Trauma-informed Coaching Course

Trauma-informed Coaching Course

Want to reduce your anxiety? Want to help others reduce their anxiety?

Ever wondered about trauma – emotional trauma and how it might be affecting you or those you support? Trauma is the term used to describe overwhelming experiences that rest the brain at a heightened state ofg alertness. These can be because life experiences are too much, for too long, happen too quickly or for which you don’t have the inner resources to cope with them. Once your amygdala (the bit of the brain that becomes hyper-vigilant) is set in this way it means that events and experiences that a themed with the original trigger eg being overhwhelmed during exams, will trigger an anxiety response.

This can keep happening. And the result can be a boom and bust kind of anxiety followed by a physical and emotoinal crash. It’s an exhausting state to manage.

Over time we compensate and perhaps feel less of the raw anxiety, but instead develop coping behaviours. These coping behaviours can bring their own difficulties. We may resort to rescuing others, or being critical and blaming, or avoiding things such as not dealing with debt, or becoming hooked on gaming or substances to support ourselves.

In recent years there have been great advances in working with trauma and in gently and progressively improving the down-switching of the part of the brain that became traumatised. Emotional Freedom Technique, Trauma Informed Coaching and Satir Transformational Therapy are some of the approaches used.

The course is aimed at you, teachers, pastoral workers, leaders and coaches and counsellors. Run by Will Thomas, award-winning author, professional coach, and registered hypnotherapist.

Interesting? Recognise some of this in yourself or those you support? You may then be interested in a new programme I am running called Trauma-informed Coaching. It’s designed to help you learn more of the WHY we become traumatised – what happens in the mind and the body. And then HOW to resolve it. Drawing on three cutting edge approaches to reducing and healing trauma, this 9 hour programme is flexible, multi-media and very helpful. want to find out more? Click here

The Reluctant Home Worker – How to excel at home working

The Reluctant Home Worker – How to excel at home working

“Seriously Useful, Seriously Funny” 
Download your free copy here
How do you stay sane and productive whilst home working?
What have Hamsters, Doughnuts and Marmite got to do with ramping up your efforts at Home Working?
Whether you’re at home alone watching the tumble weeds roll,  working partially at home and partially frontline, or you’re trying to juggle work and run Table-Top Forest School at 11am, and Cross Curricular Latin for your 5 and 7 year old at 2pm, you’ll find some great tips and tools for home-working in this resource.
For leaders, co-workers,parents and single people across the land.
Proven Tips, Concretely Researched
Written by a Will Thomas, dyed-in-the-wool,  18 year veteran of home-working, and also the award-winning author of The Managing Workload Pocketbook, Professional Coach, Trainer and Therapist. Bringing you a mirthful and heartening set of tips and tools for making home-working really work.
Kick procrastination into touch and get serious about how to get all your needs met even though you’re at home.
“The antidote to these serious times – giggle-making and really useful”

Coronavirus -7 Stages of Change and Why Kindness Really Matters

Coronavirus -7 Stages of Change and Why Kindness Really Matters

WANT TO HOP STRAIGHT TO THE LONG READ? CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE E-BOOK

Understanding the psychological impact of “the new normal” and what to do about it

Change has always been a constant. Yet in recent weeks we’ve been plunged into a pace and scale of change with Corona virus, that few can have escaped being affected by.

We are all adjusting to new ways of thinking, working and behaving. It’s brought us very practical day-to-day issues with food, work and childcare. It also raises important questions for our psychological state:

  • What does this mean for our mental health and well being?
  • How do you manage that uncertainty within yourself, and help others to adapt?
  • How do you stay firmly ‘feet on the ground’ when the ground is shifting so fast?

Putting on your own oxygen mask first

When you fly anywhere (obviously not at this time!), you’re briefed in the plane about safety and also told, “put on your own oxygen mask before helping others”. This safety briefing is a great metaphor, away from flying, for making sure we keep resilient and resourceful, so we can keep supporting others. It’s hard to work, and care for others in a way that is sustainable, if we are feeling depleted.

What follows are some ways of staying resilient, strong and productive, beginning with The Serenity Questions and moving onto The 7 Stages of Change and some great ways of helping yourself and those you love and support to thrive.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Change the things I can, and  have the wisdom to know the difference”

These three questions are amongst the most versatile for rethinking challenging situations.

Breaking down a situation, into the following three areas helps us to work on what can be actioned and what is not helpful to spend time on.

  1. What do I/we have control over? This is only ever your own thinking and behaviour.  If you are aware of these aspects of yourself, you can choose to change them
  2. What can we/I influence? This is about how we can encourage others to do things differently eg change their behaviour or how we can change systems and processes that we have to encourage people to change how they do things eg we are all washing our hands more than we were 4 weeks ago!
  3. What can’t be changed that I might need to come to accept? Working on accepting what is not changeable. And therefore letting go of giving it energy and attention.

By ‘splitting out’ our situation or problem in this way we start working on actionable parts.

Taking action is massively helpful to mental health and reduces stress.

CONTROL?

Eg I can reduce to once per day, getting the news – and only get it from one calm, factual source, I can set a reminder on my phone about hand washing and not touching my face. That’s all pretty much within my control.

INFLUENCE?

I can check in with my team/family/friends virtually once a week as a group and/or pick up the phone to individuals through the week to check on progress, but also listen carefully to them and support with warmth, compassion and practical ideas where necessary – this is my influence-based action.

ACCEPT?

Finally, I can acknowledge that the thoughts I am having about my elderly relative are deeply worrying, I can work on accepting that I have done all I can to educate them about the current situation, I am doing all I can to keep in touch with them, and to help them stay fed, and so I can work on coming to accept that I have done all I can.

Acceptance often needs working on most.  It can come easy for some, but not for others. We tend to go through stages of change which are not always predictable in terms of their sequence or timing. They are however highly recognisable across the human population.  These stages have been summarised below, bringing together a number of different academic perspectives on human change process.

 

If you are a parent, a sibling, a grandparent, a leader, a carer, a friend, indeed if you have any social connections at all, you are a role model in this crisis. Understanding and managing yourself first of all is key to responding well and supporting others effectively.

Take a look at the model below, so it’s just an idea of reality.

That said, it can be helpful in times of uncertainty to use theories and models to get a sense of what might be happening and how you might choose to ‘mindfully respond’ rather than ‘reacting’.

The model represents a series of stages which people, including yourself, might move through in adapting to the changes we currently face.

Kubler-Ross suggests that responses to change are seldom linear and we can skip steps, revisit them, jump quickly to the end or stay stuck in stages along the way.  We may not follow the neat sequence suggested in the graphic.  Prochaska and Diclemente, suggest that we can relapse and not embed habits of change, and then the process can restart.

Evidence suggests that people who adapt best to change, quickly move through a set of stages.  These stages are not always distinct and it’s not a straight line of adaptation. That said,  if we have  some understanding of the stages it can help us with our own adaptation to these differences. Do you recognise any of these stages in your own reactions to the recent expectations over Coronavirus?

It’s also very helpful in understanding what others are going through emotionally and mentally, and in choosing how best to support them. Which stages have you seen in others at home, work or in the media?

Processes of Change Framework

The 7  stages of change are typical of imposed and complex change scenarios. Change can be Elective, ie you have chosen it, like a job change, or it can be Imposed like the UK Covid-19 lockdown, equally it can be Complex, that is to say a mix of elective and imposed. At this stage in The UK, we are still able to make some choices at home, even in our lockdown.

The 7 Stages of Change graphic, not only offers a summary of some of the shifts people may move through in imposed or complex change but also guidance on recognising and supporting them at each stage.

FREE E-Book

I’ve put together a short E-Book to offer you practical solutions and suggestions to support your family, your team, yourself and your friends through this tricky time. It offers further practical details on how to support yourself and other people through these difficult Covid-19 challenges.

To get practical suggestions on:-

  • supporting others
  • home working
  • staying resilient and strong
  • managing difficult thoughts and emotions
  • 20+ tools and tips for you and those you support
  •  PLUS latest research on kindness that will blow you away!

Download your FREE   “Change and Kindness in  Covid-19 World”

 

Thank you for reading. If you or someone you know is finding it hard to adapt right now, do get in touch, there are various ways we may be able to help.

Will Thomas MA, BSc(Hons) is a Qualified Life Coach, Master Practitioner of NLP, Registered Hypnotherapist and Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner. He is a prolific and award-winning author/co-author, with 12 published books in the field of Coaching, Well Being and Creativity (Bloomsbury, OU Press and Pocketbooks). He’s worked internationally as a coach, therapist, and trainer and has a private practice in Malvern, Worcestershire, at The Centre for Well Being.  He is fully set up for high quality virtual support, wherever you are.

If you’ve been affected by the issues in this article and would like more support with managing your mental and emotional well being or making the most of these changes email Will Thomas now    For information online visit:  https://willthomascoaching.com

21.9 Hours a Year

21.9 Hours a Year

According to research by Greg McKeown and reported in The Optimist, the average “smartphone” user logs in to their phone 110 times a day.

This got me thinking. I did some simple maths. What came out surprised me. Based on this figure and a conservative assumption that it takes 2 seconds to tap in a four or 6 digit code or for a fingerprint recognition system to recognise your print, a whopping 21.9 hours are spent each year, just logging into our mobile phones.

What else could you do with 21.9 hours?  That’s almost three working days, it’s nearly a whole 24 hour day and think of the picnics with family, the chats with friends and the words you could write, the places you could visit and the precious moments with that older person you know and love who has seen the lion’s share of their time on  the planet.

I wondered how much time in the 5 years I have had a smartphone, that I have lost to its logging-in pad.  I’d like to think I don’t log in so frequently as I used to.  But it stacks up.

Greg McKeown, in his brilliant book “Essentialism” invites us to become really conscious about how we spend our time.  He contends that we can spend a great deal of time each day getting really good at a few things, or a tiny amount “good” at a million and one things.  He invites us to make a more conscious choice about how we direct our use of time.

For me, it’s more than just getting good at stuff, it’s also about attending to the things (usually the relationships) that are so very, very precious and so very, very ephemeral. It is about focussing on the question “What is essential for me today?” But it’s also about challenging the very definition of what’s essential.

Often our work drives us to do “essential things” eg make that call, file that report, design that process; but broadening our definition of essential to include what is precious and might be gone in an instant, that’s at the core of it. What it is that feeds your heart and soul, not just what is to be ticked off on a TO-DO list.  That’s what I’m inviting you to consider today.  Perhaps it’s about making your To-Do list and your To-Be list. Or simply asking  of your daily list, what is it here that’s ephemeral and will make my heart sing? Your little girl is growing up, your beloved pet is 14, your parent is unwell, your book hasn’t yet been written, your relationship is shaking.

Of course, there are things you have to do in order to keep the bills paid and the cat fed, but it’s about a bit of perspective and balance.  For a start, we could all log into our phones a few less times a day, and be with the people right in front of our noses in a real and present way.

If you’d like help becoming more present and focussing on the real essential stuff of life, join me for a day of learning, laughter and meeting new people.

Qi-Gong and the art of habit

Qi-Gong and the art of habit

Qigong is an ancient Chinese healthcare approach that combines physical postures, breathing techniques and focussed mindful attention. It also assists you to build regular habits that bring you a feeling of vitality and energy. The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.

The Gong relates to regular practices. One interpretation of Gong refers to a 100 days of continuous practice of something. Eg 100 days of eating breakfast in the morning. Or 100 days of sitting still for 5 minutes with a cup of tea at the start of the day. 100 days of meditating for 20 minutes. The practice demands that if you break the habit before the 100 days, you begin the one hundred days all over again.

This of course is a semantic, because you are trying to achieve a long term habit, at the end for the 100 days, or series of broken patterns of 100 days the likelihood is that whatever you decided to do, you want to do everyday for the rest of your life anyway!

Qi Gong asserts that it is discipline that helps us build the long term habits that free us.

When we have begun a new term, we have such great intentions. The pressures and the busy-ness of the start of term, can sometimes seem to steal away those great intentions and break habits. What would you like to develop and sustain? What would bring more life force and vitality to you if you did it every single day?

If you would like to learn more about building your vitality, mindfulness and greater life balance, we are running a one day retreat entitled “Still Conscious” Email us for details.

Believing beauty is attainable is bad for you

Believing beauty is attainable is bad for you

In most situations in our lives, if we believe that we can improve ourselves, then we feel better. Pursuing higher levels of fitness can benefit us both physically, emotionally and mentally.  It seems that having this so-called Growth Mindset, is unconditionally good.  However research reported in the journal, Social Cognition last year suggests otherwise.

Researchers in Oklahoma found that women who believe they can be more beautiful by changing their appearance, have a much higher risk of anxiety which is related to their looks, than those who are more accepting of themselves as they are.  Such women were also more likely to be interested in cosmetic surgery, according to this study. The same effect was not observed in men. The media may be a big factor.

The presentation of very specific body types and shapes as “the desirable norm”,  often with  images have been changed technologically, sets a bench-mark which for many women is completely unobtainable. The conclusion is that it is better for your mental well-being to accept yourself for who you are and how you look, and to challenge the stereotypes presented in the media, and any self-talk that unfavourably compares you with those images.