Normalizing: Moving from Reaction to Response

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Normalizing-reaction-to-response
Our bodies are designed to react to our perceptions of threats, fears, and challenges. This is normal! These reactions can manifest themselves through anxiety, aggression, withdrawal, and going numb. There is no wrong reaction. Lisa invites us to pause and check in with ourselves to regulate through the activation of our nervous system.

Biographies

Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S

Lisa Dion is an international teacher, creator of Synergetic Play Therapy, founder and President of the Synergetic Play Therapy Institute, and host of the Lessons from the Playroom podcast. She is the 2015 recipient of the Association for Play Therapy’s Professional Education and Training Award of Excellence and the author of Aggression in Play Therapy: A Neurobiological Approach for Integrating Intensity. Lisa is also a Master Certified Demartini Method Facilitator providing education and support to individuals and organizations worldwide.

Ludmila Golovine

Ludmila Golovine is President/CEO of MasterWord Services, Inc., a global language solutions company. As a language professional, Golovine knows first-hand how interpreting, especially in the healthcare, social services, education, and legal arenas, may present challenges such as stress, anxiety, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. For the past 10 years, she has applied her skills as a Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner and a Trained Demartini Method Facilitator to tirelessly help promote health and wellness to those in the language services industry.

Transcript

Ludmila Golovine:
Hello and thank you for connecting. My name is Ludmila Golovine and I’m the president, CEO of Master Word Services. For the past 27 years, we have been dedicated to providing language, access, translation and interpreting support in more than 400 languages. Today, everybody is facing an unprecedented situation. The pandemic, the overall shutdown of cities, organizations, entire economies. We, as language professionals, are facing incredible stress and anxiety while at the same time also needing to continue to provide services and supporting our clients. What we’re seeing today has become a new normal in a way where people are not able to leave their home, where a lot of our loved ones getting sick, where people are facing the uncertainty of what’s going to happen tomorrow. So we all have a lot of questions that we don’t necessarily have answers to. 

At this time, we wanted to support our colleagues, language professionals, everybody who has to continue working in our industry today. And we partnered up with Lisa Dion, who is a trained psychotherapist who actually works with other mental care professionals and teaches them on how to deal with stress and anxiety, how to regulate themselves, how to be able to manage this difficult situations. And she has offered to help us with recording a serious of podcasts that will actually be addressing a number of questions that we have heard from a lot of our co-workers today. Hopefully, it will address some of the questions that are on your mind as well. And also, please feel free to send us your questions so that we may address them on future podcasts. With this, I’m introducing Lisa doing. Please tell us a few words about yourself.

Lisa Dion:
Hi, my name is Lisa Dion. I am the creator of Synergetic Play Therapy and the president of the Synergetic Play Therapy Institute. I am also psychotherapists and have been for the last 20 years, as well as a licensed professional counselor and supervisor. My expertise involves bridging the gap between neuroscience and brain development and development into the world of mental health. In a way to help individuals, mental health professionals and organizations worldwide be able to maximize how to achieve high state of mental health, particularly during times of stress and intensity. So I am incredibly grateful to be partnering with Master Word to begin to create a series of podcasts to support you right now, to help normalize your experience and to give you support and some tips and ideas about how you can be taking care of yourselves and things that you can be doing in your own life right now. And while you are at work, to be able to maximize your own mental health right now and to reduce your own experience of the stress that we are all experiencing. So thank you so much for listening to these podcasts. I hope that you find some hope. And most importantly, I hope that you know that during these stressful times that you are not alone.

Let’s just begin by normalizing what we’re experiencing in our bodies right now related to our perceptions of fear and threats and challenges with the Corona virus. So when we perceive a threat or a challenge, our bodies are naturally designed to react. They attempt to do something about the situation at hand to try to keep a safe and ultimately, to try to take the challenge on. As the body is reacting, there is a certain activation that occurs in our bodies. So some of us, in our reaction, we start to move into a fight or flight response, which starts to look a bit like anxiety. It can even go into panic. It starts to look potentially like aggression, overwhelm maybe even irritability. And then sometimes the body reacts in a way where it starts to withdraw and shut down and begin to even go numb, even start to have the experience of depression start to set in. Both of these reactions are normal reactions to a perception of a threat or a challenge, and everyone to some degree right now is experiencing some level of activation, as I just described. Now the reactions are also changing. So one day you may experience more of a heightened activation, and the next day you may feel like you just want to shut down and withdraw and just shut it all out and just disappear. You may even have an experience of that in the morning, and then by afternoon you notice that your activation and your reaction is shifting again. All of this is a normal response to a perception of a threat or a challenge. It’s important that you hear me say that whatever is happening in your bodies, whatever reaction you’re having is okay. Nobody’s reaction to their level of perception of threat or challenge is wrong. So right now I’m gonna invite you to take a really deep breath. And as you are taking this breath, I want you simply to become aware how you’re doing right now. What’s the activation like in your own body right now? Are you a bit more heightened? Are you starting to shut down? Where are you at in this moment now? The reason why I’m inviting you to pause and to take a deep breath and to check in with yourself is because this is the first step in being able to actually regulate through the activation and our ability to regulate through the activation in our nervous system is what allows us to begin to respond instead of react. Our ability to respond instead of react also helps our nervous system be able to settle our ability to become aware of ourselves in the moment and then to regulate through it. Whatever that activation is, actually increases our immune system. It actually decreases are stress response. It sets us up so that we have a lower risk over time of experiencing compassion, fatigue, and vicarious trauma. Right now, it sets us up to be able to better thrive in the midst of the stress instead of actually having an experience where we go down for the count ourselves. So here’s what I want you to do, because this is just as important right now as doing all the things we know we need to do to maintain really good health.

This is a critical part of your self care right now through the Corona virus experience. I want you to take time throughout your day and just check in with yourself. Just maybe even ask. How am I doing right now? And just notice and take that deep breath. Allow yourself to start to become a bit more mindfully aware of what’s happening in your own physiology. This again is the beginning steps to being able to regulate through the intensity and the activation, and it’s the beginning of allowing you to be able to respond instead of react when your system naturally kicks in. To be able to take the challenge on that, you are perceiving in the moment, so pause, Check in with yourself. Take a deep breath, just start to notice.

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