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Gallaudet Univeristy
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Social and Emotional Health Workshops

Going with the Resistance: A Creative Approach to Power Struggles
For Teachers, Dorm Staff, Mental Health Professionals, and Parents

(This workshop can be tailored to the needs of the audience. It can be offered as a two-hour exposure presentation, a three-hour workshop, and a six-hour experiential workshop.)

Anyone who has ever lived or worked with a teenager can attest to the frustration of dealing with oppositional behaviors. Authority figures often fail to be effective with oppositional students because they attempt to “win” the battle by forcing the student to capitulate. This workshop takes a closer look at these power struggles and identifies some creative and unorthodox techniques rooted in Jay Haley’s Paradoxical Theory that promote cooperation. This workshop also looks to eastern philosophy and martial arts training that postulates that momentum met with resistance will result in greater resistance. This same approach can be applied successfully to adolescent behavior. Simply stated, the key to avoiding power struggles is to stop meeting resistance with resistance. Participants will learn unique and practical solutions that will help them to be effective with their resistant students.

Participants will:

  • Be able to identify when their own emotional reactions are feeding into conflicts with a deaf or hard of hearing adolescent
  • Be able to identify when they are in a power struggle with a deaf or hard of hearing adolescent
  • Learn how to argue fairly in ways that promote resolution instead of escalation of the conflict

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Adolescent Sexuality Education: You Can Talk About It, Too
For Teachers, Dorm Staff, Mental Health Professionals, and Parents

(This workshop can be tailored to time and skill level of the audience. It can be offered as a two-hour exposure workshop, a three-hour interactive workshop, a six-hour intermediate workshop, and a 12-hour intensive workshop.)

This workshop provides participants with real strategies for discussing the often uncomfortable issues of human sexuality with deaf and hard of hearing adolescents in a way that fosters open communication, mutual respect, and responsibility. Participants will learn how to address issues of human sexuality from an unbiased, informative perspective while also learning how to identify when deaf and hard of hearing teenagers are exploring their sexuality and what to do to support and guide them in this process.

Participants in this workshop will learn the following:

  • How to address issues of human sexuality from an unbiased, informative perspective
  • How to identify when deaf and hard of hearing teenagers are exploring their sexuality and what to do to support and guide them in this process
  • How to handle awkward questions about one’s own sexuality or sexual experiences
  • How to keep the flow of communication open so that the adolescent will feel comfortable about returning for advice or information
  • Which signs are commonly used by deaf and hard of hearing adolescents in conversations about sexuality, and how to participate in these conversations using language that is age and culturally appropriate

Advisory: Please be advised that this workshop addresses provocative subject matter that some may find uncomfortable.

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Family Dynamics Training for Families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
For Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
(2- or 3-hour exposure workshop or 6- to 12-hour interactive workshop)

Hearing families with deaf or hard of hearing children can face unique challenges related to family dynamics and communication. Communication strategies, family constellations and roles, and family values all impact the way a family operates as a system. External pressures such as advocating for their deaf or hard of hearing children in education settings can add another level of stress to the family system. This workshop explores some simple but effective strategies for hearing parents with deaf or hard of hearing children to fine tune their family system.

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the ways that family roles, birth order, responsibilities, communication, and personality styles impact the functionality of their families
  • Gain insight into the kinds of factors that influence their families and what they can do to positively affect them
  • Learn and practice practical strategies to resolve conflicts, to communicate more clearly and effectively, to support each other, and to prioritize “family time"

This workshop would work well in a Family Learning Vacation setting.

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