What is emotional coaching?

Emotional coaching is a method used to help soothe and calm a young person who is in an emotionally vulnerable state. Often children that have experienced trauma and/or have poor emotional coping skills. They may be unable to deal with the day to day ups and downs experienced by other children as they have never had the opportunity to learn these skills at a young age. The methods they may have been forced to adopt at a young age to cope with adverse situations may have not provided them with the skills to handle disappointment, rejection and loss in later life. Due to this what may seem like minor problems to an emotionally intelligent child/adult can seem like threatening and dangerous situations to a person who has not learned how to handle emotions and/or has suffered trauma in the past.

Working through a problem together

Being able to work through a challenging situation with a young person is key to them learning how to deal with difficult emotions. Often, due to the panic reaction they may experience, a child can not always understand or communicate their emotional response to a situation so asking “Why?” is not a good idea when faced with a student who is running away, becoming aggressive or refusing to do as asked. Instead there are other methods that can de-escalate a situation and allow a child to process an emotion and fully understand it.  This is the process of emotional coaching.

Stage 1 – Empathise – understand their emotions, “I know how that feels”

Stage 2 – Validate their feelings – “that must be terrible for you”

Stage 3 – Name the emotions – “It sounds like you are feeling….”

Stage 4 – Work together with a student to find a solution to the issue.

An excellent place to begin to get to know more about the important area of trauma is Betsy De Thierry’s book (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1785921363) “A Simple Guide To Trauma”..

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More information regarding Trauma will be published in upcoming articles.