Review of ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Childcare Professionals delivered by Dr. Sarah Cassidy and Dr. Roberta Hines

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Here is a testimonial from an early childhood professional who attended the course in 2020

I wish to highly recommend this course for childcare professionals. Many in this sector work in incredibly stresful situations with constant demands on them from regulatory bodies, parents and children. Childcare professionals do this in many cases with very little support in any sense of that word. I believe and I think it would be a very interesting research project that many of the women involved in this work are women who have had many struggles in life. They are certainly dealing with children in trauma and also children with additional needs for whom they have no training and very little support. In this context, tools are necessary for survival and tools are also critically important if these women are to be the compassionate carers they want to be.

For me the ACT course provided tools to support me in life and to support me in the care of children and colleagues. It did this in a way that any childcare professional could avail of within a reasonable financial and time framework, considering their work load and support system.

I appreciated the way the course was designed, there was a clear explanation of why we behave as we do. This was done with knowledge, stories and videos. At the end of this section I had a clear understanding of why I acted the way, especially when I am stressed.

Once the rationale was explained, it was supported with exercises to help me to act mindfully. The course emphasised that this is a practice, but it gave me tools for me to practice mindfulness so that in my moments of stress I would have a toolbox to ” catch the thought, accept the thought and come back into your body”. We learned about contact with the present moment verses limited self knowledge, I found this really helpful to me and it is a crucial work in progress for my survival in this pandemic.

From supporting ourselves, and the metaphor of an oxygen mask in an aircraft is an entirely appropriate one. Dr. Sarah and Dr. Roberta went on to explore how beneficial mindfulness is for children in any situation but particularly in challenging situations. They then provided a treasure trove of playful mindfulness exercises for children.

Dr. Sarah and Dr. Roberta have a lovely, gentle and knowledgeable presence online. They both have lovely voices and a trove of realistic stories that childcare professionals can relate to.

I highly recommend this course for childcare professionals. This is a self care tool kit that can support the hard pressed childcare professional.

Gillian Powell.