3 steps to working effectively with young people through your distractions

Following on from my post yesterday about the importance of supervision, I thought it would be useful to have a really quick and simple look at what to do when you have so much going on in your own life yet you still have to work with young people.

We can’t stop personal life happening, stresses at home, with family etc. Personal issues happen and cause anxiety, worry, anger, concern and sadness. However, if we acknowledge that our primary roll when being with a young person is to wholeheartedly be there for them we need to somehow deal with the stuff going on. That is where supervision comes in. It helps us to explore these emotions and to develop strategies and even process and deal with some of the things going on with someone who is external to our work and family life. (this is why an independent clinical supervisor is so important)

However, what do we do when we are in the think of it? When we know that we still have to work. Here is an easy three-step process for you to consider and it’s called Bracketing.

Step 1 – Search your feelings

It is first and foremost very important to acknowledge what’s distracting you. This may seem simple and obvious, yet how often have you had a day where you have felt a mix or blend of emotions, where that has affected your ability to work and yet you’ve not been able to put your finger on what it was.

Yet to acknowledge what you are feeling and why, separates it from what is happening in front of you in that moment and allows you to realise that your feelings can be separated from what the young person is going through.

Step 2 – Deliberately set it aside for the moment

Just for the time being. Just forget about it. Set it to one side, clear your mind of that distraction. Knowing that for this moment you are not with this young person for you but you are with them for them.

Step 3 – Do something about it

This final step is probably the most important. To bracket our emotions and experiences effectively you need to know that step 1 and step 2 has to be followed by step 3 and without this all you are doing is filling containers of emotions with lids that will eventually burst out.

I’ve seen it time and time again in others as well as myself. Doing nothing at the end of this process will lead to something so you better deal with it effectively in your own way.

Moral of the story….Go get supervision don’t be Nicholas Cage

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