Creating safe spaces for feelings

Emotional literacy sits at the core of our well-being, mental health and management of needs such as stress. When we have positive emotional literacy skills, we have a greater capacity to:

  • Understand what is happening inside us
  • Recognise the needs that we have
  • Express our needs
  • Respond to our needs
  • Manage our needs
  • Empathise with others

However, to be able to do this we also need the right environment. The development of emotional literacy awareness requires support as well as safe spaces.

  • Spaces to explore feelings and what they mean
  • Opportunity to explore what the sensations are in our bodies and what feeling they link to
  • Spaces to talk through feelings with non-judgement and curiosity
  • Supportive adults who are able to guide the development of emotional language
  • Support to learn regulation strategies and skills
  • Support to regulate when our feelings are overwhelming
  • Spaces where our feelings are safely held

Therefore, we need to consider how we create these spaces, and who is leading them. Emotional literacy is significantly, positively correlated to our longer term happiness (Hasan Nia et al, 2019). Therefore, considering who and how we support emotional literacy development is an important step in the mental health protective factors for children.

Therefore, we can consider:

  • What is our understanding of emotional literacy theory?
  • What is our own knowledge and awareness of our own emotional literacy?
  • What training do we have in understanding emotional literacy?
  • What strategies do we use to develop emotional literacy knowledge?
  • How are we supporting emotional literacy development at different ages?
  • How do we adapt emotional literacy interventions for children who struggle with interoception?
  • How do we respond when children are dysregulated?
  • How do we support children when they are dysregulated?
  • What language do we use when we talk about feelings?

Want to learn more? 

Would you like to deliver emotional literacy interventions in your work? Our Level 3 Emotional Literacy Mentor qualification takes you through the theory and practice to deliver emotional literacy support for children aged 3-12 years. You can start today by joining (click here)

Are you looking for a deeper understanding of child mental health? Our Level 4 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Coaching Diploma takes you into an in depth dive of child mental health and how you can support.  You can join our Level 4 training (here).

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Further help 

For more articles about mental health visit – ARTICLES 

To learn more about child and adolescent mental health visit – COURSES 

For resources to support child and adolescent mental health visit –RESOURCES 

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