Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Licette Gus, Emotion Coaching UK
Dr. Sarah Modi, Northamptonshire Educational Psychology Service
Dr. Kirsten Krawcyzk, Northamptonshire Educational Psychology Service
Health and Education professionals are working together to support children and families’ ability to Emotion Coach and develop emotional regulation
In the UK, Northamptonshire Educational Psychology Service have been working alongside Health colleagues in Northamptonshire to support health professionals use of Emotion Coaching in their interactions with children and families. Emotion Coaching is a style of communication around difficult emotions that supports the development of emotional regulation. Health professionals (including school nurses, nursery nurses and health visitors) received a programme of training to use Emotion Coaching in their work with families with children.
Northamptonshire health professionals support to children and their families is diverse and aims to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children in the community across the ages of 0-19. Support includes; parent drop in sessions, initial assessments where families were concerned about their children’s behaviour, parenting groups, flu jab clinics and monitoring and supporting the development of children in the early years.
The aims of the project were to provide 200 health colleagues with at least one day initial training in Emotion Coaching. This training focussed on why we need Emotion Coaching, what it is and how to do it. This initial day was reinforced by up to three follow up supervision sessions. The follow up sessions aimed to deepen individual understanding of this relational approach, enabling practitioners to consider how they can use emotion coaching in their personal and professional lives.
Evaluation of the project and impact upon children and families and health professionals practice will incorporate a range of data including:
· Evaluations of initial training sessions
· Change in health professionals’ Meta-Emotion Philosophies 3-6 months after initial training
· EC impact and use by health professionals using the Exit Questionnaire –V2
· Reflective Logs maintained by health professionals attending supervision sessions
· Workshop logs maintained by supervision session leaders
· Open ended questions on Exit Queisonniare-V2 and training evaluation forms
To date, results have indicated that initial training was enthusiastically received and increased health professionals understanding of how to Emotion Coach. Health professionals enjoyed the opportunity to focus on the neuroscience and physiology of emotions and stress response system and learning how Emotion Coaching supports the development of emotional regulation.
Health professionals found the supervision sessions supported them to engage in increased self-reflection practices with a clearer understanding of their own personal triggers, as well as an increased appreciation of their biases and how this will impact on their relationships with others; this supported improved emotional and self-awareness, as well as improving capacity to “sit with” uncomfortable emotions. In turn, it was considered that interpersonal relationships improved by promoting quality adult-child relationships.
Participants left the training and supervision with an increased understanding of the importance of considering an individual’s neurobiological reactions, as well as the importance of psychoeducation for adults working with children, which included the need for adults to have opportunities to see others using Emotion Coaching in practice. Emotion Coaching was also considered to be a simple, cost-effective, empowering and universal tool which supported the health practitioners in their aims of “helping others to cope” with their emotions.