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Emotional Needs - p2

On this page there are a few results of Google searches done in Feb 2011


Meeting Emotional Needs vs. Filling Emotional Needs

Top results for "meeting emotional needs"


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People who are healed of long-term. unmet emotional needs often
proceed to make great contributions to society and to the lives of
others. How can you identify a person who is suffering from seri-
ous emotional deprivation? What can you do to meet the long-
term. unmet emotional needs of your partner and your children?
How can you become an emotional haler and help unleash the
positive potential that exists in others?
Meeting Emotional Needs vs. Filling Emotional Needs

Google searches Feb 2011

"Meeting emotional needs" 6,780

"Filling emotional needs 1,130

"Emotional needs" - 857,000
"Emotional intelligence - 2,130,000



Top 3 results for "meeting emotional needs"

Note - I found these results to be very unhelpful. I just put them here to show what was actually found, and to show that something better is definitely needed.




First was from Marriage Builders. It talked about Affection, Sexual Fulfillment, Conversation, Recreational Companionship, and Physical Attractiveness  

Reflexology Beneficial in Meeting Emotional Needs

British study

A recent British study found reflexology to provide beneficial effects on "women experiencing a need for emotional support."


Meeting Emotional Needs: When have you put love into action? From JesusCentral.com

On this page the question is asked "when have you put love into action" - Most answers are very brief. Here are a few:

- I think I put love into action when I trusted a friend.

- Long time ago

- Love can never be an action

- on Friday this week at school





Below is an article which talks about emotional needs. I have critiqued part of it. While doing so I noticed they had plagiarized a bit from the EQI.org site. The article is mostly about the issue of inclusion for special needs children in schools but it has some interesting things to say in general so I have kept everything I originally copied from the site which is inclusive-solutions.com/  
Reflecting and problem solving around the emotional needs of disabled children (0-13).

Emotional Needs is a theme we provide considerable training on. Children particularly boys with emotional needs are over represented in special schools and within exclusion statistics, and as they grow up they continue to be overrepresented among those with mental health problems, in prison and so on. Many reports have highlighted the importance of such children experiencing respect, high expectations, constructive feedback, clear limits and a sense of humour from those around them! Emotional Intelligence, emotional competence and emotional literacy are so important to develop and teach especially among ALL staff dealing with children. Here we explore what we believe to be the keys to meeting emotional needs.


Lets get the welcome right and then lets really listen! Safety and security are everything!

see feeling plagiarized

It has been said that 90% of behaviour problems come from children needing to be listened to. One study reported that the number one request from suicidal teenagers was for adults to listen to them. The medical power of listening has also been proven by various studies. Clearly, we all feel better, when we are heard properly. In addition, we feel better when we are understood. In order to be understood, we must be listened to. Often it is more important for us to feel heard than it is to actually get what we say we want. On the other hand, feeling ignored and misunderstood is literally painful whether we are six or sixty. It is about difference and celebrating diversity

It is about being valued for who we are, and not been treated the same. To be a successful practitioner we need to expect diversity to come through door, and have a multitude of strategies on offer to suit all types of children with all their different ways of having their needs met. Being equal should mean that we are being treated as individuals, differently, our individuality MUST be respected. As humans, our basic needs are similar, but the way we get them satisfied might be diverse for different children.

On the most basic level if children feel safe, secure and included, they can be themselves, and be honest about what their needs are, so that these needs can be met. Getting the understanding right applies to is both true for the environment and the attitudes of the staff within a setting. Sometimes the strategies that are needed to make children feel included and safe are pretty straight forward but all staff need to be aware and practising the same strategies.

It is recognising that disabled children, like anyone else, need to feel a degree of control about what happens to them, both physically and emotionally. It is about recognising choice (or its lack as an abuse of power), and also recognising that there are some demands on our lives where we cannot always make a choice, but being aware, particularly as providers, of the difference between choice and demand.

Circle of Courage

We have found this model extremely helpful to many people trying to make sense of young peoples’ actions. The 4 basic emotional needs or ‘spirits’ of belonging, achievement, independence and generosity and the way in which pursuing these needs can so easily become distorted gives many clues as to where to go next with a young person's behaviour.

This circle entwines the 4 central tenets of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity; all components being equally important. In a holistic approach, it becomes vital to understand these components and to be proactive in maintaining the circle for every child in the community.

The four colours of the circle represent four races that are nevertheless as one. Belonging is the first of the ideals.

They started out talking about 4 basic emotional needs, then they called them 4 central tenets, now they call them ideals. It seems to me that ticking with needs is more clear. For example, I don't really know what they mean by belonging being an ideal. Are ideals and needs the same? If I need food and water are these ideals? It doesn't make sense to say "in an ideal world a person would be able to get food and water." I guess you could say "Ideally, a person would get sufficient quantities of food and water, or belonging." But this still seems less clear than just saying we have physical needs and emotional needs.

The emotionally healthy individual must be able to identify with and relate to others. So many pupils with EBD labels in the UK and elsewhere experience no sense of belonging in either school or family life.

True - In fact, one of the most common characteristics of depressed and suicidal people is feeling alone.

Mastery/Achievement is the second ideal: each person must be able to accomplish basic tasks in order to feel worthy and maintain good self-esteem.

I basically agree but "Mastery" doesn't seem to fit with "accomplish basic tasks." Maybe competency would be a better word here. Even "achievement" implies more to me than competency in basic tasks, although if they are talking about disable kids then writing a simple sentence might be considered an achievement.

The third ideal is Independence. Independence follows logically from Mastery and enables the individual to set, pursue and attain personal goals.

The fourth ideal is Generosity. The person who is fulfilled has "extra" that he or she can give to others.

As I view it helping others or feeling helpful is a natural emotional need. This is similar to feeling geneorous. I agree that helping others usually comes "after" our own needs are met. This reminds us how important it is that children's and teen's emotional needs are met by their home and school environment.

Ultimately, then, altruism is needed if a person is ever to be emotionally and behaviourally stable. Opportunities for the most challenging to be generous are usually severely restricted! Yet this represents 25% of basic human needs.

I am not sure that it represents 25% - this is just someone's guess I'd say. What if we divided up my list of the top ten emotional needs and said each one represented 10 percent? Would this make it true? It is just too simplistic. And anyhow I think a person's own need to help him or herself first is probably more like 90% for certain stages of life. And that brings up the question of life stages. A baby doesn't need to feel very helpful. Yet an elderly person whose other emotional, material and physical needs are met might spend a majority of their time helping others. So I don't think you can just say the need to be generous is 25%.

The Long view

Who has influenced you? Who has been there for you in your own life? What did they bring to the relationship with you?

The answers to these questions provide clues as to how we need to be with each other and how to meet emotional needs in a deep and fulfilling way. ‘Love, acceptance, just being there, believing in me, encouraging and supporting’ are typical answers to these questions….

We need to take the long view when planning provision and placement for children with complex and challenging requirements. Currently our system is too geared up for short-term decisions which are often NOT inclusive for challenging children.. Person centred planning tools provide one process for helping us think longer term with the child’s future in terms of dreams and nightmares. As adults, we forget that the messages that we received about ourselves when we were very young were accepted without challenge. These ideas became our truths, and it is very seldom that we are able to challenge them in our adult life. Yet, many young children are not faced with positive messages about their difference. Society’s ideas and assumptions about disability, will be remembered and acted upon by the young who have been exposed to them for years to come. For this reason non-disabled practitioners need to hear a different message, that of disabled adults. This understanding is positive and challenging about their place as disabled people in the world today. It is this thinking in terms of The Long View impact, disability equality, medical and social model thinking, that will prevent practitioners making similar mistakes to those that have previously impacted on the lives of so many disabled people .

Disability a social oppression

It is helpful in understanding to think of disability as a social oppression. To recognise that this oppression occurs, not because the child has an impairment, but because the adults around the child will act on knowledge they have received over years in society. Different cultures will have different attitudes to disabled children in their communities. Whether these attitudes are positive or negative, they are charged, and will influence people’s expectations of that disabled individual.

There is a clear link to racism, sexism and classism when we think about the impact of adult’s words and actions around young children. We can all identify with the impact that adult expectations have had on our own lives. In terms of challenging thinking, it is important to challenge our preconceptions and prejudices before they impact on the lives of disabled children. In the same way that we would challenge racist behaviour in a playground situation, or when imagining the future careers and life paths of girls, we have to be careful not to let our own stereotypes, of black people and women, limit our expectation of their achievement.

It is because disabled children can rarely challenge adult prejudice that they internalise these ideas. Particularly, if the adults around them persist in backing negative stereotypes, children will find ways make sense of the negative messages around them, in ways that will fit their internal stories. Because adults are in positions of authority in children's lives, they will have an effect on how children perceive themselves, on their actions and how they express their feelings. We must be careful as adults that our negative ideas do not influence children’s lives. Therefore, as practitioners we need to be proactive about contradicting negative messages in our own environments, by promoting positive images and working with empowered disabled adults, to enable children to be positive about their own bodies and clear about their emotions.

If disabled children are not in the system, the system will not change. It is highly unlikely that the preparation needed to help a child to feel included can be known without that child present. No training and research in the world will be enough. It is within a meaningful relationship, within the system, that understanding will occur on how best to facilitate the needs child. We cannot prepare for relationships, they happen as part of interaction, with other young children, as well as with staff.

These ideas are based on ‘Exploring Disability a Sociological introduction', Barnes, Mercer & Shakespeare, which describe the different faces of oppression that face disabled adults in our society. It is not hard to see where these attitudes will begin to form within the minds of young disabled children. We might not be talking about violence, exclusion or alienation at this stage, but for some of the lack of choice, the lack of encouragement to express free will, ideas, dreams will begin a vicious circle of a dependence, which will have effect on wider cultural phenomenon such as institutionalised oppression, violence, and made acceptable by some medical interventions such as the late abortion of disabled foetuses.

Medical and Social model of Disability
Disability Model thinking helps us understand the changes in the way we have dealt with the emotional needs of disabled children.

Firstly, the medical model describes our thinking in historical terms: a medical approach to the problem. In the past non-disabled medical professionals, who had authority and control over disabled people’s lives, predominantly defined disability theory. Disability was always equated to illness in terms of research and findings. Care and benefits were awarded as a legitimate portion of the pie produced by society as a whole, in an effort to compensate for personal tragedy. These ideas have had a negative impact of how we treat a disabled child.

Social Disability model thinking applied to provision
The Social Model of disability is a more recent approach to disability thinking (developed in 1970’s by the Union of Physically Impaired Against Segregation) and views the problem as a socio-political one, it has been developed by the disabled people’s movement, and it views disability as defined in terms of lack of access, both as social and structural barriers. It is important to acknowledge the fact that it is the first time disabled peoples thinking that been part of this change of perspective. Applying this thinking to a child’s inclusion will have a positive effect on how they are perceived and accommodated for.

Locating GIFTS and capacity

Social Model thinking shows a way of thinking in which we are then free to think about the problem in terms of attitudes and structures in society: the barriers. If we now look at disability as a socio-political issue, and accept that disabled people have a part to play in the decisions about their lives, whether individually or by adopting Movement thinking, we can move towards making our settings more inclusive. Locating gifts, talents and capacity in the individuals we work with is a much more radical idea than it might seem. But it remains a vital tool in the development of good practice.

We need to view even the most challenging behaviour as communicative. The behaviour should tell us something about the emotions underneath if we can step back and reflect with others.

Emotional accommodations:

To promote a child’s emotional well-being, a lot can be achieved by practitioners understanding simple approaches, such as having chill-out zones where children can wind down or using approaches such as ‘gentle taching’. We must remember that, what we as adults may label as bad behaviour might be challenging or difficult TO US, it does not mean that the child is bad, in fact their actions in their eyes will make sense. Children with problems in expressing feelings are more likely to learn more acceptable actions from their peers. Being with other children of the same age is how all children learn when what they DO is appropriate or acceptable. All children need to be given the responsibility to decide how they are going to show their emotions, and to understand that certain actions will be punished just like their friends, so that they can then make a choice. Intentional Building of Relationships

We all need to accommodate each other and find new ways of repairing the damage we can do to each other in our school, family and community settings. Circle of Friends is of course a key tool for entering the messy world of relationships and can make an amazing difference to individuals with the most challenging behaviour and hard to reach emotional needs. When pupils challenge and emotional needs appear complex involvement of other children in support, mentoring or mediation roles can be incredibly rich!It is all about TEAMS

This is a rich approach to encouraging staff to mutually support each other with in depth problem solving and emotional insights. It works even better with graphic facilitation and synthesis as we have been discovering. Solution Circles and Circles of Adults which can be read about on our web site bring the team to life. Our strategies will always be the richer when our teams are diverse and problems aired and shared. When meeting emotional needs gets hard then we should form teams. When it gets harder we need to strengthen our teams progressively involving others with different gifts and talents.

This works links well to that of educational therapy. Educational Therapy is a way of working with children who have learning difficulties. It combines teaching with therapeutic exploration of the emotional factors, which may impede their learning.

The impact of loss and separation:
THE PARENTS’ PERSPECTIVE - Facing the oppression

“Most parents get on the steepest ‘learning curve’ of their lives when they have a child with a significant impairment. The close relationship with a real disabled person, their own child, may well challenge everything those parents thought they knew or understood about the world, their friends, themselves. For most, it is a lonely and painful journey because they are discovering a vicious oppression from which they now cannot hide or avoid.

The current world-view of disabled children, particularly those who have very significant impairments, is so negative that the birth of such a child is usually thought of as a tragedy to be avoided at almost any cost. If such a child does survive then parents are subjected to an onslaught of professional interventions which, in the past aimed at separation and isolation of the child in institutions, and now more commonly try to turn the parents into teacher/therapists at home. Their children are declared defective, and from this position society struggles to see their life as anything else but sad and hopeless, unless medicine finds a cure.

Under the influence of this world-view many parents have given away their children to residential hospitals or ‘schools’, or thrown themselves into organising therapies, fund-raising for medical research, campaigning for specialist and separate provision, and setting up impairment-specific charities and support groups.” Incurably Human by Micheline Mason, Director, Alliance for Inclusive Education

Oppression at work
Few parents realise that they have become implicated in the oppression of disabled people or even less that they as parents face an oppression:

Experiencing the Medical Model of Disability at work through the mouths of Doctors, Health Visitors, Occupational Therapists, Physios, Teachers, LEA officers and others may have a devastating effect on the relationship between parent and child:

Love becomes conditional – segregation acceptable
Learning to challenge the hurtful myths
Many parents of disabled children have become revolutionaries by the simple act of refusing to stop valuing their children.

“The main difference between parents and professionals is one of power. Professionals act within a system, backed up by laws, regulations, colleagues, resources, training, status, clerical support, large offices, long words and emotional distance. Parents only have their love for their child, and their desire that that child should be given the best possible chance to have a good life. How is partnership possible in such an unequal state of affairs? It is only possible if everyone involved is willing to examine the values and beliefs which lie behind all our actions”. Micheline Mason, Parents and Partnership, 1996

“…. The … issue for parents of children who have “special” (meaning unmet) needs within the education system is that other people who do not love your child, who do not share your value system, could have a greater influence over your child’s life than you do yourself”. Micheline Mason, Parents and Partnership, 1996

Many parents see how the oppression is hurting their innocent child, whom they have come to love. But feeling isolated and alone they often feel they are unable to defend them against the forces in society. If they find the courage to challenge the system they are often labelled as ‘difficult’. This can make them seem too ready for a fight and the professionals they encounter can become defensive and unsupportive. Understanding that these parents are challenging a vicious oppression and looking for allies in this huge task could make a huge difference to a child’s life.

ŠParents For Inclusion

Solution Circles:

Solution Circles : 30 minute Creative Problem Solving Process for getting unstuck...Ideal for busy people! Solution Circles are a Creative Problem Solving Tool designed by Marsha Forest & Jack Pearpoint. This is a short and powerful tool that takes no more than a half hour. It is effective in getting "unstuck" from a problem in life or work. Solution Circles are tools of "community capacity". It assumes and demonstrates that nearby people - in any community or work place have the capacity to help - if asked. It requires a person to ASK - not an easy thing in our culture of privacy and "do it alone". This tool puts all the values we espouse into practice and demonstrates that TOGETHER WE'RE BETTER

Both processes can be learned and are powerful ways of supporting inclusion.

Inclusion is:
In terms of outcome if we apply the social model of disability to educational provision we can get an inclusive setting. Inclusion is a process, which recognises that all children / young people have to have their needs met in order to achieve. ‘People can integrate me, but only I can feel included’’. Social Model thinking applied to educational provision gives us a fully inclusive service, that seeks to achieve the following:

Inclusion is more than the location of the child.

Inclusive settings:

- actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation;
- meet needs in a positive and proactive way;
- approach inclusion as part of an overall improvement strategy;
- engender a sense of community and belonging;

Being included means that children are not only physically there, but they are accepted as part of the community. The crucial understanding is that the child is not expected to change. The starting point is that the child is valued. there is no difference to the approach to all the children in the setting - they are all different; each one is central to the decisions made for their individual learning and development. Inclusion should guarantee that every child in the setting feels they are valued. It is only by making sure that every child, and their parents/carers, are participating fully in their learning, that we can then ensure that they will participate fully as adults, because they have the self-esteem and self-worth to make their own decisions, within the community they live in.