Lesson 1
Self-Soothing
1
Why We Do This
Self-Soothing is a skill that is developed over time through practice. The goal of self-soothing is to dial-down
the reactive response of the body’s central nervous system. Following an adverse or traumatic event, the
nervous system is easily activated by sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches, causing abrupt, unplanned,
and embarrassing social consequences. A traumatized person needs a means of reducing this automatic
reactivity of their nervous system. Self-soothing techniques provide this. In this first lesson, four self-soothing
skills are taught that will be practiced throughout the Mind Matters program.
Participant Objectives
1. Connect the key concept of self-soothing/self-regulation to positive life outcomes.
2. Recognize the difference between taking the time to decide rather than immediately reacting to
persons, places, and things.
3. Learn four different self-soothing skills that can be used inside and outside of the classroom.
4. Practice self-soothing skills at least twice while in class.
Lesson 1 at a Glance (60 minutes)
WHAT IS MIND MATTERS?
1.1 Introduction to Mind Matters (15 minutes)
1.2 Marshmallow Test Overview and Activity (15 minutes)
SELF-SOOTHING SKILLS
1.3 Focused Breathing (10 minutes)
1.4
1.5
1.6
Peripheral Vision (5 minutes)
5–4–3–2–1 Skill (5 minutes)
Coloring
SUMMARY, PRACTICE PLAN, AND FINAL SKILL EXERCISE (10 MINUTES)
Materials Checklist
RESOURCES
Lesson 1 PowerPoint (http://digital.dibbleinstitute.org/MM-MATERIALS/)
Toolkit (found in the pocket of this Instructor’s Manual):
1.a Focused Breathing
2.a Peripheral Vision
2.b 5-4-3-2-1 Skill
VIDEOS—hyperlinked in Lesson 1 PowerPoint:
The Marshmallow Test (3:27)
(Optional)Three-Minute Breathing Space (4:59)
CELL PHONE APP: hyperlinked in Lesson 1 PowerPoint
MATERIALS
Flipchart/board and markers (for Group Agreements)
Bag of marshmallows (optional)
PARTICIPANT JOURNAL: Lesson 1 (pgs. 2–4)
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