This is a skills-based workshop which will teach you how to help someone quickly de-escalate an overwhelming emotion to return to a more rational, flexible and receptive state of mind. This workshop is especially useful for teachers, parents, administrators, and front line workers who are confronted with the emotional dysregulation of others and aren't sure what to say or do to help the situation.
Mental health is increasingly a focus in schools, families and communities. Teachers and administrators are frequently in contact with students, parents and other members of the school community who are experiencing high emotion (anxiety, anger, grief, frustration, depression, trauma) and staff can learn to navigate these emotions effectively, it will lead to better learning outcomes, less teacher burnout, and healthier school communities. Likewise, parents will find this skill useful to support their child's mental health and greatly improve communication at home. Front-line workers need skills to defuse stressful situations at work and avoid escalating emotions in clients. Simply putting up more signs that abuse will not be tolerated isn't enough.
This workshop was developed by Dr. Adele Lafrance, who has a PhD in Child and Clinical Psychology and runs Mental Health Foundations. After working for many years with Canadian school boards as a psychologist, Adele developed this quick and effective de-escalation tool for teachers in direct response to their classroom needs as well as their feelings of burnout. Adele, who is based out of Ontario, has delivered the workshop countless times to schools, parent groups and police officers. Sue Huff is the only person in Alberta currently authorized to deliver this workshop.
Who is this workshop for?
This workshop is open to any teacher, administrator, parent, front line worker or other member of the community.
It may be of particular interest to:
- Vice Principals or other leadership team members who deal with complaints or discipline issues
- Teachers working with 13-18 year olds (when emotional dysregulation, anxiety, depression, signs of mental illness increase)
- Elementary teachers who want to pave the way for emotional literacy
- Counsellors, social workers, police, healthcare workers or other front line workers
At the conclusion, participants will have:
- a quick strategy (<2 minutes) to de-escalate any intense emotion, in anyone, of any age or background
- insight into what is happening in the brain when a person is flooded with emotion and why they can't learn, receive direction or support
- a deeper understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses when dealing with the emotion of others
- access to additional resources, including free webinars, to reinforce skills
- the ability to role model this approach at work, at home and in the community, creating ripples of positive change
Available in two formats:
- a 75-minute presentation that covers all the information, with time for a few questions
- a half-day workshop that allows for more discussion and the opportunity to practice the skills in small groups
Sue Huff is a skilled presenter who brings a wealth of experience to her work. She is the former Executive Director for the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta, former Trustee with Edmonton Public School Board, the author of The Book of Hope, and has been trained in Emotion-Focused Family Therapy, Mediation, Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice Practice. She has also worked as a professional actress, an award-winning writer for television, and director for the National Film Board of Canada. Most importantly, she is the parent of a child who has recovered from Anorexia Nervosa and counts the skill embedded in this workshop as the single most powerful tool she has as a parent to help her child process and regulate the powerful emotions associated with this mental illness.
In Sue’s words:
“This is literally a life-saving skill. People who are flooded with emotion are not rational, and if they feel alone and overwhelmed, they can make very desperate and sometimes irrevocable decisions. By helping them learn to regulate their emotions using this approach, we can show them that there is light at the end of the emotional storm."