The daily stresses of life can weigh heavily on people, to the point where it can bubble up and take an emotional toll. A job as a community services worker (CSW) can involve working with people feeling distressed, vulnerable and highly emotional, and who have found themselves in stressful situations. To tell someone to “calm down” will usually have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve. Instead, you’ll need to try to offer solutions that can not only help calm their anxieties in the short term, but also show you’re there and can be depended on for support.
Your clients may be feeling varying degrees of distress, but there are several strategies you can use that can hopefully restore their peace of mind. Here are three ways you can try and calm as a community services worker.
1. Listen to What Clients Have to Say, and Show You Understand Them
One of the most important things clients will want out of a community services worker is the knowledge that they are being understood, and that the CSW can empathize with how they’re feeling—even if their circumstances aren’t something the CSW has experienced themselves. Therefore, the most important thing you can do to try calming them down is actively listen to what they have to say, and what’s been bothering them.
Even saying something like “I know how you feel,” or repeating back things they’re telling you, can be a sign to the client that they are being understood, and that you care. Beyond that, be sure to listen to them fully. Displaying empathy is an important quality to show when you’re trying to help talk people through difficult life situations.
2. Give Them Verbal Reassurance, and Offer to Be a Helping Hand Whenever Needed
One of the biggest things we often look for in times of distress is reassurance from others that everything’s going to be okay. The key here is to act as a helping hand and source of encouragement when the other person is in distress. Regardless of the source of the other person’s anxiety, you can offer verbal support whenever needed, especially since those with CSW careers are tasked with assessing the social needs of others and taking action when possible. Although you may not be able to do much to immediately fix their problems, there are many ways you can still offer a helping hand. By simply being a dependable source of human connection you can make a significant difference for somebody going through a difficult time.
3. Breathing Techniques Are Another Tool Those with CSW Careers Should Know
Breathing techniques might seem like a short-term solution only, and may not help solve the underlying problem, but they can be a helpful tool nonetheless. During your community services worker diploma you’ll learn about various counselling techniques that can help clients address both short- and long- challenges. Doing breathing exercises can help restore some tranquility and reduce stress, and can be an easy technique to do with another person collaboratively. Take some time to take a handful of deep breaths together, and see how successful it is in reducing the other person’s anxieties. It’s a technique the other person can try practicing in their own time when they need a quick and easy way to stay calm.
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