At the first annual Provider Summit recently, we had a very special guest presenter—Rosalind Wiseman, bestselling author and developer of Cultures of Dignity, an organization that helps communities shift the way we think about our emotional wellbeing. In the 75-minute interactive event, Wiseman helped our recently expanded community of PresenceLearning and Global Teletherapy providers to connect with one another and learn practical strategies to develop a new year, new you mindset—specifically, what it takes to change thought patterns and improve interactions for success.
Wiseman is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers including Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and The New Realities of Girl World—the groundbreaking book that was the basis for the movie and Broadway musical Mean Girls—and Masterminds & Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World—awarded Best Parenting Book by Books for a Better Life. Wiseman coauthored the Owning Up Curriculum, a comprehensive social and emotional learning program for grades 4–12, widely used around the world.
A Passionate & Impressive Network
A wide range of professional learning opportunities and special events like the Provider Summit bring the PresenceLearning provider community together for networking and growing in their careers. Kate Eberle Walker, CEO of PresenceLearning, opened the Retrain Your Brain event with a warm welcome to all the providers in attendance saying:
“You are a passionate and impressive network of providers….you serve students every day, collectively delivering thousands of teletherapy sessions and evaluations. We are so grateful for your work. I am in awe of you.”
Eberle Walker introduced Kristin Martinez, MA, CCC-SLP, PresenceLearning Clinical Director, SLP & OT, who explained how the clinical team has the opportunity to work with developers of therapy content for our platform and what an honor it is to have Wiseman as guest speaker for the Summit to share her insights on retraining the brain. Kristin turned the microphone over to Rosalind with these words: “We’re proud to work closely with Rosalind and Cultures of Dignity to provide two of their programs in the PresenceLearning platform.”
Wiseman opened the discussion by taking a mood check and helping attendees reflect on happiness.
“This experience of being here together in community is [intended] to be a grounding for you. And so one of the things that grounds us is this—it’s really important to remember what the definition of happiness is, no matter how difficult the situation is in front of us is. And that does not mean no conflict, it doesn’t mean no difficulties. I’m going to break it down for you, maybe in a different way:
- The first is that you have meaning beyond oneself.
- The second is that you have a hope of success, not a guarantee.
- The third is you have meaningful social connection.
- The fourth is you have satisfying work which is probably why there were so many people answering exhausted but hopeful [to the mood check] because you have satisfying work, and you have a place to process and find peace.
So one of these things about defining happiness this way is that if we can find one thing to focus on when we’re feeling unmoored…It brings us back together and it stabilizes us. And so when I am feeling unmoored, I remember that this definition of happiness is so powerful.”
Wiseman also led the group into an exploration of principles that can help guide us when we are feeling unmoored in our lives, personal or professional, followed by reflections on the difference between respect and dignity and why that matters. And next, she led everyone on a deep dive into emotional regulation and cognitive control, to help attendees reflect on how they are showing up in a relationship. Here’s an excerpt:
“Getting clear about your emotions empowers you to define your experiences. Emotions are real…but they aren’t permanent. You can change the way you feel. This is a way of saying your emotions are real, especially to other people they are real. But they can also change—they can shift. And so if you’re incredibly frustrated or anxious, what you’re feeling right now is real, and you can shift…reminding yourself about that lowers your anxiety, because you don’t feel so stuck. So the more ways we have to describe our feelings, the more options we have to understand them and to communicate them. And that means not only to communicate them to ourselves, but to then communicate them to other people.”
A conversation about emotional hijacking and boundaries as windows to open and close was a powerful catalyst for the breakout rooms at the end. When Wiseman asked for attendees of the summit to put a few words in chat about their experience at the Summit, one provider enthusiastically responded:
“This is absolutely one of the best seminars I have ever attended. So positive!!! Thank you!!!”
About PresenceLearning Provider Opportunities
As the leading provider of live online special education-related services, PresenceLearning is committed to helping students by empowering the 1,500+ teletherapy providers in our network—speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, school psychologists, and social workers—to find fulfillment in their careers. At PresenceLearning that means you work when you want, where you want, as much as you want, and are supported by a community of mentors and peers who will help you succeed. Events like our Provider Summit, regular office hours with clinical staff, and a variety of other professional learning opportunities, both formal and informal, are what make the PresenceLearning Network so great.
Are you a provider interested in a remote career serving students? To join our network, start an application and learn more here.