With the pandemic, people have to avoid unnecessary contact. Social distancing dramatically affects people’s ability to find comfort in connection. We cannot directly give emotional support to all who need it. But we can teach people simple tools they can use to support each other. See what you can do about it below the video.
In this video, Stephen Porges eloquently makes the case of why this makes sense. You can also get a PDF transcript.
As therapists, what can we do to help?
Active Listening is a very simple and effective way to help people hear themselves think and feel. Not to mention communicate better with each other. This is a tool that works in these times of social distancing. People need not be physically together to do it. They can use the phone, Skype, or any other form of videoconferencing.
We do not need to be physically present with people to let them know about it. We can let them know through electronic media, social media, whatever we have at our disposal to communicate.
How you can do it
There is no prescribed way of doing things. You conduct this in a way that feels right for you.
You set up virtual gatherings by phone, Skype, Zoom. You can invite your clients, friends of clients, or members of any community you are connected with. For instance, parents at a school, church members, etc.
You can make each training a one-time thing. Or you can make it a group that meets several times. Either way, virtual gatherings are an opportunity to address questions and help people share their experiences.
If you’d like to have material that people can use to jog their memory, you can refer them to the simple description of Active Listening at activepause.com/active-listening. Or you can make your own. And, as we compare notes, we can make new material as we move along.
Even if we all do very different things, it feels good to know that we are part of a larger movement. Hence the suggestion that we stay connected through this. It can be as limited as simply knowing that we are part of a larger group. It could also be a way that, by sharing our experiences, we become better at doing this.
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See other conversations with Stephen Porges.
Published April 2020