Clinical Corner: ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ from our students

Latham students regularly participate in clinical group sessions focused on social development (in addition to one-to-one sessions focused on individual therapies). ‘The Golden Rules of Life’ was the topic for two of our suites in a recent group session with Lead Clinician Carlyn Setchell. Carlyn proudly shared highlights:

“The Golden Rules of Life are helpful, positive words to live by. I found seven examples online, such as “No one is in charge of your happiness but you” and “Don’t judge or compare yourself to others; you don’t know what their journey is all about.” I read each rule aloud and invited the students to explain their understanding of what each rule meant and why it was necessary. The students did well conceptualizing and relating the rules to their own lives and to the goals they have for themselves. I then invited the students to work together to come up with a list of their own rules for life, and they produced the following pearls of wisdom:

-Be nice to everyone; it’s kind and fair

-Look on the bright side

-You’re going to be ok because you have people around you who care

-It’s ok if you’re having a bad day, maybe you will have a better one later

-Only be yourself, don’t be like someone else

This turned into a conversation about what actions to take when someone is upset; our students can have an amazing capacity for empathy, and want to help each other (and staff!) out whenever they can. When asked, “what might be the best, most helpful thing to do if you see someone who looks like they’re struggling?”, the students came up with:

-(With a big smile) “Hey! Are you upset? Do you need support? Can I help you? Do you need some water? Or a hand squeeze? Or to go outside? I’m here for you even if you don’t want to talk.”

I was so proud of them for their ability to genuinely consider what someone might need during a challenging time, not only because it showed their empathy but also because it allowed them to consider what they might find helpful when they are struggling and be more empowered to ask for it in the future.”

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