Emotional Resilience in Action

Emotional Resilience in Action

Resilience is often described as the ‘ability to bounce back’ from life’s challenges and setbacks.

Ideally the bounce should leave us better and stronger than before the traumatic events, which may come from many sources such as changes at work, upsets in family or other relationships, or perhaps even from an illness.

That ability to ‘bounce’ is often dependent upon the set of emotional and physical resources that we have available to us at the time of the event. Some of us though, may not have had the time and space to build suitable resources and develop resilience before the event hits us. Others may have previously been very resilient, but have been left feeling overwhelmed. If so, some of us may need help to recover. Some of us may even need to help to build (or re-build) the necessary resources.

A simple and structured model, using the Human Givens organising principles of ‘Emotional Needs’ and ‘Emotional Resources’, (for a discussion see article below ‘What are the Human Givens?’) is described here. The model lends itself to a straightforward pragmatic approach to recovery which leads to on-going resilience. It is set out in the Table above.

In this model or approach, the client, with the counsellor’s support, is able to identify the factors that may be causing a sense of ‘not being good enough’. The importance of this is that ‘not feeling good enough’ might indicate a lack of client resourcefulness. It also suggests areas where there may be a deficit in the clients bounce back factor (or resilience).

The model groups these potential deficits that the client might be experiencing into three key areas on which the counselling relationship can then focus. These are the ‘Domains’ and are termed either ‘Core’, ‘Internal’ or ‘External’, as a means to clarify which kinds of resources may need building.

Additional clarity and focus on the issues starts with a straightforward and effective audit of the clients current emotional needs (see ‘Emotional Needs Audit’ below). Whilst these needs will, and do, fluctuate from time to time (and during the course of the counselling the client will be shown how to monitor their ‘emotional pulse’), for those experiencing some form of current upset, the value is in simply knowing where to start.

By completion of the audit the client and counsellor will have established rapport, on which their relationship will be founded, in order to support the development of the client’s resourcefulness. A strong relationship foundation makes a big difference to people feeling less alone.

This supportive foundation will address all three domains in turn.

Working up from the core foundation they are:

  • CORE DOMAIN – Building a safe base through which the client is able to give and receive support in building new resources.
  • INTERNAL DOMAIN – Enabling the client in assuming command of their responses by focusing on how healthy their attitude towards life is and how they think, feel and respond to events.
  • EXTERNAL DOMAIN – Which then leads the client into taking positive action in the outside world.Properly resourced people can be more readily be resilient.

A critical element of resilience and an essential part of resourcefulness is the availability and opportunity for each of us to be part of a supportive community. The counsellor will be encouraging the client to seek out and make those kinds of external relationships as soon as is practically possible.  In this case the Counsellor is the peer support.

Some counsellors may even be using this process in a group counselling setting. Beyond group counselling, what can be even more effective are self-directed peer support groups of people who enable each other to develop through adversity. Access to such a group or other form of community will provide a well pond of resourcefulness.

1. What are the Human Givens?      https://secure.counselling-directory.org.uk/members/publisharticle.php?article_id=10852

2. Emotional Needs Audit http://www.hgi.org.uk/ena

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To get motivated, get motivation.

2414071_orig

Motivation is the amount of effort that an individual is willing to put in to achieve a goal or outcome. It energises, directs and sustains the behaviour that is needed to achieve and be successful.

To manage our movement towards success our coach can help us by exploring with us our:
1. Rational beliefs – that is holding beliefs that are healthy and consistent with what we want in life (and more, do we have a philosophy towards life that is coherent, consistent and congruent with what we aim to achieve?).
2. Emotional resilience – ‘E Motions’ is ‘Energy in Motion’ – in other words do our emotions lead to responses that move or energise us towards our goals? Emotional Intelligence is always useful.
3. Behavioural actions – using what we do and the physical sensations we have in our body to direct us toward our goals (which can sometimes happen sub-consciously as we are a biological as well as a thinking machine).
4. Cognitive processing – does the way we think support our desire to be successful (this works on the premise that if we change our thoughts we change our actions)?

Coaching psychology suggests that where we feel discomfort in those areas of our lives (physical, emotional, mental or spiritual/philosophical) there is a rich source of opportunity to be explored and made use of. It is called learning and it leads to growth.

But often we find ourselves stuck and unable to achieve in ways that are satisfying, and because of this we may find we ‘can’t even get started’. This can be due to lacking meaning in our lives. Meaning is about simply holding a philosophy that leads us to conclude that ‘life generally makes good sense’.

Undoubtedly that means two other things; having a sense of purpose (knowing what it is that adds your value) and being suitably stretched (that is using our energy to keep improving). How effective that is for us depends on the source of our motivation.

The nature of the motivation is normally described as either being:
a. Extrinsic – driven by outside circumstances, such as social expectations, the need to avoid punishment or to achieve rewards.
b. Intrinsic – emerging from internally, what it is that the individual really wants to achieve.

The distinction is vital as external motivation tends to be short term and energy draining, whilst internal motivation tends to be more enduring and energy sustaining. This has importance for our own approach to life and for the systems, like families, organisations and businesses that we are involved in.

It means that if you want a ‘quick fix, someone else does it for me’, you will find a great motivational speaker to do it to you. If you want the ‘silver bullet of all magic’, try ‘The Secret’ – all you have to do is ‘wish for it and click your heels’ and it will be done for you.

On the other hand if you stop and listen you may come to understand that the desire to grow is internal and innate, the answers are within yourself. Bring your desires to meet your internal motivation and you can succeed.

If you, your family and your organisation want to be truly successful, then engage in and promote transformational learning and start to really ‘get what motivation is’. It starts by making sure you address 1 to 4 above and getting motivated, from finding the motivation to change, to building the process for changing, and then making, and sustaining the change. The draft articles below address those issues.

http://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/hypnotherapist-articles/motivation-to-change-or-not-to-change
http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/motivational-interviewing
http://www.lifecoach-directory.org.uk/lifecoach-articles/all-change-getting-and-staying-motivated

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment