First of all I would like to wish Happy New Year to everyone. Hope everyone started their year with small if not big celebrations with people you love.
In 2019 my monthly visits to Baan Unrak were focused at consistency, to create presence, getting to know the children and establishing positive rapport. This consistency created trust and through the months the children opened up to me about various issues ranging from friendships and misunderstanding, anger issues, fear of failure, self-doubt, romance, impulsiveness, attention seeking behaviors and false expectations.
The workshops in the previous year were focused on topics such as physical boundaries, self-care, puberty, sex education, boundaries awareness and protection.
In 2020 we will focus on emotional management, we will do different activities and learn to 1) understand and manage my own emotions 2) understand others’ emotions and how to react.
In our first workshop “Understanding and Managing My Emotions”, I officially introduced myself as a counseling psychologist. I started our workshop with a brief knowledge of psychology and what counselors do. Some of the children that have spoken to me privately were very eager to offer an explanation to the group about what happens in a counseling session. In the workshop we learnt about basic emotions Love, Joy, Fear, Excitement, Anger, Disgust and Sadness using a short youtube clip of characters from “Inside Out” movie.
The children were especially attentive when we talked about the brain’s function in regulating our emotions. The fight or flight responses, how and why we tend to react emotionally or impulsively before our logical thinking kicks in, sometimes making us regret our actions. Together we practiced some techniques to help regulate emotions such as counting backwards to awake the thinking brain, deep slow breathing lying down with hands on chest and stomach.
We learnt that simple addition or multiplication can help us take control of our emotions. We learnt that we cannot multiply 123*123 and be angry at the same time because when we are using our rational reasoning brain we are in control, rather than our emotions.
We learnt that while I like to go for a walk or listen to music when I am feeling happy, my friend prefers these activities when she is sad. A perfect introduction for my next visit, in which we will learn about “Understanding Others’ Emotions and How to React”.
Lastly, Baan Unrak would like to express our great appreciation for the incredible resources. A big thank you to Mr. Bordin Supasilp for sharing the resources for this topic.