Hello leader in healthcare! If you are facilitating any kind of relaxation session, a little psycho-education goes a long way. Watch the video below to learn how to weave psycho-education into your sessions!
Ellen Whealton, MA, MT-BC says:
Always weave in a psychoeducational thread throughout the session. I’m not only trying to remind people why they’re there and why music is powerful. I’m inviting them to believe in their own healing power. Once I put that psychoeducational piece into my sessions, I had more people coming together, bringing their friends and building and building up my community sessions.
It might be new for people. It be feel uncomfortable. It might be kind of new agey. Basically you want to normalize the experience. You want to teach them a few basic things. You could start with toning. They might never have toned before, and you mention this: “Toning is bringing vibrations in. It can stimulate the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the central nervous system. The vagus nerve controls the fight or flight response. And by bringing virbration in, it inducees the relaxation response.”
You can also talk about how deep breathing can help stimulate the vagus nerve. Deep breathing is part of toning. You also want to address any kind of concerns people may have about it ahead of time. That way it doesn’t come up in the session. You want to mention that there’s no right or wrong to this process. You could mention: “The pitch and quality of your voice doesn’t matter. Just focus on the sound of the group voice and how your voice lends to that unique sound of the group. We’re meeting together at this one time in space. We’re here together for support and community.”
You’re setting up a group intention without really having formed their personal intentions yet. It may sound like my explanation goes on for a long time, but it really doesn’t. I formulate a few sentences here and there within the process so that I’m breaking up the educational in between experiential pieces.
Instruct them as well, especially if they are new to the process. You can say: “In the process you may do as much or as little as you’d like. You can share as much or as little as you’d like. I will lead you and give you instructions just so you know. When you’re toning I’ll be giving instructions as you go. And during this time you can invite your thoughts and emotions to leave with your voice. Simply invite and allow and see what happens.”
We think Ellen is spot-on with her advice above. What psycho-educational work do YOU weave in to your sessions? Drop a comment below – We’d love to hear from you!
Meanwhile, learn more about Ellen’s new course on Music Assisted Imagery:
Be well, Kat