After we offered our first course, Foundations of Recovery, it was clear that the subject matter and issues discussed can be emotionally difficult. We became concerned that our approach might be upsetting to some participants. We realized that self-soothing and mood stabilizing is an important part of the healing process.
Thus, in every session of every course, mood-regulating tools are explained and shared. Based on the positive response to this “Toolbox time,” we developed this course — Sally’s Toolbox — specifically designed to assist participants in feeling more emotionally balanced and able to make positive choices when in emotionally-troubling situations.
Most adults have an actual toolbox filled with tools: a hammer, a screwdriver, a level, wrenches, nails, screws, etc. We have it so that we are prepared for the many “fixes” that are necessary in everyday life. Creating an emotional toolbox, then, can assist in gaining the experience and expertise needed to get yourself “plumb, level, and square,” regardless of the emotion, trigger, or situation.
Learning how to trust that you have the tools/skills and that you know the appropriate way to use them helps build confidence in seeing yourself as a competent survivor, ready for anything life has in store for you.
It is important to Sally to note here that she would have preferred to name the course something like “Toolbox Strategies for Staying Calm, Present, and Your Best Self.” However, Janja felt that “Sally’s Toolbox” had a comforting ring to it. So that became the course’s name.
As with all our courses, Sally’s Toolbox provides short readings and optional homework to allow for a deeper understanding of the course material.
The course is structured around three 2-hour sessions over 3 weeks or a one-day 5-hour session (with breaks) and costs $150. The maximum enrollment is 20-25 participants. There will be short presentations on the various skills, as well as plenty of time for questions about how to incorporate the skills into daily living.
In this psychoeducational course, participants will be offered an overview of tried-and-true trauma treatment models as options for part of their healing. This overview will provide language for describing and understanding internal processes that are often attributed to trauma responses. These models can be utilized in conjunction with traditional therapy or simply as a means of raising your personal awareness and regulation of emotions and trauma responses.
Additionally, self-regulating tools that can be used immediately in lifting your mood will be taught. For example, spending time with babies or most young mammals automatically releases oxytocin in the brain. If you don’t have a baby or puppy to help with your mood, that’s okay because pictures and videos can also be effective in generating this boost.
Oxytocin is considered one of the “happy hormones,” along with serotonin and dopamine. It is associated with warm and fuzzy feelings that lower stress and anxiety, while boosting trust and empathy. This is one of many simple exercises that can be learned to gain more control over your brain chemistry and mood enhancement.
IN SALLY’S TOOLBOX COURSE YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT
Aspects of Internal Family Systems (IFS) and the neuroscience behind it
Aspects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Aspects of Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Aspects of the Self-Havening technique
While much of this course will offer new information to participants, we also recognize that pop psychology has been used by certain groups and leaders to manipulate and gain control. Additionally, participants may have felt “failed” by traditional therapists who use these techniques but do not understand the complexities of cults, programs in the Troubled Teen Industry (TTI), or coercive and narcissistic relationships.
This information will be presented as options for healing and growth. There is no “one size fits all” fix or tool that works for everyone. In this course, you will be empowered to take time away from triggering information or you may simply decide to ignore aspects, tools, or ideas that are upsetting.
There should be plenty of other options presented to you that are not emotionally laden or unsettling. We respect that you are the expert of YOU, and we support you in taking care of yourself. Perhaps giving yourself permission to trust your intuition is a tool that should be in your toolbox!
After the course is finished, participants are sent an Evaluation Form (anonymous).
We hope that these are completed by everyone, as we very much look forward to feedback so that we can continually improve our courses.
Janja, Beth and Sally are looking forward to embarking on this journey with you. Thank you for your interest.
This is a one-day Saturday course during the following times:
Eastern Standard Time: 12pm-5pm
Central Standard Time: 11am-4pm
Mountain Standard Time: 10am-3pm
Pacific Standard Time: 9am-2pm