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04 Mar: Trauma Informed Series Exercises: Week Five – Active Listening

Week Five: Active Listening by Dr. Will Henson Active listening is a super skill in terms of supporting kids with trauma, building relationships, and also getting kids to listen to YOU. This week we (i.e. you) are going to give it a try. Let’s make this simple…in three conversations this week, you are going to do the following: Just listen – Don’t think about what you are going to say next, just listen. Even if you don’t agree, really listen to try to understand what the person is saying. Show it – Show you are listening by making eye contact, nodding, and maybe occasionally giving a one-word verbal response (yes, I see etc…) Remember a few more things: All this…

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27 Feb: The “Goldilocks Zone”: Building Resilient Regulation Skills

The “Goldilocks Zone”: Building Resilient Regulation Skills by Dr. Rick Robinson In the third installment of our Regulation Skills blogs, we will focus on several ideas that can help students increase their stamina when it comes to regulation. In our first two blogs, we focused on approaches to group and individual regulation, discussing a number of key skill development strategies. Once students have tools in their regulation kit, it is important to help them use those tools effectively under increasingly demanding situations. One way to work on this goal is to focus on increasing stamina. That is, help students increase their skills in maintaining a state of regulation that will allow them to complete tasks requiring effort, over longer chunks…

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25 Feb: Trauma Informed Series Exercises: Week 4: Mirror Neurons

Mirror Neurons                           by Dr. Will Henson All of us – you, me, the students we support, we all have neurons in our brains that make us want to mirror, that is, reflect back,– what we get from others. When people are calm, we tend to be calm, and when people are agitated with us, we tend to get agitated back. This week’s exercise is super easy, but also a little bit hard, because it can feel unintuitive. When you are working with students, try to put out the energy you want back. What do I mean by energy? If you want calm, be calm. If you want…

19 Feb: Trauma-Informed Series Exercises: Week 3: Self-Regulation continued…

By Dr. Will Henson Last week I asked you to identify two stressful times and tune into what you were thinking and feeling during that time.   I only asked you to notice.  This week we are going to add two more things to the list.  During those predictably stressful times do these two things: Relax: Try to consciously relax.  Smile take a few deep breaths that are slow with a focus on exhalation.   Practice being calm in the face of stress itself!  Move more slowly and think more slowly. Think about the pace you use when you are relaxed on say…a weekend morning.   Identify your power:Think about the things you can and cannot control.  Focus on what you can change in your environment to make the time less stressful. Maybe this…

12 Feb: Trauma-Informed Series Exercises: Week 2 ​: Self-Regulation

WEEK TWO: SELF-REGULATION by Dr. Will Henson This week we want you to focus on self-regulation. That is, YOU being calm, despite what’s going on around you. If it’s been a while since you watched the regulation video from our Trauma Informed schools series, let’s back up and talk about what this term means: Regulation is the way people manage their thoughts, emotions, attention and physical sensations. These are heavily impacted by ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). Important Point: this is not just about “emotions”; it’s about a person’s entire experience. Let’s start this week by identifying your two most predictably stressful times of your day. Maybe it’s your afternoon commute, a usually chaotic time during the workday, a predictable interaction…

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04 Feb: Trauma-Informed Exercises: Week 1 – ACEs at Work

WEEK ONE: ACEs AT WORK                   with Dr. Will Henson Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, have an enormous impact on school-age children.  Almost half (45%) of students in school today have enough adverse experiences to impact their thinking, emotions and behavior.    (Want more information on ACEs and the associated research? Check out 321insight’s Trauma Informed video training series by emailing info@321insight.com.)  How we explain a student’s behavior can have a huge impact on how we address it.  This week I’d like to start thinking and talking about student behavior differently.  Start by taking a look at the Trauma-Informed Thinking diagram below.   TRAUMA-INFORMED THINKING  Away from this: Focusing on changing only the child   Seeing behavior…

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28 Jan: Introducing a New Series of Trauma-Informed Exercises with Dr. Will Henson

   Trauma-Informed Exercises with Dr. Will Henson This series of blog posts is a companion to our Trauma-Informed© video series on 321insight.com. (Want more info on our video series? Email info@321insight.com for a free demo account!) We believe that people learn best from practice, and that’s exactly what the next eight weeks is about. In the coming weeks we are going to feature a series of trauma-informed exercises to help staff learn how to continue to put the trauma informed concepts that you’ve learned in the videos into practice. We are going to start with an exercise every week for the next eight weeks, as follows: On Mondays we will post the weekly exercise. Your task will be to try…

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23 Jan: Making Individual Regulation Activities Effective

Making Individual Regulation Activities Effective by Dr. Rick Robinson In our previous blog, “Making Regulation Activities Effective” we ended our conversation with the notion that a “one size fits all” approach to student regulation is not optimal. Let’s talk about what that means and how we can approach this issue in a mindful and effective way. First, let’s think a bit about the ways we self-regulate and how that compares to our friends and family. For example, we may find it relaxing and regulating to read a book, do a cross-word puzzle, or play bridge with friends. These same activities can actually be dysregulating for those who tend to choose bike-riding, or splitting fire-wood as a way to regulate themselves….