I shared a moment of frustration with a student during a lesson when they didn’t want to be taught, interrupted when I spoke, and insisted on doing things their way even though it was evidently not effective in the moment. I think I did something like TAP and was able to turn the situation around. I think it is definitely beneficial to use TAP in those moments. For myself, I can always use a reminder to take a couple of deep breaths and get grounded before proceeding with a response during uncomfortable situations.
I encounter these types of moments frequently when I lead a group at boys group home. When I have a lot of resistance coming at me at once for an activity I have put a lot of time/effort into, it can feel overwhelming. My default is to use a technique called Awareness, Acceptance, Adjustment, but I think I like TAP better because it incorporates the breath.
This is something we all need to do – but I believe we need to be reminded of how important it is and to practice it in many situations so that it becomes part of who we are. We all realize that we may not be able to do this all of them time – however the more often this occurs in our practice – be it a classroom or a therapy session the more positive the outcome will be.
In session when my clients are not listening, not wanting to participate or having a moment/outburst I often have to check-in with myself to see what it is triggering inside of me (anxiety, frustration, annoyance). I have to accept that feeling and allow myself to re-focus all of my attention on the needs of my client and what the best approach is to help them in that particular moment instead of only thinking about the disrespect or defiance. When these moments are met with concern or in a calm manner instead of demands or blame things can turn around for the better immediately instead of escalating. When youth feel heard and validated they are more likely to be receptive to direction or suggestion etc.
I do net yet work with youth however I can understand how the TAP technique will be a useful tool to practice and put to use in my future career. I use similar techniques in my leadership classes when leading group activities. Not all students are always happy to be in class so it is hard to get them engaged and participating. It is easy to feel frustrated with the students when they are not interested in participating in your activity but taking a breath and acknowledging your own emotions in the moment is an effective way to manage the way in which you proceed and will hopefully get you on your way to achieving the intended result.
I currently work with young children and they each present different forms of abuse, trauma and they react differently. In that, I find that I process their needs in different ways and in response times. Similar to my little ones, I need to process the presenting actions. Taking the time to use TAPS is easily done and something I can use in real-time. Instead of reacting to a child annoying the group and myself; we can stop and have everyone breathe and then process and engage the students to talk about what just happened.
After you’re finished with the exercise, write about your experience in the comment section below. Were you able to think of a particular situation? What was it? Do you think TAP or something like it could be beneficial for you in those moments when you feel uncomfortable?
I recently had an experience with a student in an advisory group at my high school. I had already requested that students put away electronics before starting. She and a student beside her continued to have their game systems out. I repeated the request for electronics to be put away. The student beside her apologized and put her game system away. This student continued to have hers out. I could feel frustration building inside of me. I meet with this group of seniors weekly so I have been able to get connected to a certain level. In my mind, I was thinking that I have gotten more connected with this student and this is how she is responding. I could feel the frustration building up in my chest. The TAP technique was not something that I knew of before. I did use these steps. I was taking some breaths and noticing my frustration building. That helped me to proceed in a skillful way. I quietly with intention made the request to the student. She followed through. I know that if I did not use my breath and acknowledge the feelings that were arising in me, I could have reacted in a way that would have been negative and hurtful.
I’ve been using the “STIC” technique with some of the youth I work with, teaching them this. However, I used TAP this week when I visited one of my teens at his residential placement when I was noticing some of my own anxiety before getting to a real conversation I wanted to have with him and his mom. Very powerful. I think modeling this and teaching it has even more influential effect. I really like the compassion piece too.
Compassion in the moment, beautiful. Thank you for sharing that technique.
One of the youth groups that I service is a alternative school for delinquent juveniles and the tension is always pretty thing. I am an overall calm person and really try to be that way in all settings. Taking deep breath is almost like a reset button for me. It always brings me back to the center and I also encourage the students to do the same. Because that atmosphere is so unpredictable, I cannot think of just one single moment in particular. This is something I now know that I was using but I can now call it by its name! 🙂
Deep breathing is the key for me. It is something that I use for myself and encourage my students to do so as well. This technique is a definite way to change your thinking, in a tense moment.
I don’t work directly with youths but I focused my exercise on a difficult situation that I had experienced with a client. She was reluctant in completing certain tasks that were given to her. She was also bit rude because she didn’t see the need for an assessment to be completed and expected that certain assistance was automatic.
During the home visit, she was very rude and sarcastic. She was unwelcoming and didn’t want to partake in the assessment. I remember being very frustrated and overwhelmed because I was sort of expecting a rude feedback from her; since it was her usual behaviour. Despite my feelings and her actions, I remained very calm and professional. The TAP technique is new to me but I have been practicing “breathing in and out” as a way to calm myself when placed in stressful and uncomfortable situation. I will also encourage my client to use the TAP technique.
I use this technique daily with a youth who has suffered extream trauma. I know that he needs time to deescalate which also allows me to take a moment to think about the situation, breathe and calm myself so I can assist him in calming himself. I know that the tone of my voice and how I approach him determines his reaction. It is difficult to always be mindful especially when you have a heavy workload and time constraints; and to be honest we’re all human and react under pressure and frustration at times. This technique is beneficial to everyone and makes the day much more productive and enjoyable because we have fewer disruptions simply from being mindful.
I used TAP this week in all of my group settings. I am working hard to make this my default- and to understand that if I am regulated I can help the individuals I work with co regulate. I focused really hard on my tone, my curiosity and was very grateful to them when they were ready to engage. The results were excellent!
I have used techniques similar to this before and have found it to be quite effective. Always a good reminder to take a few breaths. TAP will be easy to remember when I face this type of situation again. What I’m really taking away from this last series is to remain inquisitive rather than demanding.
This practice is critical in allowing me to be effective with the young mothers with whom I work. They are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as am I. We also have group agreements and one of the most important is to be compassionate toward each other AND ourselves. We don’t often know what will trigger each other, but it is a beautiful experience when members of the group begin to do this… lower their voices, model deep breathing and ask questions instead of accusing someone of being insensitive. It is as if there is a collective breath and then we can refocus and address the issue.
I do not yet work with youth, but I see how TAP can be useful and have seen how TAP has been used by clinicians. While in my group therapy sessions one woman would often become disruptive, and refuse to follow any directions. We saw how different counselors reacted to her, each taking a moment to collect themselves and proceed by acknowledging that she was upset and moving on with group, or waiting until this woman was finished expressing herself, or gently asking if she needed to seek DBT skills from one of the individual counselors at that moment. We could see that the counselors took a breath, acknowledge that the woman was dealing with trauma, and proceeded with different intervention styles. The group counselors also taught something like TAP to us, asking us to imagine what she was feeling and sometimes asking how we would have handled the situation. It seems that TAP could also be used for someone who dissociates often during session. It may be frustrating to lose communication when someone dissociates. It can be helpful to take a breath and remember that a client’s dissociation is protective. In my case, I can remember that each therapist proceeded to change their voice tone, acknowledge that this is happening because of my trauma, and asks simple questions to help bring me back from dissociating.
I could have imagined a particular situation where a Youth who was being uncontrollable was fisting up as we were explaining to him the purpose of the department and what would happen to him. I can see where in moments like these using TAP would be beneficial. Although I did not aggress him, in my mind I was planning a defense in the event he acted. I just took a step back and made him aware of what he was doing and he released him fist and listened.
Since I am just getting started interning and able to see clients I haven’t had a chance to use this yet but I can think of a time where it might have been very beneficial. I had a client that no matter what I asked him I got one word answers. After about 10 mins I just gave up because we were getting no where and it was making me very anxious as I felt like a complete failure. This would have been very beneficial for me to have used at that time.
TAP is definitely a useful technique. I encounter several uncomfortable situations in my involvement with youth and adults almost weekly. My most recent experience was with an adult. I have not been focused on my breathing, but after learning about TAP, I will be. My normal response to situations is to proceed slowly; to pause, take a moment to assess the situation, the issue, and origin, before responding. I will now also acknowledge how I feel and the potential cause of the issue being trauma-related before I proceed. Thank you for a highly applicable lesson.
Enjoyed learning about TAP as a tool for engagement. A memory of 2 adult women in a Grief Group I was facilitating were so involved in their own conversation that they ignored my invitation to begin group work. I remember initially feeling slightly irritated and frustrated and did use the breathing technique. Then I just kept looking at them as the rest of the group got very quiet and they noticed the silence.I asked them if they were ready to start. I appreciate the learning opportunity now to practice more awareness and compassion in my interactions with others. Active listening and practicing loving kindness are key for me and TAP is a useful acronym.
I wished I know about TAP during my internship! I was working with an adolescent who was resistant and quiet. The adolescent felt obligated to see me so a few of our sessions were not silent. In particular, there was a session were the adolescent did not want to speak and just put his head down. Due to my inexperience, I ended the session early and he was caught by surprised which made me think he probably wanted that time to reflect on this thoughts. The TAP technique would have helped me to take a breath and examine my own emotions and thoughts of the situation. This technique is a must have for counselors.
During this exercise, I recalled being with a youth group at the local LBGBTQ-A center. I was talking to them about the importance of self-care in the relationships. Out of what I believe was discomfort at the topic, one youth got very triggered and very upset. She started yelling and saying to me that no one “needs to tell me how to be me.” It was a very unsettling moment for sure. I remember at first, that I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to respond and proceed. I had just started doing mindfulness work for my own health but I didn’t really know how to articulate myself or how to use it in a spur of the moment situation. I think I did something like “TAP.” I took a few breathes and tried to figured out how i wanted to move forward. I remember after a few moments, I decided to ask her what had made her so upset, and if she wanted to share with the group her feelings or if she wanted to talk to privately? She was still upset but decided to reveal that she felt very uncomfortable being told “how to act in relationships because it’s no body’s business.” I told her I understood how she might have thought I was going to “lecture” and how that could be upsetting. I asked her to give me a chance to give my “presentation,” and if, after a couple minutes, if she was still upset and wanted to go into another room to just “chill” that she was welcome to do that. I told her she was heard and acknowledged her feelings. She did stay for the whole presentation (about 15 minutes) and was mostly willing to listen. We had a group discussion after the presentation and she was willing to share more with the group and even asked some questions. Overall, I think TAP can be a great way to take a moment and be less reactionary. I have learned over time that some youth (and even adults) act in a way to get a reaction out others.
I recalled a situation from several years back when I taught students with emotional and behavioral disorders. One student in particular acted out during a lesson. At the time, I used parts of TAP. For me, it’s very important to always take a breath first (or two if needed) and then try to understand where the student is coming from.
I have had a few instances whilst communicating with some of my clients they had great outbursts or would just shut out from me. I never a specific method I would use to help them to calm down, so it good to now have TAP method to utilize in those moments. I would usually just try to sift out the best way I believed was necessary to calm down the individual. Some times I would also try to analyse the method that I have been using to see if maybe something I said or did might have triggered the change in behavior or attitude. I am grateful to have a new way of approaching situations of such.
I’m using T.A.P. Right now because I just accidentally wiped out everything I just typed. So, taking my breath and starting again.
I have had a pretty solid meditation/mindful practice for a little over 5 years now. A couple of years back, I had an incident with a particularly resistant student. One day, he became more resistant than ever, even to the point of trying to use something he believed was personal, that I had said previously, in order to provoke me into a physical confrontation. I was able to use a very similar practice to T.A.P. In order to keep my self awareness and management in check. I was able to feel what was happening to me physically, but know that it would pass and that it definitely was not personal. We were able to make it through the end of the class without incident and what I believed, a better understanding and respect for each other. After school speaking with the parent, I asked if there was any changes at home for him to behave more aggressively than normal. I found out that the parents were sending him away to an out of state program, and the parent had left it up on the computer, which he inadvertently saw. I was very glad for my practice to be able to handle that situation appropriately. This class has given me insight into not only how to understand trauma, but why we need to understand it and its many roots and manifestations. It is becoming very common place in our society. The practice of T.A.P.s is very straight forward and does get stronger and 2nd nature the more it is practiced.
Thank you very much.
This exercise was very helpful for me , I was able to reflect back during a life skills class as a intern being very fustrate at one particular student who was always disruptive in class. I most add that back then I did a technique similar to TAP to help me relax and help me not to take the student behavior personal.
The particular moment I used for this practice lesson happened last week. I have a female, fifth grade student who is very confrontational, engages in disruptive behavior including: talking over anyone who is speaking, crawling under my tables, going through my desk and when she feels she doesn’t have enough of my attention she will turn over my furniture. Friday was especially bad with her accusing me of calling her stupid and repeatedly saying I wasn’t talking to her (I was answering another student’s question). I attempted to remind her of the reward she was working for and to speak very calmly and softly, letting her know if she was calm amd followed expectations I’d love to talk to her but nothing worked. Now I’m wondering if using TAP might not have given me a moment to think of the right thing to say or do to defuse the situation.
During the exercise I focus on a case with a mother and children in the interview session. The child ran away for several days, the mother utilize the intervention of the police and subsequently the child was referred to the Department. The child told her mother ” I wish you hurry up and dead” and the mother is battling with terminal illness. At the moment I felt angry but I use my breathing exercise and was clam. I then asked the child ” who is this woman to you?” the child said my mother. The child body language and facial expression changed. I asked that mother to leave the room for a moment and had the child use the breathing exercise, after the child was clam, mother rejoined and we had a discussion. TAP is a useful tool and I can see it assisting me in the work I do.
I find that using the deep breathing technique is very effective in many situations. It is always good to take a step back, and allow for a pause before acknowledging the situation and proceeding on. I can be more positive and thoughtful in my response. Have been doing something like this for years and have found that it pretty much prevents emotional situations from escalating to the point were you lose control of the situation.
Had an incident yesterday, i used TAP to deescalate the issue, i step back and acknowledge the child issue and assisted her to vent in a respectful manner. TAP helps u to take your personal feeling out of the current situation so that you can assess it properly in order to proceed and find a solution.
Taking time to deep breathe is important to learn. This is an important technique not only for adults working with students, but for the students to stop and breathe when situations arise and choices need to made to control ones self and make good choices.
The TAP technique definitely can be useful. I try to stay calm and breathe through difficult situations with clients. I did have a recent situation where this method was useful. I probably could have done more of it at the time. Just takes practice I guess.
I think TAP is a useful technique to help us check ourselves and refocus our energy from something unproductive for us and our students. I know when I tend to get worked up I assume the worst (skipping class, getting in trouble) and I automatically react before even letting the student finish what they are saying. I need to remember to do this in those situations.
I question my actions often when I am supporting someone. The main reason why I do this is so I am aware of ways I can do my job better. Looking back at previous situation helped me realize that the way I handled was correct; it helped to reinforce that I made the correct decision. The way that this will help in the future is to better able to slow down my thought process when dealing with a difficult situation.
This is a very powerful exercise. I must first say that I don’t always work with youths . I worked extensively with parents in the COMPAR program. Going back to an incident in which a parent was referred for parenting classes. her two children were removed from her and were in the care of the department. In the meantime she was tasked to attend parenting sessions. I can recall her entering the office and I asked her to sit down. However as soon as I started to explained what the program was about and the reason she was asked to take the sessions she immediately attacked me by telling me about my child who had recently passed away. I can recall I was leaning forward as I would normally do. At that instant I immediately sat up straight. How did that felt? First I was shocked, my mind was racing a thousand miles , my body was tense, my hearth beating very fast. I must say that I was in a roller-coaster of emotions. However I have always practice deep breathing exercises. I must say that it is always very useful in times of stressful situations. I kept calm the best way I could and allowed to person to finish. After that i excused myself out of the room and went in the bathroom to relax myself. Today as I practice the meditation I got an instant headache I still felt my body tensing. This is not the only incident that I had experience however as a social worker its always important to acknowledge your feelings . Now that I understand what is TAP I believe that I will be better prepare to face those challenging moments when working with clients. I will definitely keep practicing this technique.
TAP does work. In similar vein, it takes lots of energy and effort to be aware of own emotions, take deep breathes, and self-regulate.
I find it helpful in many circumstances to allow the persons to vent, to listen with intent, and ask what the one or two things that I/we can assist for the time being. Often, that is sufficient to relieve the anxiety.
TAP is very imortant and useful especially with parents that belives that they are not doing anything wrong. I deal most with parents of children that are abusive and neglectful
I was able to to think of several situations when I encountered some youths who had negative behaviors in the past as I was starting my career. A few of their behaviors and reactions did make me angry and frustrated. The TAP technique will surely be beneficial now as I continue my work with families and children. Especially when it come to the self management and acknowledging how I feel before I engage and proceed with the youth.
My exercise is based on my experience as a social work student and I was task to work with a group of boys. At first, I didn’t know what to expect from them, but I remember being very frustrated during one of our session because one of the boys decided that he didn’t want to take part. He was also a great influence to the other boys. I could recall looking over at my co-facilitator and she seemed to have been overwhelmed with the situation. Despite what we did, they refused to remain focused. For a while we went quiet in order to listen to the conversations that they were having amongst themselves. We realize that it wasn’t because they didn’t want to part- take but the topic that was being discussed was a regular routine for them. Instead of showing our frustration, we decided to do the “breathing in and out “exercise as a way to help us remain calm. I’m not familiar with the TAP technique but doing it made me realize that sometimes we just have to listen and not to force things to happen. The TAP technique is something I would definitely use again as well as share with others.
The situation that arose in my mind was a PreKindergartener who was English and had an older brother who was literally perfect in class. He was obedient, bright and effusively polite to his peers and to his elders. Well, his younger brother was the opposite. Frequently, he would refuse to do what the class was asked to do. He would use some profanity and start criticizing my appearance in a very pejorative way. “Big ass” was something that sticks out in my mind. I am not proud to say that I had very strong feelings of anger and combativeness against this young child. It was so pronounced that it was shocking, disturbing and made me wonder about the child’s mental health. I mentioned at the time that it was unkind to say things that might appear to be true on the outside, but might hurt people’s feelings. I said these types of comments were not appropriate in anywhere to either teachers or other students. I spoke with both with his mother after class without him present. I still feel shame that I was so triggered by this young child. He was however very inappropriate and wanted that type of reaction. I am wondering knowing this if he got as much attention as his older brother. Is this behavior a way to seek attention; any attention negative or positive if you feel unheard and unseen. Fortunately, I did not lash out at this child, but I still feel shame for the strength of reaction he was able to trigger in me.
I thought back to some of the first groups I ran, I had a client who would often interrupt others, make inappropriate jokes and create a shit in the group. I would often get frustrated and start to feel like I am struggling to keep my group on track. I think I would be able to use this technique to manage the experience and consider the moment from the clients point of view in order to proceed more skillfully.
An experience that came to mind with the visualization was working with an 8th grade student the week before last. I meet with her for counseling at her middle school, where I provide school-based mental health services. She had been playing with these magnets in my office and when she left, half of them were thrown on the floor. I often feel like she’s testing me, and I’ve observed similar difficulties with her and other female professionals at our school. After she left, I noticed some of the magnets were missing. I approached her to just ask about it, and she was very defensive, saying that I was accusing her of taking them. When I think about her issues with females, I know that part of her reactivity has to do with having been abandoned by her mother. I tried to assure her that I wasn’t accusing her, but just asking about the magnets. Even explaining that upset her. With the TAP visualization and this situation in mind, I was trying to think about what else I could have done to help her feel safe and to attempt to keep her defenses at bay. I told myself at the time that I wasn’t being reactive, but I was upset because of how disrespectful she can be, especially in the midst of me trying to help her. With considering the Proceed part, I would rather actually calm down first, then approach her in a more genuine non-judgmental way. I appreciate how the visualization really considers what puts youth in a defensive mode. In this situation, she really was trying to protect herself because, even though I claimed I wasn’t accusing her of taking the magnets, I believe she still felt that I didn’t believe her. I think the TAP visualization will be helpful with situations like this in the future.
I think the TAP acronym will be helpful to me in terms of sharing a specific strategy with other teachers. I think this skill set is one I hold, yet I have found it challenging to help others understand that student behavior is not handled best when teachers take it personally. It’s so true that when we take a moment to reset ourselves and ground our thinking toward how to support the student the response from students will be more positive. I have responded to many students in crisis, as varying levels of degree, and often when they see me take a moment to reflect, that can be the beginning of diffusing the situation. I will even say sometimes that I am taking a minute to make sure I try to choose the best words to try to help.
I can think of several young people I work with who challenge staff. I am lucky to usually have them one on one so we don’t have many conflicts or instances where I would need this. Staff or parents are different 😉
I have a meeting coming up with a parent who has a severely disabled child and taking the moment to practice TAP . I try to remind myself internally to do this type of thing and find empathy for her when she is difficult in meetings. I can totally see how the trauma of having a child with such severe needs, though, could result in trauma. Normally, I dread meeting with this person, but taking time to do this in a conscious way could be very helpful because once I’m out of the moment it is easy to reflect, but in the moment I tend to have more difficulty stepping back.
TAP works for me – I really see how important is to practice it regularly not only in work.
This time the excercise took me to a moment where I was working in a place with more therapist and after a month staying in that place together some type of conflict between two of the members start showing up. I remembered that in one group session one of them, start feeling attact by the other because of the comments that she was making, but I perceived that wasn’t a criticism but he felt it like one. His reaction was very agressive and at the end he shut down – I had to intervene making some soft comments. I tried to regulate my tone of voice and speak with love and compasion in a kind way. I realized that it worked and both of them saw the situation, regulating themself and coming back to their centre.
I do not have a specific situation on my mind at this moment, but I will say in the field we come across a lot of different personalities, and experiences.
The TAP Technique is something that will now become a very useful, when dealing with families in a whole. If I am more aware, and in tuned with my feelings, I would be better able to work with families in trauma.
Awesome working tool TAP
I pictured a situation from when I was a classroom teacher and had a particularly frustrating student who had been out of school for several days due to a suspension. The day he came back he was ignoring my instructions, cracking jokes with other students, and doing everything he could to gain attention from the rest of the class. I won’t go into how I actually handled it (I’m not proud of that moment), but I enjoyed using the TAP method to create a new scenario in my mind. Looking forward to using it again.
I do not really work directly with youths, however I work with may person that can frustrate me at time. One client was affected traumatically by a fire as she had recently gotten a mortgage, two months of completion of her home, her house was destroyed by fire. She was tense and even the question during interview frustrated her and she became rode. I can see in the future TAP would definitely assist me to deal with situation like those. Thanks for sharing
I was reading to a group and they did not have any interest at all. Stepping back and acknowledging the behavior alleviated the feelings of embarrassment or frustration. It gives time to get a fresh perspective, to proceed. TAP is a needed skill not only in working with clients, but in life in general.
I realize I was using TAP in practice but did not know its name. When dealing with difficult clients it is a technique I was unconsciously using. As a professional, I wouldn’t argue back with a client but allow them to vent and eventually we would come to a common place. At the end of the discussion both of us would be calm and relieved. Now, knowing the specifics of TAP I will use it more with these difficult clients.
The TAP experience made me become more aware of myself and responses as it relates to personal relationship and professional. It made me become more conscious of my responses and is something that is definitely beneficial to continue practice which will aid in building better rapport with clients.
The situation I pictured happened 2 days ago. I teach Life Skills in Middle School (Title I school) with some students with emotional behavior problems many due to childhood trauma. — One of my teaching aides has emotional problems herself (long story) and often times triggers negative behaviors in students. On Friday she was overheard by another of my teaching aides talking to my emotionally disturbed student telling him to be rude to me and next time he talks to the counsellor he should be saying negative things about me not her etc etc. She bribed him with the fake money we use as classroom currency. — I saw the mood shift in him and his rudeness toward me was extreme but I ignored it and remained relentlessly positive with him. I knew it was her that was creative this shift. (she should NOT be working with Life Skills students!) — However during this meditation I realized that I have to include this manipulative, horrible teaching aide in my T.A.P. techniques and realize that her behavior comes from survival adaptations as well.
Excellent techniques. I am going to begin using this in my practice with youth and families. I see such a huge benefit in exploring adaptations as well as self-awareness/self-management. Such a great new skill. thanks
I have always been using TAP and didn’t realize it. It is very frustrating at times dealing with difficult situations that may arise. I’ve always been able to think and put myself in the youth shoe and can only imagine what he or she may be going through to better understand them. By doing that, it also allows me to think what intervention would suits the situation.
In terms of the Breathing techniques i have never practice it before. but i will definitely practice more on it. It is a very beneficial tool to try for myself and my clients!
I work with homeless youth and often find myself in moments of extreme frustration. I was taught several different ways to re-focus, however, TAP is ideal for me. Taking a breath is something I often say to the youth I am directly working with, but often forget to do this step for myself. I know the outcome of the situation I was thinking about would have ended much more positive if TAP was utilized.
I was able to recall a relatable experience whereby I was facilitating a session for a court-mandated program, for men who are perpetrators of domestic abuse. I specifically recall a tense session whereby one participant was aggressive and not following program rules. He was exhibiting threatening behaviors and had to be asked to exit the session. In the face of insults and threats, I had to keep my composure and behave in way that reflects a ‘trauma-informed’ standpoint, due to the violent background of the participants of the session. TAP has been a part of my process, but the intentional focus and detailed execution like this unit details, will definitely be beneficial in my line of work in the future.
This is a very useful technique and i believe with practice you get more out of the activity. Its important because i experience this type of situation with aggression and interruptions from reluctant clients all the time, as most of the clients i work with are high risk clients who are actively involved in gang activities. Its is clear to me after the activity that i have been doing something similar to TAP just not in its entirety and no that i have gone through the technique with this activity i will surely incorporate it in my sessions where i feel it can help.
where i work I have residents how display these behavior. I can remember a resident breaking a object in the building due the anger. So tried to explain to him what he did wrong, all the resident did he would sing whenever i try to speak to him. So walk away and went back to him when he was ready to talk to me and we came to a understanding to what he did wrong a what would be the consequence for his action. So I know that the method tap i have been using for a while and did not know it was call tap.
I liked this technique a lot and I think it would be helpful in situations when facing resistance and as a way to check-in with yourself. I think it will be easy to use with students. I particularly liked the messaging around sending compassion to others.
I like to think that I already am doing this with the young homeless people I work with, albeit I did not have any name for the process. I think this exercise using T.A.P. has brought it more into my awareness and will be a technique that I can consciously use as oppose to doing what i do blindly; a bit like how you describe your experience of refocussing, you did not know consciously what you were doing when first employing the technique in that situation but you trusted the process and it did work. Only upon reflection of what it was you did and how it worked meant that you could give it a name and consciously use it in similar situations. I now have a name for the technique i will consciously use going forward.
This was a very useful exercise. I went back to one session with a client during his permanency plan. The client was mind set on certain things, which to me was evidently not possible because of the family situation. No wanting to face the truth the client became very disrespectful to the team. I got very fustrated and angry at the client like I could have reacted
Now I realize that he was putting up his defense to his family situation. I proceed to ignore the client behavior and continue with the planning. I never knew about TAP but I will continue using this technique.
The scenario I recalled for this exercise took place with a couple female, POC, (one homeless), students in my very first class. I remember experiencing anxiety and self-doubt regarding whether I had chosen an appropriate lesson (analyzing how voting exemplifies respectful engagement with our larger civic community), or method of presentation for these students due to their immediate and amplified resistance to the topic. I remember pausing, letting them both step back from the assignment while I addressed the rest of the class’s questions, meanwhile planning how to to re-frame the assignment for these two. I am fortunate to have an experienced co-teacher who stepped in to assist the larger class when I quietly and respectfully re-engaged with these young women, asking for their perspectives and if they has any insights into why they felt so resistant to this assignment. I am confident that utilizing the TAP formulaic technique in similar situations will increase my ability to remain calm and supportive of each student’s process.
We set up our class curriculum to begin by looking at an overview of neuropsychology (hand model of the brain, stress responses in the body & brain, and mindfulness/stress-reduction techniques) prior to introducing more potentially highly-charged topics like politics and conflict-resolution. Reminding ourselves to breathe, acknowledge both our own and our students’ potential triggers definitely helps maintain a safe and supportive learning environment.
This was easy to do because I have used a version of this for many years in dealing with people who have experienced trauma. For a long time, I fell into the temptation to “fix” things (the “righting reflex” that Miller and Rollnick describe). I finally realized that it was most effective if I: stayed present (breathing), noticed what was going on in myself and the other person (acknowledge), and then responded in a way to affirm both my perspective and the other person’s and move the conversation forward. TAP is a great acronym that I will use and teach because it works and it’s easy to remember.
I have been using something like this for years and I find it really helpful. Currently I find myself using it more often with my own son who has been trying lately. I taught him a similar method the other night and it was really helpful for him. Since then he has been verbalizing what he is feeling instead of a huge tantrum (he is 6). I think this is something that teachers and probation officers should all learn and be aware of as well as parents.
I work in an environment with students who are experiencing a range of behavioural and emotional issues. Many can be quite loud and aggressive. Recently I was in a Health and Family Life class with a group of 12 year olds. A drug educator from an external institution was present to teach the class. The class was very unsettled and two students in particular were acting out as they knew the gentleman was not a member of our teaching staff. I had to intervene to get the class to settle down but two boys kept shouting and making strange noises to disrupt the session. I found myself feeling angry, upset and totally embarrassed as I was worried the gentleman would leave with a negative impression of all of our students. Without knowing about TAP I took a couple of deep breaths, then proceeded to ask the boys to join me on the corridor outside of the classroom where we had a short discussion and review of our rules for the class. We also spoke about how the gentleman might have been feeling and thinking about our class. They acknowledged they were wrong and apologized. They returned to their seats and paid attention for the duration of the session. TAP can really assist ….being self aware and not being quick to react can prevent situations from escalating and bring resolution to volatile or potentially volatile situations.
I have used TAP in many of my interactions with students who are frustrated when they don’t understand something or they are feeling uncertain about how to proceed with problem-solving and because I am kind and listen I have become a lightning rod for their feelings. It is an ongoing practice not to take it personally.
i thoroughly enjoyed and gained a relaxed and mind clearing session after using the TAP technique, i thought about a particularly stressful out of control group of youth in a small room who were not listening to me at all. there were also younger children in the large room playing with sand tray equipment. I felt frustrated but just wanted to keep the safety of the group until the older ones had settled down and i instructed them to leave the room. I also felt some fear, anticipation etc. the need for careful observance of the rules, keeping a minimum of young youth in the room is a protocol to follow. The TAP method is easy to learn, to also teach it to others is I feel I am comfortable with 100%.
As a lecturer, the TAP method is very useful for working with students in a classroom setting. I could recall incidents when students are asked to switch off their cell phones at the beginning of a session and they refuse to do so. When the phone rings and disrupts the class, I usually become very angry and frustrated. I also feel disrespected and the tone of my responses are usually very demanding. This exercise has better prepared me to adopt the TAP method in the future in the interest of both the students and myself.
there are many situations I though about…working with at-risk youths..challenges arise in every second of your interactions. I think that I have been utilising TAP without even knowing. This is especially true when I become very frustrated. I would remember the population I am dealing with and often find the positive in the situation.
When working with this population, there are many moments of resistance experienced. I think that in a certain way I have used the TAP, keeping in mind that it is not a personal matter. However, observing it now in a structured way allows me to do it more effectively.
Although I do not have an instance with one youth, I thought of a moment that included a group of youth I was working with. This TAP is helpful, although it is hard for me (and therefore I believe may be difficult for the youth) to remain focused and engaged for the entirety of the time. This will be a technique that I will practice until I run my next youth program. I would like to make this my default and to remember that if I am regulated I can help the individuals I work with co regulate. I think this is a good tool for youth and adults that I work with regularly.
I was going to teach some teenagers for a month. On my very first class I gave out my rules and expectations to the kids and went right on to teach. At the course of my teaching, I kept hearing giggles coming from the class and I wondered what could be causing that. On close attention while I ignored them to teach, I heard someone mimicking every word I say. It was a boy who evidently felt a tone so demanding it triggered his defenses. Now my reaction was more embarrassing because my upbringing says you never look down on anyone older than you are talk more of a teacher. I started shaking hysterically, and breathing irregularly, my palm became warm and with teary eyes I gave a stern warning of never to repeat that. After that, I couldn’t continue because there was no way I could do that when I let down my rope. So so embarrassing. I eventually continued but I don’t think I got the kids’ confidence after all. If I had practice the TAP, I would have had an edge with the boy or teens today. Practicing TAP will be a daily guideline for me while I raise my kids.
I was able to recall a situation almost immediately, and the replay/freeze helped me to get some distance and be able to see how my mind was about to jump to a conclusion. I can see myself using this technique before, during and after interactions. With more practice, I am hoping it will become almost second nature.
I recalled a time I was student teaching. It was the first time at that high school and it had been a while since the last time I was in a classroom. I was nervous. The first class was really rough. My inability to know what I was going to do should such resistance occur made me feel inadequate which heightened my frustration. I am no exactly sure how I handled it, but it took a while to get the class settled leaving me feeling like I could have done this better. Had I known the TAP technique, I would have first recognized that I was feeling insecure going into the building and prepared myself through a mindful exercise, gone through possible ways to approach the resistance, and helped the class feel more secure as well. Reliving the scenario was still difficult, but I know I would have had a better tone in my response, not one that sounded like I had to show I was in command.
Many scenarios came to my mind, however there was a specific year that sticks out when I was working at HeadStart (a nation wide preschool for low-income families). The level of behavioral issues resulted form truama that were exhibited in the children seemed to be at an all time high. The children were hitting, screaming, swearing, destroying the rooms etc. One specific day, I was unable to stay calm and find a way to work with the 4 year old. She was throwing objects everywhere, screaming she was going to kill all of us, I could go on and on, but it ended with her spitting on me 2 times. The second time she spit was because she said she didn’t get me good enough the first time. Looking back on the situation I wish I would have used T.A.P. and had the word to reference to remind myself to stay calm. I use something similar for children, but that day the situation got the best of me and got upset. I really appreciate a direct and clear technique because I feel I can pass this on to the teachers as well. As I am working with youth, I also give the teachers techniques to use and this is something easy for them to be able to use for themselves. A great short word to remind us to stop breath access and proceed! Thank you!
The experience I brought to mind was almost the same as SBahago, in that a student (10th grade boy) was mimicking my voice. He was doing it very softly, but I would say something, then he would mimic it. It reminded me of the 4th grade and I was just as upset as I had been as a 4th grader when someone mimicked my voice, but with added frustration and embarrassment because I was the teacher and this child was disrespecting me. Very much a believer in choosing my battles, I continued to teach the lesson for a while, but it went on and on, and I felt badly for the other students who were having to deal with the distraction. So I finally stopped, looked at the student, and said, “You NEED to STOP that.” Not yelling, but probably “unskillful.” This triggered him, he denied that he was doing anything wrong, and we went back and forth back and forth. Had I understood trauma, it might have changed my response. Using the TAP technique would have been helpful, because I was also triggered. I imagined taking a deep breath, acknowledging and setting my own anxiety aside, being more compassionate and also acknowledging that his response may have been caused by trauma. Then maybe playfully saying, “Is that how I sound?” It may not have completely defused the situation or solved the problem, but taking my own frustration out of the interaction would probably have improved the relationship, which continued to be difficult.
This was a great exercise. I thought of one child that I have been having a hard time with and so have other staff. Reflecting on some of the past encounters, I could have done the whole thing differently. While this child can be very frustrating, I need to work on the TAP technique instead of getting angry and frustrated, which usually ends up with me raising my voice and giving the child a demand. I know that it will be difficult but very important to focus on changing to work better with this child.
I can think of a lot of situations in which I have been tested by youth I work with. I always handle situations better when I am mindful of my own breath and body reactions to frustrating situations. Over the years, I have gotten more skilled with slowing myself down before reacting, and give myself a moment to affirm I can make a conscious choice in how I respond, rather than simply react. This is especially important if a youth’s behavior is volatile or intense. I typically respond by validating that I hear them and asking questions to try to better understand where they are coming from. Depending on the situation, I might say something like, “Thank you for expressing yourself so clearly; I hear that you are frustrated. Is there anything I can do to help?” I think that keeping a calm tone of voice and avoiding sarcasm is key when a youth is having a trauma reaction. I appreciate having this acronym to bring into my mind when faced with future challenging situations. it is simple, concrete and easy to remember.
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