Saturday, 6 September 2014

Positive Psychology - according to the Gospel of St. Albert

The ABC Theory of Emotional Disturbance illustrates how feelings and behaviour at C are determined by what happens A and B, what we believe. This is an A+B=C philosophy. What happens when our constructed view of ourselves equates to an A=C way of believing?

An A=C philosophy ‘I need you to like me …’ is problematic for our less resilient kids. 

A is what happens e.g. 'someone has rejected me!' and C is how I feel and act in response to A e.g. 'I feel really sad because she has rejected me so I stay at home etc' The depth of despair and how long it lasts will depend on how self accepting the person is.

If a child ‘needs’ the approval of others he/she is at risk of depression, anger, anxiety because their psychological well being depends on how others view them. We want students to have such a strong sense of self-worth that rejection and failure will not be as damaging as could otherwise be.

It is easy to say 'you're OK no matter what' but how do you demonstrate how this is true, factual? Here are some strategies you can try!

1. Draw the outline of 3 people with one full of pluses (+) one full of minuses (-) and one containing both (more pluses of course). Discuss which best represents us i.e. are we perfect, are we 'rubbish' or are we a composite of each? Does a negative attribute take away all the positive ones? Does someones negative opinion of you take away your positive attributes?

2. Let children know they are not their behaviour. Tell them they can act badly but that doesn't make them bad.

3. Tell them that another's opinion of them does not mean they are that opinion i.e. they don't have to accept another persons appraisal of them (refer to 1. above)

4. Always give behaviour specific feedback and don't use global rating terms like naughty, bad, lazy etc.

5. Train yourself not to say 'good boy/girl.' Why? Because they can choose good or bad behaviours but they are always worthwhile!

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