Hello and welcome to The Care Guy's blog.
Please have a look around and feel free to comment on anything that catches your eye.
I hope to make this a useful resource, not just a 'come and buy my services' blog and the comments and opinions of visitors is likely to be a big part of making the blog a success.
I look forward to hearing from you.
(The Care Guy)
Coping skills develop slowly
Posted on 7:30am Friday 27th Jul 2012
The mental health workers’ guide part 29
Part 29 of The Mental Health Workers' Guide considers how slowly coping skills develop in mental health care. Don't forget that you can download the podcasts and video clips that accompany this series here.
Coping skills develop slowly
Take a moment to think of all the things that you’re most proud of in your life. For some that might mean professional qualifications from NVQs or VQs to diplomas, degrees and even PhDs. Others will think of less formal achievements like charitable endeavours or learning to play a musical instrument. Perhaps you’re good at a particular sport or maybe you’re proud of overcoming your fear of heights and going on a parachute jump. It takes a particular form of courage to jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane several thousand feet above the ground. A friend of mine recently climbed Kilimanjaro. He’s rightfully proud of that.
What have you achieved?
The fact that you’re able to read this blog at all means that you’ve achieved something that most humans throughout history never managed to do. You have learned to read!
Whatever you’re thinking about the chances are that the things you’re most proud of didn’t come easily. They took effort. They took mistakes.
Thomas Eddison reputedly failed thousands of times before he successfully invented the light bulb. His attitude to these mistakes was interesting. He didn’t see them as failures. He saw them as learning opportunities. He saw them as milestones along the road to success.
Every time he built a bulb that wouldn’t light up he learned a little bit more about how not to make a light bulb. Inevitably all that knowledge, all that trial and error eventually led him to find the right way to generate light.
Eddison learned from his mistakes just as you have learned from yours. Writing the first assignment you submitted in that college course, your first fumbling attempts at making music, the first time you tried to hit a cricket ball or ride a horse you made mistakes. Over time you learned from these mistakes and you did better.
That’s as true for you as it is for your service users. They make mistakes too. And when those mistakes are handled correctly they learn from them – just like you do.
So the next time your service user gets something wrong or fails to meet expectations don’t assume they’re incapable. Help them to grow because of that mistake, not in spite of it. It’s a vital part of learning new skills and new ways of coping.