Student Social & Emotional Workshop Training Program

The Child Mind Institute’s Resilience-Building Workshop Series is designed to help educators teach mental health wellness and coping skills to classrooms of students between the ages of 8-16.

This series provides a curriculum schools can use for decreasing stigma around mental health and learning disorders, promoting mental health literacy, improving mental health support efforts across an entire student body, and teaching students healthy ways to navigate stressful situations. Resilience workshops can be led by a Child Mind Institute clinician in the school, or schools can engage Child Mind Institute staff in training local school-based mental health professionals on the delivery of these workshops.

To learn more about this training program and fees, contact Leah Golombek at Leah.Golombek@childmind.org or call 646-625-4250.

A major focus of the Child Mind Institute school-based work is promoting sustainability in schools, ensuring that school-based staff and educators are trained to be able to independently deliver mental health wellness and prevention programs. Training for school staff on the delivery of our resilience-building workshop series consists of:

  • An initial 2-hour professional development training, introducing major concepts of the workshop series and engaging participants in interactive practice related to the activities in each workshop
  • Completion of a digital training curriculum, in which educators watch videos of a Child Mind Institute clinician delivering each workshop in the resilience-building series
  • Follow-up 2-hour professional development training, involving live practice of key workshop activities and preparation for school-based staff to co-lead the workshop series with Child Mind Institute clinicians
  • Child Mind Institute staff either co-lead or review videotape of at least 5 resilience-building workshops in order to ensure quality and fidelity in service delivery
  • Ongoing bi-weekly consultation calls with Child Mind Institute staff for a period of 3 months following the completion of the training program, providing support on continued implementation in the school setting

Each workshop is 40 minutes and stands alone, allowing classrooms to receive between 1-6 sessions. The complete workshop series is outlined below.

Feelings Identification

Objective: To deepen students’ understanding of their emotions.

  • Identify the five primary emotions: happy, sad, angry, scared and disgusted.
  • Introduce the “feelings thermometer” and help students practice rating the intensity of their emotions.
  • Help students identify where in their bodies they experience their emotions so that they can better identify how they are feeling.
  • Play “feelings charades” to practice identifying other people’s emotions.

Relaxation Strategies

Objective: To teach students three relaxation techniques and help them think about when to use them.

  • Review information about identifying feelings and introduce the rationale for using relaxation strategies.
  • Demonstrate and have students practice three relaxation strategies — belly breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery.
  • Discuss “coping ahead,” or thinking about times when students may experience stress or uncomfortable emotions and could benefit from using the relaxation strategies.

Cognitive Processing

Objective: To teach students how to re-frame overly negative or unrealistic thoughts.

  • Introduce the cognitive triangle and discuss the relationship between one’s thoughts, feelings and behavior.
  • Introduce the Chicken Little story as an example of thinking overly negative or unrealistic thoughts (the sky is falling!), and help students come up with alternate positive or realistic thoughts.
  • Introduce games to help students practice changing negative, unhelpful or unrealistic thoughts into positive, helpful or realistic thoughts. Games differ by age and grade levels.

Social Problem-Solving

Objective: To help students reflect on the connections between their thoughts and actions in order to choose helpful and effective solutions to problems involving other people.

  • Review connections between thoughts, feelings and behaviors, emphasizing that our actions are related to how we think about problems.
  • Generate a list of common problems students face with friends, parents and teachers, and pick one to work on.
  • Practice brainstorming solutions and then evaluate if solutions are helpful or unhelpful.

Anger Management

Objective: To help students distinguish between passive, aggressive and assertive reactions to anger. Help students learn techniques to slow down the time between experiencing anger and reacting to it.

  • Help students identify triggers of anger and the associated thoughts, body sensations and actions.
  • Discuss the difference between passive, aggressive and assertive reactions to anger, and which approaches will make problems bigger or smaller.
  • Introduce techniques students can use to slow down their reaction when they identify angry feelings and body sensations.

Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance

Objective: To teach students the concept of mindfulness and how they can use it to help themselves cope when they experience stress or uncomfortable emotions.

  • Define mindfulness as paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment.
  • Practice belly breathing and play a mindfulness game as a fun way to experience how important it is to pay attention to the present moment.
  • Discuss how students can use mindfulness to notice their emotions and decide how to cope with difficult or uncomfortable emotions.
  • Discuss distress tolerance techniques like belly breathing and self-soothing as a way to help students cope in the moment with distressing situations or feelings.

To learn more about this training program and fees, contact Leah Golombek at Leah.Golombek@childmind.org.