You may have seen our past interviews on our ABLE brief intervention training with Karina Healy from the Lantern Project and Nael Saoud from Nasc. Today we speak to one of our own team, Michelle Cogan, who had the opportunity to attend ABLE training soon after joining us. You can see our upcoming ABLE training dates here.
Tell us about your role
I am an Marketing and Office Administrative Executive in Ag Eisteacht. I look after the marketing strategy, our website, social media and marketing materials, as well as helping our office team with administration.
What prompted you to do the training and how has it helped you in your work and life?
As soon as I started in my role, I was so eager to do the ABLE training. I knew understanding the work, mission and values of Ag Eisteacht would be so important to my role and my ability to communicate our message to a wider audience. However, what I was not fully prepared for is how personally valuable I found the training. ‘Relationships Matter’ is the message at the core of everything Ag Eisteacht does and we all have so many different relationships in our lives; familial, working, friendship and many more so we can all benefit from learning to engage in these more effectively.
What did you know about the course beforehand?
I knew the course was for practitioners from healthcare, education, social, youth, justice, disability and community sectors and that it was centred around the ABLE brief intervention model; (Adopt a relational approach, Build, Listen and Empower).
What was your perception of the training before doing the course?
Before attending Day1 of the training, I was sent a participant manual so I felt prepared and I had an awareness of the learning aims which was really valuable. I didn’t fully perceive how practical and useful in everyday life the training would be however.
Were you made feel welcome and respected?
Absolutely. Leon Ledwidge and Cliodhna Mahony facilitated the training I attended and they made such an effort to make all participants feel welcome. They were very mindful of us being on Zoom and working from home and were very understanding if anything arose during the training. I was also part of such a wonderful group of practitioners from different organisations around the country. It was a pleasure to meet them and to gain an insight into the wonderful work they are doing.
What was the best thing about the training for you?
I really enjoyed how interactive and practical the training was. There was plenty of opportunity to practice our learnings across the 3 days in the group, as well as in smaller breakout rooms. I was very appreciative of the focus on self-care also as I think it’s so important. It was such a nice start to my new role to see how rewarding the training was for the other participants and to know that they would take their learnings out into the community and utilize a relationship-centred approach.
What would your advice be to someone thinking of doing the training?
I would say absolutely go for it. There are so many useful facets to the training from Polyvagal theory to framing an offer to boundary setting and much more. I think would bring anyone more ease and expertise in their interactions and relationships.
If you could sum up your experience of the course in one or two sentences, what would you say?
A valuable three days amongst great company and facilitators. I am now more mindful of my listening skills every day and have taken so much away from the training.