Having worked for six months with Ag Eisteacht I had some insight into what to expect from the 3 Day Relational Training offered by Ag Eisteacht. However, my expectations were surpassed. From the beginning of the first day I was struck by the variety of backgrounds of the participants and the wealth of knowledge and experience in the room. Participants ranged from Occupational therapists, and Counsellors, to Public Health Nurses and Community Health Workers amongst others. It was clear to me that there were going to be valuable learning opportunities both from the trainers and from each other.
Day 1 involved introducing fresh ways of thinking to our work. As a graduate of Management & Marketing, the idea that simply offering someone 10 minutes of your time to listen to them could be so powerful was not something I had thought about before. However my background in Social Science allowed me to really appreciate the importance of relational capability, and engage with the material and the group.
Others commented that Day 1 allowed them to get ‘back to basics’. Recognising signals that a client is distressed and knowing how to respond appropriately is something which many of the participants said that they found very powerful. As the day progressed it became clear that active listening is something which is hugely valid both at home and in the workplace. If someone is having a bad day, simply getting it off their chest can sometimes be all they need.
Attachment theory was introduced on Day 2 of the course, as we moved to the next stage of the conversation. It was a helpful reminder that every individual has a unique story to tell which has helped shaped who they are today. The role plays were particularly helpful as they helped us put into practice the theoretical ideas which were discussed. They also benefited from some fantastic actors & actresses present in the group!
On Day 3 the topic of ‘minding yourself’ as a front-line worker was covered. This is crucial for front-line workers who have very stressful roles. The importance of peer support was also discussed. At the end of the day sketches (shown below) were created which allowed us to reflect on the 3 training days and discuss various aspects which really resonated with us as a group.
Over-all the training was an outstanding experience for me, and I am confident this sentiment was echoed by my wonderful co-trainees! Brendan and Patsy were dynamic, respectful and engaging throughout. Northridge House as a venue and the hospitality shown to us by the staff really contributed to a brilliant training course. Research has proven that good quality relationships can positively impact on our health and well-being which once again communicates the value and importance of this training model.