Solutions promotes wellness in mind, body and spirit through the provision of
effective, affordable mental health and alcohol/drug services that
promote recovery, overall health and a sense of belonging.
I met Daphne Morrison in the summer of 1981 when I came to interview to replace employee number 12 at the agency then known as Warren County Mental Health Services, Inc. Over the course of my long working relationship with Daphne, she taught me several important lessons that have served me well and have influenced the direction our agency has taken.
One of the things that impressed me most was the depth and breadth of knowledge Daphne had of the community in which she had already worked for more than a decade when I met her. It reinforced for me the desirability of continuity and longevity in working with clients who have long-standing and sometimes multi-generational problems or severe and persistent mental illness. The effectiveness of the interventions we make is often contingent on the quality of the relationships we form with the clients we serve.
Daphne also showed me the value of patience. I tried having short conversations with her to no avail, but learned in the process that if something is important enough to meet about, it deserves enough time for a thorough review and a well-reasoned solution.
Daphne showed me the value of collaboration, even when such efforts do not yield fruit quickly. Early in my career, she encouraged me to work with representatives from Warren County Children’s Services to develop a community intervention strategy to address child sexual abuse. When the scale of the project seemed to outstrip community resources, I was inclined to put my energies elsewhere. Daphne encouraged me to continue the conversation and to work on building a community consensus. It was not until a decade later that we were able to launch Parents and Children together, our trauma-informed cognitive behavioral intervention program for traumatized children, their non-offending caregivers and siblings. Patience and collaboration are often difficult to integrate, but the challenges we face delivering services are most often not amenable to a one or two step solution. Establishing cooperative relations with other systems provides a foundation on which to build to address complex problems.
Finally, Daphne demonstrated repeatedly the importance of advocating for those who cannot advocate effectively for themselves to improve autonomy and quality of life and to address changing community needs as they emerge.
It is these lessons, continuity, patience, collaboration and advocacy that contributed to our decision to develop a residential program we provide in partnership with the Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities. It is also fitting that we honor Daphne Plaster Morrison for the lessons she taught and her long and fruitful service to this community in naming this program after her.read more.
“Descriptive commenting” is a powerful way to strengthen children’s language skills. Actions, behaviors, and objects can be commented on while playing with your child. Sample descriptive comments include:
Describing children’s feelings is a powerful way to strengthen your child’s emotional literacy. This is known as “Emotion Coaching.” Once children have emotion language, they will be able to better regulate their own emotions because they can tell you how they feel. They also will be able to recognize feelings in others. By recognizing and supporting your child’s emotional responses you will help build their self-regulation skills as well as build self confidence in their ability to handle difficult feelings. Sample emotion coaching comments include:
Describing and prompting children’s friendly behaviors is a powerful way to strengthen children’s social skills. Social skills are the first steps to making lasting friendships. Don’t forget to praise your child for using their self regulation skills such as staying calm, trying again when frustrated, waiting their turn, and using their words. Be sure to model and give your child the words to use to express their needs in the beginning as they are first learning social skills (i.e. “You can ask her for the truck if you would like to play with it yourself.”) Sample comments that you can use while children are playing with you or friends:
Please check back next week for our review of: The Art of Effective Praise and Encouragement.read more.