Self-Care & Self-Compassion

February 23, 2018 Leave a comment

When we humans are exposed to the suffering of other human beings, there is a toll on us individually, to our immediate relationships, and even organizationally…

The effects of doing crisis work- being involved in children’s lives when they are acting out their own distress- has an effect on our body also.  We work with students who, at times, verbally and/or physically communicate their own pain. This communication can look like yelling, cussing, crying, walking out, a tantrum, or a thousand other things.  And, as we become available for their support, we absorb and feel our own feelings about the situation or crisis at hand.  One outcome of being a champion to someone else in pain is a sense of satisfaction and pride in the situation and our work.   Also, there is possibly undesirable feelings after a crisis, these may be sadness, hurt, disappointment, devastation, frustration, or anger- to name a few. If this energy is not released in some way it may contribute to our own outlook on either ends of the spectrum- being overwhelmed by our job or being apathetic to it. The accumulative effect of a buildup of supporting these events and their negative outcomes is called compassion fatigue or secondary trauma.   Some ways to notice if you are being negatively affected by this exposure to is:

  • The feeling that you are not doing enough, and continually feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the work
  • Hypervigilance or hyperarousal to your surroundings, and a feeling of being on guard or on edge
  • Exhaustion in your spirit, either physically or mentally
  • Avoidance at work or personal life
  • Cynicism
  • Internalizing your feelings of pain with physical symptoms, or externalizing the feelings negatively in your personal life (a carryover effect)

As we have all gotten into this work to make an impact, we want to remain in this work to make an impact- being here for the long haul.  This takes an intentional effort.  If you have gotten this far in reading, I will let you in on my secret- it is difficult for me to have balance, and I am one the worst to write advice. I hear the internal voice that, at times, is saying- keep going, or suck it up.

 So, I am letting you know- we are working on this together.

Some ideas to consider:

Recognition is a first step.  Recognizing when the moment has gotten the best of us, or the accumulative effect of moments may be restricting your outlook on our job, or a new idea, or growth feedback.

Remembering there is equal amounts of beauty and pain; and finding beauty within a learning experience or within a child can give a different perspective in our involvement.

Take care of ourselves as if we are taking care of another- be patient, be kind, honor, and forgive ourselves when needed.

Find trusted colleagues that we can debrief with- a person we are able to talk together honestly, and vulnerable enough to hear feedback from to grow in our work.

Understanding that when we are involved in others suffering there is more to it than just trying to hold it all together, letting go of our emotions in a healthy way is necessary.

Balance.  Let go of work for the day, so our system is ready for the next day.  Changing out of work clothing is a symbolic way.

This work is not for the faint at heart- it is unsuitable for people who like only safe and familiar things. And, our work is where great passion brews, and compassion is built. Although, if we numb out sorrow, we also we also numb and dull happiness.

How are you creating self-care?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Kela Lynn, LSCI Trainer

 

http://www.compassionfatigue.org/

Brune Brown on vulnerability and connection:  https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Short videos to feed happiness (the dancing videos make me smile):  http://ellentube.com/

 

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LSCI Training coming soon – November 2017

November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

We are hosting a 4-day LSCI Certification training on the following dates;

November 13 & 14th, 20 & 21st, 2017

You may attend the first two days only for an Introduction to LSCI, OR you can attend four days and earn your full LSCI Certification.

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LSCI is coming soon – April 2017…

January 24, 2017 Leave a comment

We’ve scheduled a full certification session for LSCI this April 2017.

Check out our “Training” page for details.

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LSCI Certification Training..

December 7, 2015 Leave a comment

 

Our most recent LSCI Certification session in November of 2015 was a great success!

We’ll post information on future training dates as it becomes available.

 

 

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Only Linn County..

July 2, 2015 Leave a comment

Did you know that the Linn County Juvenile Department is the only authorized L.S.C.I. Certification Training provider in the entire State of Oregon? If you don’t see an upcoming training and you’re interested in hosting an event in your area within Oregon, please contact us!

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“Dear Abby..”

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Dear Abby, 

I am a 14 year old girl and I really like this guy at school. I’m shy, so instead of telling him, I drew a picture of him and wrote on the back that I like him and taped it to his locker so he could see it. I didn’t sign it.

He thought it was weird and doesn’t know it’s me. He already has a girlfriend and she hates what I did. She says she thinks whoever did it is a stalker. 

I feel really stupid. I don’t know what to do now. I wasn’t trying to be creepy. I just wanted him to know how much I love him. Should I tell him it was me? 

-HOPELESS AND LOVELESS

Doesn’t this girl SCREAM a “New Tools” kid – right attitude, wrong behavior!? 

The attitude of liking someone and wanting them to know it can’t be bad – it’s a great time in her life to explore these new feelings of love, just wrong timing with this boy (remember:  girlfriend already). The behavior of putting a picture on his locker and professing her love on the back ( ..and remember: while he has a girlfriend ) is only a setup for a negative response from him and her peers. 

So, you have this student in class and you overhear the gossip and you recognize the handwriting, what do you do? 

It is your turn to be “Dear Abby”  and allow the student to acknowledge that the behavior may have been wrong, but the attitude it not. Encourage the student to see that the timing of this note may have been off, and that in the future if the timing is right she could brainstorm options of sharing feelings that don’t suggest “stalker” to others.

 

 

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“Relevant and practical…”

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

 

The following are excerpts from a paper written by Shelly Roe, a recent LSCI graduate from the full 4 day certification. During the training participants are given the opportunity to apply for Master’s level credit if they complete the class work and a paper. Shelly’s writing gives you some idea of how practical LSCI is when you are working with struggling students.

Shelly writes, “I recently attended Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) training and was pleasantly surprised by how relevant and new the information was for me and my career as a junior high school counselor in Sweet Home, Oregon. While a four-day training sounded long to begin with, I soon found that the training could have been longer without a problem because of how much useful information I was learning.”

She also states that, “during the LSCI training, I felt like my counseling skills blended well with the LSCI process. My first instinct when working with students after or during a crisis is to allow some drain off of their emotions. I have seen others try to reason with students right after a crisis and it is almost never successful. What I see happen most of the time is students become even more upset and end up making decisions that get them into more trouble. It usually does not take long for students to reach a place where they can talk about what happened if they are given the space to calm down. If pushed, however, not only do they make more negative decisions, they also do not learn anything positive from the experience. LSCI takes both of these into account by including a drain off stage and helping students see what they can do differently in future situations.”

Shelly recognizes the importance of teaching students “New Skills” as a Reclaiming Intervention during a conflict. She states “Talking about skills is not as effective as actually acting out potential scenarios. Just as role-playing at the LSCI training helped us to feel more confident to bring LSCI back to our workplaces, it helps students feel more confident that they can make good choices when they go back to class after they have role-played different classroom situations.”

I appreciate Shelly’s thoughts on how LSCI is working in her work place. How has your 4 day training blended into what you do every day?

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