Responding to Student Reports of COVID-19 Related Losses and Anxieties: The Healing Power of Bearing Witness
Postgraduate Program in Psychodynamic School Psychology Presents: A Zoom Workshop for School Mental Health Professionals and School Administrators
Moderator: Stephen Hyman, PhD
CE Credits: 1.5 Credits
Psychology, Social Work, MHC, MFT
Registration Fee: $20.00
We are living in the midst of a prolonged trauma. Our lives and the lives of our children have changed drastically. Plans for reopening schools are uncertain, activities and interactions with friends are severely limited, grieving for lost loved ones and fears of illness are prevalent for many. The presence of facemasks, gloves and handwashing routines are constant reminders that we no longer live the pre-COVID-19 lifestyle that we took for granted.
Trauma is often thought of as being the result of a sudden destructive event or experience that threatens one’s life or shatters one’s emotional security. More frequently, trauma is related to prolonged exposure to any environment that engenders fearfulness and insecurity. For children, the impact of trauma is most severe. It leaves them feeling helpless and alone.
By bearing witness to a child’s suffering, by listening to the child’s troubled internal emotional story, a supportive adult conveys the message that the child is neither helpless nor alone.
Bearing witness involves empathic, active listening to a child’s experience of distress. A child’s loss cannot be undone nor can anxiety or fear be made to disappear but when an adult is able to bear witness to a child’s pains the child internalizes the healing message that “my pain is bearable”, that someone is with me as I face my distress, and “I am not alone”. These messages provide the foundation for the child to self-soothe and cope with adversity.
Bearing witness to a child’s pains is not easy. To do so caring adults are required to contain their own discomfort and the natural tendency to try to remove the cause of the child’s problems. This is a challenge. Workshop speakers will guide school personnel in ways to address this challenge.
Registrants are encouraged to discuss case material based on their work with students and teachers. Comments or questions are welcome upon registration as well as at the workshop.
Navila Armon, LCSW
School Social Worker in the Huntington Public Schools; Candidate, Adelphi University Postgraduate Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Private Practice, Jericho, New York.
Stephen Hyman, PhD
Founder and Co-director, Adelphi University’s Postgraduate Program in Psychodynamic School Psychology; former school psychologist, Hewlett Woodmere Public Schools; Journal article: The School as a Holding Environment; Private Practice, Roslyn Heights, New York.
Maryann Sullivan, MS
NYS Certified School Psychologist, is trained in, and has practiced as a School Psychologist. She is a graduate of the Postgraduate Psychodynamic School Psychology Program at Adelphi University. Currently Maryann works as a Teacher Coordinator.
Matthew Tedeschi, PhD
Co-Director and faculty, Adelphi University Postgraduate Program in Psychodynamic School Psychology; faculty, Adelphi postgraduate programs in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy; former school psychologist Western Suffolk BOCES; Private Practice, Northport, New York.
At the completion of this workshop registrants will be able to:
Identify subtle and overt symptoms that help school personnel recognize students at risk for Covid-19 trauma-related fears of loss and other anxieties that can impede their academic and emotional development.
Demonstrate an ability to apply effective counseling strategies based on bearing witness to the pandemic related emotional distress of students and to contain their own discomfort as they listen to the pains of their students.
Support teachers as they bear witness to and develop classroom activities that encourage students to express their pandemic related feelings.
Participants will receive 1.5 CE credits. Adelphi University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Adelphi University maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Adelphi University, Derner School of Psychology, Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0185; by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0083; and by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0607.
Full refunds are issued for cancellations made up to 7 working days before the event. Cancellations of less than 7 days for any reason, or no-shows are not refunded. Credit towards a future event/workshop are issued for cancellations less than 7 days and up to 24 hours before the event. No credit is issued for cancellations less than 24 hours before the events or no-shows.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Kathleen Kannengeiser
Graduate Studies Coordinator
Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology
e – firstname.lastname@example.org
p – 516.877.4835