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Does anyone have an exercise that they use before delving into a presentation on TIC to help folks prepare for the personal impact the information may have on them?  And the audience size might be 10 or 50 and they may be mentors for youth, they may be non-profit Board members, they may be staff of an emergency shelter care facility.  They might even be adolescents.  Thank you for any/all suggestions.

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Permission to step away is a huge one. Normalizing emotional reactions and reducing expectation to "be okay" with the material. Which is still something that can carry huge risk and stigma - because now everyone knows you're the "weak" one.

I use this more with peer groups or places with a bit more trust. It's riskier in a work environment because you wind up making the "weaker" ones (according to social stigma) feel outed as such.

A softer version is "it's okay to not be okay with this material".

Also can consider leaving time at the end for optional cool down / processing. More time then rather than , or in addition to, time at the beginning.

I was hoping for suggestions that might not cost quite so much.  Perhaps someone is willing to share what they use.  

Free is always tricky. Technically, I shouldn't even have given any advice myself. It's jut free professional development for you (though you yourself may be doing free work).

But the current system doesn't support markets to pay for this kind of work much. They know we have to develop it or the communities in need suffer.

So, I have empathy for both sides of it and try to treat it like something to be constantly cognizant of and aware about. A lot of my work involves pushing for lived experience training and resource development fundraising. Even including paying people so they can then get paid to offer free resources to folks who need tips, as in this post.

Last edited by Max Taylor

Hi Elaine,

Our NEAR training program uses an easy and cheap warmup. Participants pair up and tell a story to one another, the prompt is something like, "Talk about a time when you felt safe and protected as a child". Then the presenter asks, "What made the difference for you?" And writes a list on one side of the board. The list will be something like, "Caring adult, my skills and capacities, a friend, spirituality" - common resilience-enhancing factors. Then the presenter asks, "What are your concerns for children in your community?" And writes that list on the other side. Once the lists are done, they draw a simple "see-saw" at the bottom - a line, with a triangle fulcrum. They explain how the factors on one side can balance out the harms on the other side, and how the middle can move based on things like genetics or environment, and how sometimes more resilience factors are needed to balance out the stressors or vice-versa.

I hope I'm explaining this well! It's a great little visual example of how a child's environment can support their development, and it's easily applied to TIC as well. You could shape the prompts a little differently to get at TIC.

I usually lead the audience through a grounding activity. I have a variety that I use. Some activity that will bring them mindfully into their body. Then I let them know that they can go to that activity whenever they feel uncomfortable in their body or their nervous system is dysregulated.

My favorite activities are using your senses - 5 things you can see, 4 - things you can hear, and so on. I also do simple belly breathing or a visual like the breathing square: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF_1ZiFta-E or the breathing triangle: https://youtu.be/u9Q8D6n-3qw

Are those the type of activities you are looking for to start your sessions?

I usually do the following:

1) Ask them to identify their top self-care activities and plan on doing those after the presentation

2) Discuss and name how we feel trauma in the body, and to stay attentive to it during the presentation for quicker intervention response

3) Provide permission to recognize the trauma and to go for a quick walk, or practice grounding during the presentation. Example: Thumb to pinky, thumb to ring finger, thumb to middle finger, thumb to pointer finger and reverse. Try to wiggle toes and do all of this at the same time with both and and feet

4) Seek confirmation that everyone is capable of self-care before starting.

5) Begin with something funny

6)  Have a second person watching the group to intervene or provide a signal to change the momentum if needed.

7) Close with similar steps to bring them back into the present space.

Last edited by Laneita Williamson

This is really simple, but I start with, Assume your basic needs are met, and you are safe.  What is the next thing that you want in your life that makes it better?   Leads into a brief discussion of safe, and we get a lot of replies about what supports people.  Common answers are family, music, caffeine, pets etc.   An easy way to open the discussion, and you can take it where you want.

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