This afternoon I attended the first session of Coping And Overcoming Life Stressors workshop, organised by C3A for the first time, at Family Central. The facilitator, Ms Abby Chew, from Fei Yue Counselling Centre, has 9 years’ experience as a counsellor with the Prisons Service. Including myself, there are 15 participants; we are grouped in three’s (called a triad) for most of the activities.
The first thing Abby established was the three ground rules: active participation, have an open mind (respect each other), and maintaining confidentiality (sharing what we are comfortable with). It’s very similar to the ground rules we had for the Guided Autobiography (GAB) course that I co-facilitated twice at the Bishan Public Library.
The first activity was getting all the participants moving around the room and greeting each other with “I see you” and responding with “I am here”, an African tribal custom. It implies that it is people around us that make us feel good, and if you don’t see me, I don’t exist.
Then each triad gets to share their stresses in life and what they do to destress. This was by far the most interesting part of the afternoon. After this, Abby delivered a lecture/talk on the types of stress (Acute, Chronic, Eustress and Distress), the Satir Model of survival coping stances (Placating, Blaming, Super Reasonable and Irrelevant). There were some demonstration and role play involved, but I look forward to even more interesting sessions over the next three weeks (on the Iceberg Model as an assessment tool, Communication needs and Congruence).