of different countries over your time.

Is there, is there a country that stands out or a culture that stands out? It sounds like the Aboriginal culture is something that you have certainly, um, really reveled in or enjoyed the way that the Aboriginal people.

[00:17:51] Maria: I shall tell you something. We had a boomerang project. Okay. And, um, I supervised two people there and I was there too.

And in Darwin and in, um, uh, I don’t know anymore. But I was in two different places and also on the Gold Coast and so on. Where the people live. And then I worked together with an Aboriginal lady. And then with, um, with another lady. I supervise them and they connected me to people, aboriginal people, also have daycare workers, psychologists.

So I presented Magdameo. The parents loved it. And when we ended the program, they said something beautifully. They said, Magdameo, start where our people are and not where you want to have them. And that gave a kind of respect. And also when you just. Push them. You must be here, but you are here. Secondly, Martin Mill asked our people, our families, what would you like to develop?

So instead of now when you shoot and your children and then one Papa said, I would like to have a better emotional connection with my son. When you can just show the papa the moments that the child tries, his son tries to give a smile, you can say to the papa, when you could smile at that moment back, you have one more emotional connection moment, more.

And because there were also some people in that group who couldn’t read or write, but because Magdameo’s so simple language, everybody could understand. Because we film families, we only give advice what fits to their question and fits to the level where they are. And practically, look this, you could, you could do that.

Then the people started to do it and felt competent. And they are very, uh, strong, uh, proud people, very good. And then they could see, they said, we love it so much, we solved our own problems. We are able to do so. I was, I was very proud when they said that to me at the end of the project, because that’s exactly how I want Mac De Meur to be.


[00:19:55] Michael: and it’s the It sounds, it’s again, there are a lot of parallels with our sensory integration approach about that, that just right challenge, finding the just right level and finding that flow and finding that ability to go, okay, I’m not pitching it too high or too low. It’s, it’s. In the moment at that level that works for that, that family, that, that, that young person.

And that’s

[00:20:16] Maria: based on in following initiatives. When you have a better eye for small initiatives, a child is doing something. I mean, you could comment that by saying, ah, I see you do that with you. And it force you, nature is clever, to stay where they are. And then you can think what could be the next step.

And that you must have in your back head. Otherwise, sure, sure. You need that. The child is with you because think, Oh, I did that already. Well, when a child is doing something, you say something else. You think, Oh, I never can do it. I don’t dare to do it. Oh, and then you, on your energy, the child must do it.

But when you look at, and that’s nice for this video. Um, How good are you trained in seeing initiatives? One of the brain researchers in Germany, he has written 23 books, very successful bestsellers. And he is many times on stage with me and he loves it. What’s his name? Professor Gerald Hüther. Oh,

[00:21:14] Michael: that’s pronounced nicely.


[00:21:17] Maria: Hutter. Hutter. I can send it to you. Sure. Thank you. And, um, and then he explains why that works like that. Eh? Why is, why is it working like that? Like I said, that he showed that you make an expectation models in your brain. And when the initiative is there, I always say the energy stream is there.

Yeah. Eh? Because it’s connected to that. And he said. Maria, do you know what you do to the people why it works so well? Problems, everybody can see they are big enough. But what you do is train them to see opportunities. And then you must have a structured way to train your eyes. That’s what I do.

[00:22:05] Michael: Completely off the topic. The, um, The food of the different countries you’ve been to, right? So we had Tim Tams before, cause that’s very Australian tradition. But, but are there, are there particular places where? You say, yeah, I’m definitely going to training there because I love the food so much. I definitely have to go back

[00:22:24] Maria: there.

No, I don’t go back for the food. I have a lot to do. Of

[00:22:29] Michael: course. I know you’re not going back. Oh, you love cooking as well.

[00:22:32] Maria: I love cooking. I relax with cooking and baking and, um, the people are so kind always to give me books from recipes from, I have so many from. Ireland from Norway. I have cookbook from every and like now they tried to train me to make pavlovas.

Oh joy and a sister down and make beautiful pavlovas. So it said now tomorrow we have a dinner. They invited me for dinner. I say, no, I must learn it myself because I’m not good in big. I Don’t understand how they keep them so well. Have you said maybe something with my oven? Always you give to me, but maybe I do it too, whatever.

So you think that, Oh, this food I love, I love cooking. I love eating. I love healthy food. I love that. This. Straight food, how do you say, regional? Yes. All this kind of things you in Australia are also busy with. So, so that’s, uh, it inspires me to cook different and to integrate it in the Dutch meals. But Holland had, has already a lot of.

Indonesian food, of course. Yeah. So many Indonesian people came to our, uh, country. Yes. Because it was occupied. Occupied, yes.

[00:23:46] Michael: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s a history. Part of the history. It’s

[00:23:49] Maria: part of the history. Yeah, of course. We all have our history. Yes. That we don’t need to be proud of. But they brought a lot of new food in.

So that’s why in that areas we have that kind of food. And I love to try out all kind of food. So I’m very curious what I could Pick up in Japan,

[00:24:05] Michael: Japanese or Japanese.

[00:24:06] Maria: It should be good. I love that. I love that. Yeah.

[00:24:10] Michael: Um, as. Growing up as a young person. So you said you had quite a, quite a big family. Was that?


[00:24:17] Maria: children. Wow. 14. Catholic family. Catholic. Oh that, yeah. Catholic family. And my father and mother. That was the first thing I thought. How my father had a construction building company. Yeah. My mother never studied for pedagogue or psychologist. How did they know to bring up 14 children so well? We had so much space.

To, uh, develop our own personality, uh, how did we, how did it work out all so well? When you look at my brothers, they do very, I am in between six brothers in the row. I’m number eight. How they, they developed special things. They got famous in something. They’re intelligent. They’re socially well developed.

Then I think, how did we learn that? How did mama know that? But in my new book. Eye opener. I write a few quotes, what I always use in presentations, how my mother said such beautiful things. My mother said, uh, something like after the three first ones, her babies, she gave up the dreams how we should be. And that was much easier.

[00:25:23] Michael: I’ve got that many. I just It’s whatever it’s

[00:25:26] Maria: going to be number eight. The only thing staring at people was a little bit special, and she was so good in linking up the children with each other. So she helped us to understand that happiness is sent from heaven in a package, one for you. But when you are able to enjoy the happiness from your brother, your sister, your neighbor, your friend, there is enough happiness available in life.

And so that kind of clever things my mother said. So there are so many. Teenagers, about all kinds of things. And then I go to use your quotes. Well, they use a lot in training where people say, Hey, your mother should say about teenagers this. And then I think, Hey, and like at the KU children’s services, I trained at 12 supervisors and they wrote for me a little book with kudos quotes.

I sat in the training always use my new book. It’s

[00:26:20] Michael: easy to make books. A whole bunch of Maria’s, Maria’s quotes. I guess my question is, you know, growing up in, in a household of that many people, that was not, I mean, particularly in say Catholic family, that was not, I guess, not uncommon to have that many children.

And so nowadays, like, you know, I have my wife and I have one son and we, I would say we find it hard to, to, to raise him at the best of times, but, but is it, is it the, the social structures. From many years ago having that many people around children grandparents parents often living in the same household So you’ve always got that as you said that circle of love that connection consistently Is it is it just that it’s different now that you know, it might be a couple of A parent or a sole parent and a child, is, is that, is that social difference?

I think

[00:27:14] Maria: it’s, I think it was not so complicated life as it is now. Okay. Uh, children were not, not used what you do and what they say in school you do. You don’t have all kind of, there was all kind of behavior problems because maybe you were not trained that the world is not. Uh, turning around you, uh, you could be, of course, lucky to have clever parents.

My father and mother were both very clever people. My mama said I was so lucky that they all were so intelligent and social, so doing so well. If we were born like that. And, uh, so. We were lucky because you also had big families where the parents were not so good, and then you have a disaster, of course.

It’s not that all big families you learn automatically very good things. But, like I said, my mother was such a wise, common sense parent, so she, she helped us in a very practical way to deal with each other, to support each other. My father said, everybody shall think they have 14 children, they must share clothes, attention, and so, eh, all, room and bed, everything, eh?

And then my papa said, but when we support each other, we are unbeatable. So when I worked together with my two sisters, and I always say my papa died already then, and he should be so proud that we managed together to work together so well, supporting each other and respecting that everybody is different.

I think you learn to deal with very different personalities, and my mama was good in highlighting differences. So, I have to say, I

[00:28:48] Michael: don’t know. So there’s the modern day approach right there!

[00:28:50] Maria: Exactly! I just got it from my mom. And when you, when you get social information and you don’t pick it up, I always say, you should tell the children, ah, look, Frederik, look, he’s waiting for the whole time.

Or look, he looks, he would love, eh, or look, he got a little bit nervous about that. Not force that you are social, but lifting up social information that you don’t pick up immediately by highlighting it with words. And you always see when you do that more. When you do it with a new baby, and when you say, Oh, look, when you think, Oh, why is he crying so much, another child, you can say, Oh, look, he can’t talk like you.

You could say, Mom, I need something to eat. He can’t speak yet. So he does cry. If that is a move, that’s the only way to tell I’m hungry. And then you, you approach totally different, the crying baby. Something like that. And I, I’m so lucky to have filmed so many good functioning families. When you should film your family, you should see how many beautiful moments down there.


[00:29:52] Michael: think I need to feel more beautiful moments. Although, you know, I do reflect back on, and it’s, it’s, it’s interesting you say that, when I’m having a tough day or I’m just, you know, I will often look back at a video of, of, of my son and just, and that just brings you joy to bring you, ground you back to what are the What are the things in life that are important, I guess, and the things that bring you joy and children.

[00:30:14] Maria: Absolutely. And then we should include the initiative of children a lot. So following initiatives is very important. So in India, they learned me something because they didn’t have so much professionals. And then they said, Maria, we know it should be one by one, but we don’t have enough professionals. And we.

Even usually in villages, only the mama was learned it and she transferred it to other mamas with children with a disability and learning, uh, uh, language development problems. So one mama is teaching what is naming. Naming is important. There is an initiative. We give words. And that mama did it so beautifully and they filmed it for me.

And the mama said, okay, all your children need support in language development. I learned it from a program, from Holland. And now I go to teach you. And that lady was so good. Ten mommas at the same moment. And then they said, what is your child doing? Picking up the car. What can you say? Car. Very good. Next momma.

And she’s just strange. What, what is your child doing? What words could you give? What was your child? He looked at the bird. What can you say? Bird. Yeah. Language development. And they said to me. He does, you say. And when in Europe, the people, professionals who talk too much and make it too difficult, said, oh, I tried to transfer to the mama what is naming, but it’s already three times, and she didn’t get it, and she’s doing other things, or she has questions, said, then they always said, now we go to the Indian model.

He does. You say, what does he do? What can you say? And the next day, next year, they said, Maria, we’re going to help you again. I love that so much that everybody helps. We go to help you again. What’s leading? So it’s following and leading. Leading is You say, he does. Okay. Right. Yeah. And then I’m so impressed.

I learned so much and that I go to describe in that book how much I learned from all these people who came in with new ideas about my basic information. So no, he does. You say is following. You say he does. It’s leading.

[00:32:19] Michael: It’s amazing. And I guess it’s, as you said, it’s the simple language is so important.

So as a, so going back to your childhood a bit, did you, Obviously there wasn’t, uh, TV or anything around when you, when you were growing. That’s also, yeah. Yeah, yeah. But, but, so you obviously had, did you have like a favorite toy or favorite game or things

[00:32:37] Maria: that you used? All kinds. Yeah. And a lot of movement, a lot of playing outside.

But I was a girl in between six boys, so I also got a lot of tasks to take care for the girls. Sure. Eh? In 90, um, I was born 1950. Mm. So in that time, also my parents still thought we had eight boys, six girls. The girls marry a husband from a good family, marry a husband who has a good job. Even my elder sisters needed to stop working when they married, it was still in the law.

So they had a totally different idea. So I was also trained to be handy and trained to help the boys. My mama even said, uh, when you must be careful to look what the boys Put their clothes for sports and so when they don’t know it, you know where they are. I thought it was very normal. So now I’m still looking at boys.

My husband many times said, Oh Maria, there are no boys anymore. Because you keep that habit. So I was more trained in that to take care and to cook and to. But in a way it was like that. It wasn’t that generation like that. Yeah.

[00:33:42] Michael: Very, obviously very, very different time. So, so what do you do now for, for, for fun, for, for enjoyment or cooking,

[00:33:50] Maria: swimming, hanging out with my sisters.

We, they all live very close in Eindhoven, the South of the Netherlands. We have good family relationships. So I love music. I love singing. I love. Selecting some music. Not Spotify is so fantastic. Oh

[00:34:09] Michael: yeah, streaming

[00:34:11] Maria: services streaming services, sharing that with other people, being inspired by other people hanging around.

I like the most when I come home that I just. Can hang out and then look when my energy start to stream again. People say, how can you keep so much energy? And so, but I know very well how to put the energy and then I just hang on the sofa and so until whoops pop up and I get a new idea. I always get a lot of ideas what I would like to do.

Then I work for a while and when I feel that’s enough, I go to lay on the sofa again. Or I go to take for a walk or a swim. So I’m also good in relaxing and I’m lucky that I sleep well, of course. You could think when you have 52 countries, but I don’t, I keep everything simple. I describe also in my new book, the organization, I keep it simple.

Macht de Meo means on one’s own strength and that’s seriously meant. So I don’t. I don’t do much. I’m now in Australia. I do masterclasses. I do big conferences. I spoke here a lot for early childhood Australia on big conferences nationwide. And that I do, but the rest, everybody does do everything themselves.

I don’t have a secretary. I don’t have a team. I don’t have anybody because they’re for them. You must stay home. I don’t want that. I organize everything simple. So I, people just keep doing it. I look for a moment. People know on one’s own strengths, they’re seriously meant. Don’t want to know it. And, and

[00:35:41] Michael: you obviously live your life.

Bye. Your mother principles. Thanks. Your own strength. They’re going to be able to take control. And so exactly.

[00:35:48] Maria: Yeah. And then also the people and they see what they need to connect people with each other. People help each other in countries, um, like now in May, also the people from Australia come to the masterclass for license supervisors.

Like, um, like, um, Italian licensed supervisor Joy, Sally, so that licensed supervisors here in Australia, they come and then they meet all the other English speaking countries. They get a master class on certain items. So I can check. The quality, they bring in information. I see, Oh, they need a little bit more of that.

I connect them with somebody who is doing very well in the foster care. Then I say, Oh, it would be good that you work together with Ireland. And then I connect Ireland. So mostly I always think there must be something done better, not me. Yeah.

[00:36:38] Michael: Who can do it? Well, as you said, like your, your leg, what your legacy is.

Is, is, um, you know, to, to be able to have as many people being able to provide to that service or the, the, the principles and being able to do it the same quality and, and doing it every day in everyday life. And, um,

[00:36:58] Maria: And people help me every, Oh, I meet so many nice people. Yeah. There are now, uh, 54, 000 people who have a certificate to use with the mail.

Yeah. So that’s good. And that’s just growing and like with the learning sets, I build it in a structure, how to train other people. You always start with following and connecting and everybody can use my learning sets to train others. Then you go to the second learning sets about leading. Then the third is about play skills and school readiness skills, four, five, six, and then, uh, And language development, um, resilience.

And they train the people who use Biome. We call it practitioners. Mm-Hmm. with this six learning sets prep. And then I know for sure everybody gets the same information thing. Yeah. And I guess that’s, and then I made 14 books. So from all profess there’s no, they can use it. There’s a lot of information. A lot of information, information.

But then that way I kept a little bit more, uh, control about the quality, how people transfer information. Sure. So that’s all. I, I always think it’s sent from heaven, because I don’t know why at once out of heaven falls the idea to call that the golden gift. To help people to realize that there are so many opportunities in daily life to give a golden gift to a child.

And the child will profit from that golden gift his whole life. I just fell out of heaven, I think, that’s it. Do you know why, when you have so many, uh, people who joined in, you must have somebody everybody can handle. Even parents, when they heard about me and I visit the daycare, then some parents come and they wrap a little present from me in a golden gift, a golden wrap, uh, paper.

And then they give it to me and then they say, we would like you, because you developed this program and we profit so much from it, a golden gift to you. And I think how beautiful is that? So that’s a common thing when you have such a big network that everybody has the feeling I can join in.

[00:38:54] Michael: So, yeah, I’ve got, um, one, one final thing I always ask anybody that, that, that comes on, um, the interview and I might get, uh, also Italia to come in and have a quick chat about Martimeo in Adelaide, but, um, would you prefer to see the future or go back in time?

[00:39:13] Maria: Um, I don’t think about that. I think it’s crazy idea because you can’t go in the future. You can’t go

[00:39:19] Michael: back in time. Let’s just say there was a machine that allowed you. Obviously you live in the present and Marta Mayo is very about in the moment, in the present, doing things. Absolutely. So I can understand

[00:39:28] Maria: that.

But to do the whole process again should also be difficult. Yeah. How keep you the courage and the energy to keep going in the beginning when I started. Sure. Not everybody was thinking, hey, parents, they’re not professionals, how to involve them. Don’t disturb our systems. What is she doing? So it was not immediately hoorah, hoorah.

When I speak now on a big conference, everybody’s saying, oh, that’s that lady who has such a clever, analyzing, detailed and natural developmental support. Port and use that as a model to reactivate developmental process. Everybody speaks to me. Oh, can I have a minute? But not in the beginning. Mm-Hmm. . So I don’t know.

I am, when I look back to myself. Yeah. I think how brave I was. Where did I get the energy and the focus that I just thought that this practice, when I started to work with babies who cry a lot, I did it when I was a director. Of the big organization. And then I just did it extra to my work because the parents said that.

And then the health nurses said, oh, we have cry babies. And then I went to work with that. But then people tried to put that motivation down. They said, Maria, you are running such a bill. Big thing. You innovate to use care. You do something so new. So everybody is also looking. What are you doing? Don’t you make a mistake?

Can we not blame you? Can we put you down everything? How? What do you think? When you can help extra three crybabies in a year, why? And then I said, when I help one crybaby, and that baby stopped crying, they have a totally bit better future. I expect Opinions. When I give parents advice, how it makes their life lighter, that that take I, that’s in as a beautiful result.

And each baby I helped. I learned better. What is exactly the point with these very sensitive babies? What. Else, what other parental skills must you develop to help such a baby to select the best things inside your body instead of, uh, but when they ever have a good tone, ha, ha, that you say, ha, ha, and that you see the baby saying, oh yeah, that feels better.

Something like that. And then when I’ve, in my fingers, I must learn everything practically. Then I have done so many successfully. Then I ask the health nurses, would you like to be trained in my program to use it? So I, that, but. So many people tried to put, ah, and then I thought when it works here in the south of the Netherlands, why should it not work in Amsterdam?

And then when I was in Amsterdam and I thought why should it not work in Oslo? Why not? So, and I always waited for initiatives. When I was in Israel at the University of Jerusalem, I showed them in videos. We still had VAS. And then I showed them what I found out. It was, of course, not so good as now, but they were very impressed.

And there were two professors from Norway and from Oslo and Bergen. And they said, Maria, can you bring it to Norway? So all people ask, how do you get all these countries? They invite me and I never go when they don’t invite me because then people are not ready for it. You must go to talk and you lose a lot of energy.

They must have seen me, they must build up a network for me there. And then I come to give the information to the network that when I saw it last, uh, last Monday. And Monday, the 200 people here, they were totally ready for it. We want it.

[00:42:56] Michael: Well, it’s, then it sounds like you don’t need a time machine because you look back on the past and see how that’s impacting your future.

And I have an idea where I want to go to. Yeah, exactly. So you don’t need a time

[00:43:04] Maria: machine. You must now do the legacy. So I know very well what to do. First you need to develop it, then you must make books about it. Now I made the learning set. It’s even more easily. Yeah. Yeah. To help people to learn to look in a structured way into daily interaction moments.

And then I must, uh, work with legacy. So I’m busy with that.

[00:43:32] Michael: Just before Maria and I were talking about, um, the Martimeo approach in Australia. And she mentioned Italia. Um, Italia is a registered trainer here in, in the Martimeo approach. Um, and she’s just going to have a quick chat. Um, For those that don’t know, Atalia is also my, my auntie, but that’s, that’s beside the point.

But, um, she has known Maria for about 16 years, I believe. And when Maria came over, um, she was invited over here and did some training with, with TAFE. And, and maybe you can tell a little bit about. How you got onto the Martimeo Approach, Italia, and how it’s helped you, not only professionally, but in terms of how you’ve been able to train others within, within Australia to the Martimeo Approach.

[00:44:19] Italia: Okay. Well, yes, we met 16 years ago, some time ago now. Um. And we initially met in Adelaide. In Adelaide, yes. We did, that’s right, um, because you came out and you did a presentation. Um, and I originally heard from Marta, about Marta Mayo from, um,

[00:44:46] Maria: Clara. Oh yeah, from Germany. From Germany, from Dusseldorf. Yeah.


[00:44:50] Italia: was here for early childhood conference, um, uh, with the, uh, Department of Education. Um, and she presented. About what she was doing in Germany with the early childhood people, and I was interested and I thought, hmm. And what was different about her presentation was

[00:45:08] Maria: about using video. Yeah. And she said,

[00:45:10] Italia: Oh, Italia.

And I was with Robin at that time. And they, she said, come and have a look at what we’re doing in Germany. And Robin said, I think you might be interested. So we went to have a look, and she talked about this Martimeo approach. It was about how to work on children’s strengths. Yeah. Um, and that’s how it started.

Yeah. And so from there, then Maria was invited to Adelaide. Um, and I did the training. I first of all did the practitioner training and then I came to Sydney. And did the supervisor, and from that I became licensed supervisor, so I’m one of the licensed supervisors in South Australia. So, um, have I answered your question?

[00:45:59] Michael: Yeah, absolutely. That was the beginning. That was the start of the journey. So as a licensed supervisor, um, you’re Mata Mea approach. Is that something you do across Australia or have you been able to do in South Australia predominantly? Yeah,

[00:46:14] Maria: largely in

[00:46:14] Italia: South Australia. Um, And I’ve been doing, I’ve offered it through TAFE, I also do it as a, um, as a consultant, uh, as part of my business, I run Martimeo training, so at the different levels, there’s this practitioner level, um, and then there’s the colleague and therapist level, and there’s supervisor level, which is, uh, the other level as well.

So I offer all the different levels, um, and, uh, I’ve been running them largely for early childhood people, however, Uh, within that, that work, um, uh, in early childhood services, preschools, schools, um, but other people from, um, other professions like, um, OTs, um, social workers, speech therapists, um, counsellors, um, you know, a whole range of different professions are attracted to using the approach because essentially it’s about working on People’s strengths and looking at what people can do and how when you strengthen that it helps them to become Achieve their and Maria talks about having a goldmine.

We’ve all got a goldmine your or your your internal system, which we might talk about in terms of our how we regulate ourselves and It’s really a effective program for Recognising what you can do and how. What you do in your everyday

[00:47:47] Maria: life. I was so lucky to see the work in TAFE, because they always check, of course, the quality everywhere in the countries.

So you invited me and I saw all your students and they brought in films because seeing is believing. They can say, Oh, they did it so well. And there I saw how they used in their own professionals, Martimeo. And then I know. how good teacher you are and supervisor.

[00:48:11] Italia: Thank you. Yeah. And I thank you. And I think that’s one of the things that Martin May has given me as well is to recognize that when you see little tiny moments, um, that some of my students who work in early childhood, um, What it brings to the children and what it brings to the educators too, because they also build their internal strength and they start to see themselves as professionals and start to see themselves as competent and capable.

And then they pass that on to their children.

[00:48:44] Michael: I guess there’s nothing, nothing better for a person’s well being or their own self concept if they can see. Yeah, what I’m doing is making a difference to someone else and I’m, I’m highlighting that. Um, and that’s, that’s amazing for someone’s, you know, mental health as well.

Um, so. Um, coming into, obviously coming into Martimeo, it changed the way you did things. When I talked to Maria before, it sounds like Martimeo is how she lives her life. And it’s having been doing it for so many years, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s more, it’s almost sounds as opposed to an approach, it’s almost, it almost is a way of life.

It’s a way to live your life and a way to, to uplift those around you and to, to be so, so involved in it. Um, Is that something that you’ve, you’ve found as well as doing it for as many years as you’ve done it now? Um, is that something that you find?

[00:49:46] Italia: It’s interesting because I see, I always, um, uh, look for people’s strengths. So while the training that I do has largely been with early childhood, um, the early childhood sector of which multidisciplinary professional people are part of, um, I see it applying to how I work as an educator with students, so I always look for their strengths.

I look for what they can do, and then that helps them to excel, okay, so that when they need to then work with others, and they need to lead, they know precisely which aspects to build upon. So then it becomes like a, um, um, a catalyst. It becomes a catalyst for, if you treat. People with respect. Yeah.

Recognise that they, uh, Um, a whole person with an inner strength, then that enables them to be their best

[00:50:46] Maria: selves.

[00:50:47] Michael: Everybody has their own, everyone has their own internal goldmine by the sounds of it. Absolutely. You’ve just

[00:50:51] Italia: got to find a way. That’s, yes. And so that’s the terminology Maria talks about, having, we’ve all born with a goldmine, a goldmine that then we want to build and, um, expand so that it’s, it’s let the gold come up.

Yeah. And

[00:51:07] Maria: shine. I think that’s really important. The nature is so clever. Yeah. All, on all spontaneous initiative, there is an energy stream behind it. And that’s why then people would like to develop. Because you help them to realize what they can do and you help them to realize what they could give on extra support.

Yes. Very concrete. This child should need in this moment that. Could you give it to her? When they know then exactly, like you say, what they can do and see on film. I could do it and what an effect and so people are never not motivated because you see in the film how successful they are. I think

[00:51:42] Italia: that’s the other really critical um, aspect that uh, Marta Mayo and the model that Maria presents is that it’s video based.

Yeah. So it’s not just about Um, talking about it. It’s about doing it. Yeah. Um, and that’s what I like about it. Is that it uses, it uses concrete everyday

[00:52:05] Maria: language. And then

[00:52:08] Italia: when you do the training, you develop some of the language. And I like people to, to, uh, relate it to their, whichever professional field you come from.

Okay, you make the link. You use the Matamau language. And it’s simple every day and then you practice what you learn and then you video

[00:52:31] Maria: yourself doing it. Exactly.

[00:52:33] Italia: And the critical part is then you review it. So when you come back and we look at it together and I look at it together, um, we will look for those moments.

We look for the moments where If it’s a play situation, for example, with children, you would look for where the children start to, if they have initiative, how does the educator, if it’s educator, how does that progress?

[00:52:59] Maria: Okay, then

[00:53:00] Italia: you, you look for tiny moments, sometimes just 30 seconds is plenty. In the first five seconds sometimes, it’s beautiful to see, uh, the, the, the, uh, win.

The child does something

[00:53:16] Maria: and then,

[00:53:16] Italia: uh, the educator, how they respond, what it brings to the child. Yeah, exactly. And I’m just going to now give you a practical example.

[00:53:26] Maria: Yeah, sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I recently watched, um, a new mother

[00:53:32] Italia: with a baby that was two

[00:53:35] Maria: days old. Ooh. A baby

[00:53:38] Italia: are two days old and the baby when they’re born, you know, they are, as we know, they have that automatic sucking reflex.

Yeah. And this baby was just learning how to move and manipulate its mouth around the nipple. Yeah. Of the mother. Yeah. And the baby was crying. And we’re just making these little, uh, uh, sounds after the father had changed the nappy. And then the father just naturally hands the baby to the mother, cradles him in the mum’s breast, and you watch this little baby who’s going, uh, uh, opens its mouth around the nipple, and immediately starts to

[00:54:26] Maria: suck.

Stops crying, sucks, and then in

[00:54:30] Italia: that moment, the

[00:54:33] Maria: mum says, Oh, here you are. Hello. And in a second,

[00:54:40] Italia: the baby opens his eyes and he looks up at her. With big

[00:54:46] Maria: eyes. And he

[00:54:46] Italia: just looks and takes in every moment. I was thinking,

[00:54:51] Maria: oh, that’s my mum. And she’s looking at him with love in her eyes. And he receives that.

And that lasts a lifetime. Yeah. And that’s true. And all the things you learn in the early, especially four months, you take as a model for all your basic emotional relationships with your partner and so, so that’s why I always say. Couple problems, mostly developmental problems. There’s lots of things you have learned in very early life.

How to stay with your daughter, how to trust that somebody is there. When you look, instead of being away, they’re just there.

[00:55:31] Michael: I guess every time you work with a child, you’re working with a family. That’s exactly right. It’s a family centered approach. I guess, so for anybody that’s, that is interested in Marta Mayo, Anybody listening to this podcast goes, gosh, that sounds right up my alley, right?

Exactly the sort of things that I’d be interested in. How do they get in to train in the Martimeo approach? Or how, within Adelaide specifically, how does that, how does that happen? And where

[00:55:56] Maria: could they go? I think we should mention the, the Martimeo website. Absolutely. And

[00:56:03] Michael: then I’ll put it, I’ll link it in the show

[00:56:04] Maria: notes.

Yeah. And then in the show notes, you must write down the names from, from, uh, Italia. from joy and from Sally. And then they can refer again to supervisors, other supervisors or colleague trainers. And that not a whole network at one starter yet, but you know how to divide this and that people know where our trainings and so on.

And in the On the website they can look at a lot of international information and on the websites because the website and on the learning sets because the learning sets are available people can use them online for parents for training themselves so they are family sets also that people can see how can I use it to bring up a baby and then you would like to share it.

Some people share it with their daughter who’s pregnant and look together. Oh, is that what babies all can do? And I love that. They’re lovely. Yeah.

[00:57:02] Italia: I think, um, also what’s really I like about the Martimeo approach is that it’s, and you may have spoken about this before, but it has application in a whole.

range of different

[00:57:14] Maria: professions.

[00:57:16] Michael: Yes, yeah, absolutely. And, and from what I’m hearing, across a lifespan as well. Oh yes, yes, yes. Which is, you know, anything that, any, any approach or, as I say, sounds more like a way of life, that, that, that allows it to be used On the variety of people, variety of cultures across a lifespan is transferable.

So that’s a goldmine in itself. So, um, that is, um, that is, that’s quite impressive. So, um, yes. Thank you, Talia, for just giving us a bit of insight about your, your background and Adelaide and, uh, a very, very special thanks to, to you as well, Maria, for, for coming in today. And I hope you like the OTFC, OTFC plus facilities here and the sensory integration approach.

Um, um, hopefully you have a bit more information about it, but as I said, Throughout our talk, I could see a lot of parallels into how we work with, with young people and how the Mado and Mayo approach could also compliment the sort of things that we do too. So, um, thank you for coming on and I hope you enjoy your sunny Adelaide now the rain’s gone.


[00:58:19] Maria: enjoy the rest of the time here. It was my pleasure. And it was also a good start that I first heard something about your approach and you showed me the way you work and that we then could start with the exchange. So then it’s for me interesting too. Fantastic. Well,

[00:58:32] Michael: great. Thanks now. All the best.

Thank you very much and thanks Talia as well. Okay, thank you. Thank you so much for listening and for your continued support. Please subscribe to the Integration Station on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and feel free to give us a short review if you have 30 seconds. If you have any questions you’d like discussed, Dino and I hope to have a Q& A episode in the future.

So please send any questions to the integration station, email podcast at otfc. com. au or via the OTFC website, otfcgroup. com. au forward slash podcasts. And we’ll try and answer them on an episode. And as always, shout out to you, Fletch. Until next time, it’s goodbye from me.

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