How to Effectively Explore Behind the Distressed Door
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How to Effectively Explore Behind the Distressed Door

About the Book

There’s a big difference between wanting to be helpful and actually being helpful.  I meet people with helping “hearts of gold” that feel they fall short when supporting people in crisis.  Wanting to be helpful is important – but it does not ensure that your help will be effective.  Being effective – in anything – may include desire (or wanting) but requires knowledge and skills.

Before I delve into the knowledge and skills part, let me first pause here and speak about your desire (or wanting) to be helpful.  Being a naturally empathetic and caring person is foundational to this work.  

Before you employ your skills, you must first have the desire to move toward someone in distress. I can’t teach you to have empathy and feel for someone in pain.  I can’t teach you to care about another human being.  You’re naturally loving, caring and empathetic toward people in pain - or you’re not.  I know someone that would cross 4 lanes of heavy traffic to rescue a stray dog but wouldn’t cross a hallway if she heard her coworker crying.  As she says it, dealing with people who are upset is just not her “thing”.  

So, if you’re reading this, then I’m guessing that dealing with upset and distressed people is your “thing” - and you have the heart, desire and drive to be helpful and supportive. That’s what I mean when I say, it’s “foundational”.  No matter how much you read, learn, practice and implement – it won’t matter a bit if you do not have the heart, desire and drive to move toward a soul that’s suffering and a person in pain.  

Now that we’ve established the foundation to being an effective helper is to have a helping heart, let’s fill your “back-pocket” with the top 5 skills to keep you being effective.  The top 5 skills that we’ve identified are: 

  • Exploring
  • Validating
  • Identifying emotions
  • Reframing thoughts
  • Creating a plan

In training, we call it “back-pocket” skills, meaning these 5 skills I keep nearby and available to me at all times.  With over a decade of experience, I have found that these skills have rarely (if ever) let me down.  Understand and master these skills and you are sure to be an effective helper – with those that want to be helped. 

About the Author

E. Dorie Jones, M.Div, MSW
E. Dorie Jones, M.Div, MSW

Dorie is a partner and co-founder of Crisis Support Solutions, LLC. She counsels individuals and groups on various issues ranging from stress/trauma, depression/anxiety, relationship/family, grief/loss, victimization, etc. She trains coordinated and managed crisis intervention teams at multiple locations. Dorie has developed and taught courses in basic and advanced crisis intervention training programs. She is also a Compassion Fatigue Educator with the Academy of Traumatology.

Dorie earned a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Savannah State University, Savannah, GA, and a Masters in Divinity (M.Div) from McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA. She is currently a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Specialist at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
    • Got Skills?
    • About Exploring
  • What is EXPLORING?
  • When do you EXPLORE?
  • How to EXPLORE?
  • How do you know when you have EXPLORED effectively?
  • In Closing
    • A few points I wish I would have known when first starting out
    • Recap and Conclusion

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