FOCUSING for PARENTS and CARERS of SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN
Social, Emotional, Health, Special age

Eileen Fendick

 

Focusing can add an extra dimension to the training of parents and carers of children, and especially of children needing extra care and attention.
By learning to Focus on the reality of our lives, acknowledging the truth of our existence; allowing ourselves to feel what we feel; express what we feel, and in a safe way own our vulnerability, we can ease and soften the stresses and strains of parenthood, and caring for our children with special needs.

HOW CAN WE DO THIS

By learning and practising the Focusing Process.
First of all by 'checking in' with ourselves and noticing how we carry 'all of this' in our bodies. We are then able to listen to the messages our bodies tell us, and acknowledge the emotions and fears that arise as having very good reasons for being there; validating them.
We can welcome these sometimes very uncomfortable feelings that want our attention and acceptance, and let them know that we hear how hard it is; so that a stronger observer part of ourselves can offer some understanding and caring. In this way we are able to become our own listener, companion and guide.
It can be quite hard to stay with uncomfortableness within ourselves giving ourselves this inner attention. We become distracted by thoughts and things needing to be done. So we learn how to be present, and hold the space for another parent/carer in the group, to accompany their own inner process. In this way we have an on-going opportunity to support ourselves and others through the shared difficulties of bringing up children needing this extra care.

 

SUGGESTED COURSE CONTENT

To learn the skills to communicate and relate to ourselves and our children, and to do this focused caring for ourselves, and others; the course will offer :

COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Reflective and empathic listening.
Positive, Assertive communication
.
FOCUSING ATTITUDES
Acceptance, Understanding, Caring and Trust.
.
RELATING SKILLS
Sharing, Acknowledging, Owning, Accepting, and Expressing Feelings
.
NEEDS & WANTS
Looking at our own needs and reflecting on how well we are getting them met.
Also noticing how our own behaviour can reflect areas of our life we need to Focus on.
.
PROBLEM SOLVING
Taking responsibility to finds ways to seek help or deal with our own problems, and to support our children to find their own right way to deal with theirs.
.
DEALING WITH
behaviour in ourselves and our children that we don't like, by attending to the strong feelings that arise inside us. Finding out what needs we have that we aren't getting met that are causing us and them to behave that way.
.
FOCUSING PROCESS
Helping parents and carers to form a caring relationship with their inner life experience; whether life enhancing or life threatening; to be their own listener, friend and carer; and thus be able to access their own body wisdom
Also teach participants how to companion another person or child on their own journey of self discovery.
.
THE ICING ON THE CAKE
When parents and carers of children with special needs have incorporated Focusing into their own lives, and have felt the difference it makes; they will naturally want to pass on this compassionate caring process to the children they care for, so they can benefit too. Parents, carers will also know how to companion a child to be with their own 'hurts' and 'upsets' as
they arise.
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SUGGESTED COURSE PROCEDURE
- To be run for four to six participants to enable enough sharing time and practising skills.
- Ten sessions of two hours duration.
- Content to come out of participants needs after reflecting on the following questions:
- How is it for you and your family to have a child at home,
  or at work who needs special care and attention ?
- What is the worst of it for you ?
- What does it bring to you and your family ?
- What do you need to help you keep up with the pressures that arise ?
- How can you go about getting what you need ?
- How can you best come to terms with what you cannot change, or get help with?