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Managing Emotions and Promoting Self-Reflection.

Emotional dysregulation and lack or loss of self-awareness are two of the most pervasive impacts of trauma. Restoring these abilities is key to trauma recovery. Providing professionals with opportunities to engage in activities that help them identify and manage their own emotions as well as reflect on their actions can enhance their ability to sensitively address these issues with their clients/consumers.

Specific techniques for identifying one’s own emotions during the training day can include a “how are you feeling today?” question as part of a community meeting or posting a “feelings” thermometer in the room and reminding participants to check it after various activities posing the question:  “Where are you now on the feeling thermometer?”

Opportunities for self-reflection can be built in to training through a variety of activities. Create a “Pause and Reflect” worksheet which asks participants to begin the workshop by reflecting back on one particular client/consumer whose behavior challenged them. Keeping in mind this same client/consumer, have participants pause after segments of the workshop and reflect on what they might do differently faced with a similar situation in the future. Other exercises that provide opportunities for reflection are activities which ask participants to clarify their values and attitudes.  Dyad discussions which ask questions such as “What life experiences contributed to your choice to become a  {current profession}?” can elicit deep and reflective conversations.