Share on Facebook 61 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to Futurehealth:
Articles    H3'ed 10/19/09

Words Are Medicine: Raising a Self-Healing Child

By       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.       1 comment
Author 656
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Judith Acosta
Become a Fan

Words have this capacity with adults, as science has shown over and over. But it is even more effective with children, who are far more connected to their bodies and their instinctive responses than adults. As adults we have been conditioned to deny and modify the way our bodies respond. Children have not yet acquired those defenses and the effects of our words are readily apparent in their faces and their body language.

Their imaginations are also far more active and freer than those of adults. They are less likely to let their conscious mind interrupt a great story with logic than we are. They suspend disbelief more easily. As a result, with proper guidance from us they are able to generate images that can have a powerful and positive impact on their immunity, their breathing, their heart rate, and their inflammatory response.

The Healing Zone

Verbal First Aid™ works because when we are in a crisis of any kind—whether that's a serious accident or a bruised ego—we slip into what psychotherapists call "altered states." In those states we are more suggestible and more sensitive to what is being said around us or to us. For that reason, these states are referred to as "healing zones" in Verbal First Aid(tm).

In these healing zones we are highly focused, usually on an internal process. Children enter these states far more easily and more often than adults. What we say to ourselves and to other people when we are in that zone has extra impact. This is doubly true when the person speaking is an adult, particularly a parent or other known and respected authority figure.

The ABC's of Verbal First Aid(tm)

There are two parts to Verbal First Aid™: Rapport and Suggestion. Without the first, the second, no matter how clever, doesn't work.

Gaining rapport is built on 3 fundamentals—Authority, Believability and Compassion.

Authority is the first step. When people are scared, they look for a benevolent authority to tell them what to do. They naturally look to leaders to lead them to safety. Even with adults, you see this response when a firefighter or police officer is present during a crisis. It is instinctive to all social animals.

Parents or caretakers are natural authorities and children are much more likely to follow direction from them. This is even more so when the child is hurt or frightened.

Believability is the second step. We always want to be truthful. If we're not believable—for instance, if we tell someone, "Everything's going to be okay," when it's clearly not okay—we lose rapport quickly. And without rapport our words—and therefore our suggestions—ring hollow, for if they can't believe us they can't follow us where we want them to go.

Compassion, the third step, is based on empathy—the ability to feel what someone else feels. It is not the same as sympathy, with has more of a kinship with pity. When we can share someone's feelings and still maintain a clear, calm guiding voice, we can lead that person towards healing. When we speak to someone with real compassion, that person will be able to say to himself, "She understands me."

The Power and Purpose of Rapport

Rapport is the track on which all communication runs. Suggestion is the locomotive, the leader that will carry the child to safety, to healing, to empowerment. When we have rapport—when a child sees us as a kind and competent authority—our words can help lead them to healing—both emotionally and physically.

Here's an example:

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Judith Acosta Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Judith Acosta, LISW, CHT is a licensed psychotherapist and clinical homeopath in private practice in Placitas and Albuquerque. Her areas of specialization include the treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma. She has appeared on both television (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Clingy Children: Signals for Verbal First Aid (1170 views)

An Alternative to Big Pharm: A Mental Health Journey With Classical Homeopathy (673 views)

Words Are Medicine: Raising a Self-Healing Child (639 views)

Verbal First Aid(tm) for Survival. (629 views)

Holistic Psychotherapy and Trauma Treatment (608 views)

PRIMUN NON NOCERE: First Do No Harm (595 views)

Total Views: 4314

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: