We all have needs and wants that we strive to meet every day. These are sometimes called emotional objectives. We may want or need respect, control, or help throughout the course of a day. The first step in this training participants experience and identify needs and wants (e.g., I want respect or approval) in a given situation, a critical step necessary before you can begin to actively listen to others. This crucial first step grounds participants in an awareness of their own motivations, experiences, and space, and importantly, teaches participants to be in the present. Building on the skills learned in Step 1 of the training, identifying your own needs and wants, participants then learn in Step 2 how to become aware of the needs and wants of others. Here you will practice many active listening skills (using 2-line interactions and short scripts), including:
- Making and maintaining eye contact;
- Experiencing the wants and needs of others;
- Getting your own wants/needs met by others; and,
- Getting your own needs and wants met when words and needs don't match.
In the third component of training, participants learn and practice active empathy via a series of increasingly complicated role-plays in small groups. Active empathy is an essential skill underlying the ability to take another person's perspective and better communicate with them. During this component of training, participants:
- Live inside the stories of characters using increasingly complicated 8-line scripts;
- Live inside the stories of patients/parents who need to overcome obstacles; and,
- Use role-plays to live in still more complicated stories.
Through this progression of empathy training, other people's stories become deeply internalized and participants can see things from the point of view of many characters. This makes it very difficult to stereotype people who are different than you.
The final component of the training is a role-play in which participants utilize and practice all the skills learned during entire training. This role-play is different than others, because instead of playing other characters as you do in other components of the training (e.g. medical or social work professional, teacher, or parent that you played while learning active empathy), you are playing your real-life role. For example, a real-life social work professional interacts with a patient (played by another social work professional) at this point of the training.
- Learn concrete ways to improve the therapeutic alliance
- Develop skills needed by the SW before meeting with individuals, couples, families and/or children
- Learn active empathy training so that the SW can experience the voice, story, and point of view of one’s clients while keeping boundaries
- Practice being yourself as a SW working with an individual, family member and/or child(ren) in “lived” role plays
This conference will attract social workers and human services professionals who