Visions of Joy - Natural Eyesight Improvement - Vision Education
The School of Optimal Eyesight
Improve your vision and overcome the need for glasses or contacts while avoiding laser surgery

Bates Method Teacher Training

Vision education is a growing field in the area of natural health care.  I am regularly asked where one can go to become a teacher of the Bates Method. 
Although I now provide continuing education workshops for vision teachers who were trained by others, I do not yet provide a complete teacher training program.   Starting in 2020, my colleague Rosemary Gordon and I had plans to team up to provide the best possible Bates Teacher Training course, yet the world situation made us all stay home. Both of us currently have other priorities and we will inform you through a newsletter if/when a teacher training course does get off the ground. If you wish to begin training soon, I recommend that you check out the sites listed below.  If you are interested in my continuing education program, please contact me.

I do have a few basic recommendations for those wanting to become a teacher of the Bates Method:

1.   Improve your own vision.
I think it is important that you improve your own vision to 20/20 or better first.  This ensures that you teach from personal experience, and it provides a good example to follow for your future students. You can learn a lot from books, yet you will learn even more from an experienced Bates teacher.  

There are many good teachers who are not yet at 20/20 acuity but whose personal vision improvement experience allows them to teach others to get to clear vision, so it is not essential to get to 20/20 before you begin to teach the method, but I think you should aim for it.  Your students are likely to watch and copy your vision habits, so provide them with your example of mastery of relaxed vision habits. In addition you will likely attract more students; same as a master in any other trade is more likely to be chosen by a prospective student than someone who has not yet mastered his trade.

Some students look for a teacher who dealt with eyesight challenges similar to their own, expecting more inspiration and encouragement. That may or may not be a valid point, as everyone's journey to clarity is unique, and having the same issue does not necessarily point to the same path to clarity. I expect the good example from a teacher with clear vision outweighs the benefits from the teacher's personal experience. Dr. Bates himself is a prime example - he never had myopic vision, personally he only overcame presbyopic vision, yet his original specialty was to help people overcome myopia. Margaret Corbett is another excellent teacher example - she had no vision issues herself, she became a teacher to help her husband overcome his serious challenges, then went on to help countless others.

2.   Read all of Dr. Bates' writings.
I highly recommend that you read Dr. Bates' original 1920 book Perfect Sight Without Glasses and, more importantly, the complete collection of Better Eyesight magazines that he published monthly from 1919 to 1930.  You will not find more inspiring material than in these magazines; they will lay a very solid foundation to base your own work on.  

- Dr. Bates' original 1920 Perfect Sight Without Glasses book can be downloaded for free here, or, if you prefer to read from paper, you can even buy an orignal hard copy from me (depending on availability).  
- I also provide the complete unedited collection of Dr. Bates' Better Eyesight magazines in PDF format. This enormous amount of text has been turned into an easily searchable document!  
- I also offer the rare complete collection of Dr. Bates' medical articles, which were published in various prestigious medical journals of his time.

3.   Attend Vision Conferences.
For continued education as well as renewal of your personal inspiration, attend the bi-annual International Holistic Vision Conference and any other Bates Method or Vision Improvement conference you can go to. Through the variety of lectures and workshops, as well as chatting with many colleagues, your knowledge and ability will expand more than you can imagine.

I sincerely believe that your effectiveness as a teacher will be greatly enhanced if you follow this advice.  

I look forward to welcoming you as a colleague!


Current teacher training opportunities:

Vision Training Institute
Classes taught by Jerriann Taber PhD
Eight week course in San Diego, California, USA or by email.

'Better Eyesight Now' Vision Coach Training
Classes taught by Greg Marsh.
Sixteen week course, Ft Collins, Colorado, USA

Ecole de la Vue
Classes taught by Nina Hutchings.
Great Francophone Teacher Training course in the Bates Method (four modules of 6 days) with practical individual teaching experience. This takes place in Paris, France

La Escuela Española Método Bates
Excellent Bates Method teacher training school run by Amelia Salvador, Nina Hutchings and Amelia Jurado. Spain

Bates Method International
Teacher training in London, UK, by Kevin Wooding and Lizzie May

Classes taught by Maurizio Cagnoli in Roma, Italy.

Scuola Bates
Classes taught by Giorgio Ferrari in Milano, Italy


- There is no world-wide standard of Bates teacher training courses, so the quality of training may vary greatly depending on the course you choose.
Get recommendations from people who have studied with the school you intend to go to, and compare various courses before you start.

- If at all possible, choose a course that includes practical sessions on teaching private lessons, because private lessons are much more effective for vision improvement than group classes can ever be. You probably want to be able to offer private lessons to your students, and getting trained in this is invaluable.

- If you let me know about your interest in becoming a teacher, I can keep you informed of other training opportunities.

Continuing Education for Vision Teachers

Natural Vision Educators Seminar

Dates: Currently not scheduled. Contact me if you are interested in this.
Location: To be decided.

I have taught my 5-day Vision Educators Seminar both in Europe and the USA. I promise participants that it will change how you teach the Bates Method! Your work will be more effective as you help others achieve clear vision. Leave behind ineffective techniques and learn how Dr. Bates got his amazing results. You will likely increase the number of happy students who refer their family and friends to you. It will be highly educational, practical, and also fun and relaxing, of course!

For practising vision educators only. Optometrists and ophthalmologists have loved this class too. Please contact Esther for details.

“I recommend any and all vision improvement teachers take Esther’s advanced teacher training course. It’s superb and brings it all together in a simple way. Frankly, I felt empowered at the end!”
Kate Keilman, Natural Vision Educator, Hawaii

Vision Educators Seminar in Oregon, October 2018

More feedback from participants:

"Though I have been a vision teacher for many years, I took Esther’s Vision Educators Seminar and completely appreciated refreshing and enhancing my knowledge of The Bates Method and updated ways to work with students in a more refined, condensed way so they have access to better vision improvement in the first session. Esther’s class was easy to follow, allowed ample time for sharing information, answering questions and practice of the techniques. This is a refresher course I would highly recommend for all vision educators!
After Esther’s Vision Education Seminar my sessions with clients are much more effective, condensed, refined to capture the information that is relevant in the moment. I am able to apply the skills learned in the training to create a quicker, more effective session with immediate results for my student. We both were thrilled with the session and results."
Rosemarie Coleman, Natural Vision Educator, Massachusetts

In early October 2018 I had the good fortune of taking Esther van der Werf's Bates teacher training at the magnificent venue of Menucha Retreat Centre near Portland, OR. It was fabulous.
Esther 's five day seminar was well-paced affording us ample time to practise on ourselves and on each other. We shared, compared and honed our skills.
This helped us iron out those glitches that can occur when starting out on a new venture, or when working in less than ideal circumstances eg in someone's home.
Esther covered the fundamentals of the Bates method very clearly and addressed all our quirky questions well. Her handouts were generous. I'm grateful to feel more confidant to deal with unusual vision and eye conditions.
I'd recommend this teacher training to anyone serious about improving their own or other's eyesight and eye health by natural means.
Thanks Esther for caring and sharing.
Estelle Saunders, Behavioral Optometrist, Ottawa, Canada

"I participated in Esther’s first Vision Educator Seminar in Italy. I knew about Bates but I was never very sure if what I did was done correctly and what I said to my students was said correctly. This seminar gave me much more confidence to continue teaching myself to keep good visual habits as well as teaching others. Esther helped me to understand Bates better and has helped me to explain in an easy way the why and how of the visual habits.
Esther, your seminar was great. You have a lot of courage. We know it is not your duty to heal us; we have to heal ourselves, but the teaching you give in relaxing for good eyesight is part of the whole."
Nathalie Weytjens, Functional Optometrist, Belgium

"I had the opportunity to learn from Esther once again, and finally meet her in-person, when she offered a Vision Educators Seminar. I started my vision improvement journey a few years ago with five fun sessions with Visions of Joy….so wonderful! Since then, my own vision improvement has stayed on track with flashes of improvements becoming more frequent and more permanent. Traditional Bates Methods work, and Esther knows exactly how to demonstrate those methods to ensure that if anyone has the desire to restore their vision, they can! She understands the foundations well enough to train others in the same practice - a true leader in the profession of natural vision improvement." Carla Berg, Arkansas

Five days, early fall, Menucha Retreat Center (located along the Columbia River Gorge) learning the Traditional Bates Method with one of the world’s best natural vision improvement teachers, Esther Joy van der Werf. Made new friends, had fun, saw a bobcat, ate wild blackberries, learned about the Sunglass, the Eyeport, Mindfold. We explored the spectrum with John Ott, and Breathing Coordination with Carl Stough as well as likely causes of astigmatism with Elliott Forrest, OD. Blink. Wow! (I would do it again in a heartbeat.)
If you want the pure form of the Bates Method (of Better Eyesight Without Glasses), you will take Esther’s seminar. She has done the research and knows what works (and what doesn’t).
Dale J. Goddard, B.Ed., Olds, Alberta, Canada

"It was an awesome class. I'm glad I took it. I got great tips which I can add to my teaching. Esther's detailed teaching style and interactive practice also helped us. I highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn the original Bates Method."
Mimi Shekoski, Chicago, Illinois

"I seriously doubt if I would still be teaching without your instructions and information (your seminars both in Italy and the Netherlands). So that says something about the advantages I have had and I am still experiencing because of your courses and lessons. I combine what you taught and what I already did. The better the lessons go, the more positivity I receive from my students. I call that the EvdW effect!
I just listened again to your recording about palming and giving instructions to students, and I realized I can still use a lot more of your instructions and advice; that's a learning moment for me. Despite the possible competition, I do recommend other vision educators to also take this seminar.
Pieter Wester, The Netherlands

"I found your seminar that I attended in Italy so helpful. It was grounded in the Bates teaching itself. It was also so valuable to learn with other interested people and the follow-up email group is such a support when one is on their own trying to teach it and get the method more known!
I would definitely recommend this seminar.
Warm Wishes,"
Mary Flynn, Ireland

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