Eva Ruiz Verde I Sevilla, (EFE).- Understanding from a young age that all emotions are valid, learning to manage them, having self-esteem and being able to talk about how one feels. “It’s utopian, but if this happened, there would be no need for prisons,” psychologist Sara Sayago, an expert in educating emotions, told EFE.
He has been working with people of all ages for more than ten years in their processes to “feel better and grow personally”, and he does so together with his fellow therapists and educators from Rumbos, an Andalusian cooperative that emerged in 2012 and a pioneer in teacher training.
Sayago, promoter of the Spanish Association for Emotional Education (ASEDEM), maintains that “normalizing emotional states by talking about them is absolutely liberating” and insists on “how important it is to be working at this level, have good mental health and get used to that feeling bad is something that happens to everyone from time to time.
She assures that all this “radically changes the movie in which one lives” and is convinced that if everyone grew up in educating emotions, there would be no need for prisons. “Psychiatric hospitals could exist, because mental illness due to neurological damage is irremediable, but the number of mental pathologies that is on the rise would be radically reduced.”
He adds that many diseases would disappear and that it would lead to “a better world.”
Psychology, education and training
“That they sneak into a supermarket would not hurt me so much, or I would be able, in an empathetic way and without getting too upset, to tell the other why they sneaked in or simply understand that they have a bad day or are in a hurry than me, and I would let him pass without causing an anxious state in me”, he gives as an example.
It is about realizing that “what bothers me about the other has to do with me and not with him” -he maintains- and maintaining a process of self-knowledge. “If I know myself, I will have a much better capacity for dialogue and I will understand what is good for me,” she says.
In the centers they have weekly groups to educate emotions with students from 7 to 17 years old, with whom they work “transversally and continuously, drop by drop so that it sinks in and they learn things like communicating in a certain way, setting limits, saying no and respect yourself.”
With three “pillars” such as psychology, education and training, this method creates a “network and security context” in which young people “begin to be able to behave differently and discover facets that they themselves did not know they had,” he explains. Sayago.
“When they hear a colleague tell a problem, they suddenly connect with their sensitivity, with their own problem and they also tell it, feeling less shame because they see that it is shared by other people,” the psychologist details.
If it is a quiet group, the sessions begin with games and if it is more active with mindfulness, relaxation and meditation, as well as assemblies “so they learn to stop and see how they are”.
Identity and way of being
The course begins by working on group cohesion and trust, talking about their families and themselves, after which comes “more personal work, using games and resuming visual and physical contact, laughter…. all with a therapeutic approach” and focusing on “learning to communicate”.
“It’s very nice, because children who come saying to another ‘you’re stupid’ go on to ‘it’s just that I feel that way when you talk to me this way'”, says the psychologist, who considers how they learn to educate emotions as “brutal”.
After a last quarter dedicated to identity and understanding “why they are one way” and “with which traits of their character they identify and which ones are not allowed”, the year ends with a multi-day camp, the “final icing”. for young people that it serves “for the same but in an intensive way”.
“There they disconnect from their cell phones, they detoxify from their relationship with their parents, they realize what they need and experience things that make them reach limits that they do not reach on a day-to-day basis because they escape by playing on the beach or eating chocolate. . Here you can’t escape personal work ”, he recounts.
“If I was interested, it would have been done already”
Asked why this type of education is not included in the compulsory training plans, Sayago is blunt: “It doesn’t matter, because if it did, it would have already been done.”
“It is not done because the people in charge are not interested in having a stable population, because a stressed and fearful population is much more manageable,” laments the educator, who confesses that she is “quite pessimistic” for the future in this regard. .
In his opinion, if there was a will to change things, it would be “very simple” and would involve “hiring more teachers, paying them better, having fewer teaching hours, more training hours, fewer people in the classes, especially those for children with special needs…. ”, lists. EFE