Reaching for Sustainable Behavioral Shifts: A Look Inside the Applied Educational Neuroscience Framework
Join Dr. Lori Desautels to explore how trauma and adversity impact the developing brain and body and show up in the challenging behaviors we sometimes see. Learn about mitigating the effects of trauma in our schools and communities while building resiliency and a secure sense of belonging through a relational approach to discipline. Discover practices that meet our children, youth, and adults in their brain and body states and cultivate their social, emotional, and cognitive well-being.
The views expressed in the following presentation are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of STAR Institute.
Episode transcript: Carrie Schmitt I'm joined today by Dr. Lori Desautels. I was hoping that you could introduce yourself to the listeners today. And tell us just tell us a little bit about your background and where you are today.
Lori Desautels Thank you, Carrie. And first of all, thank you for having me join in this really critical discussion. And so, I am an assistant professor at Butler University in Indianapolis. And I also am working with schools, organization, districts across the world right now, helping teachers, social workers, counselors, administrators, to really delve underneath behaviors. And to understand that the nervous system is really showing up every single time, we see challenging behavior from a child or an adolescent, or a colleague. So I've developed a framework that's evolving, it's continually changing. It's called applied Educational Neuroscience. And it really is about the adult nervous system, and how contagious emotions are. So we know that as a parent, I'm a mom also have three young adult children. But this is not just about me, as a professor, or as a school counselor, or as an educator, I carry in to my work, my lived experiences, what I have embodied. So the very first pillar at this work, we really take a deep dive into our own nervous systems. We know that behavior management is about adults, it's just not about kids. And this is a big shift for educators and for parents, to really begin to understand as the science. So well researched, and the literature share with us in this time. This framework also looks at co regulation, which is at the heart, it's at the core of this new lens for discipline. We take also a deep dive into touch points, which we term as those micro moments of connection that happen all day long, and most and what we sometimes misunderstand is that those touch points are nonverbal. So children and adolescents and any of us, when we are experiencing elevated or chronic stress, when our stress response systems are activated, we really are not listening to language or words, we're really tapping into nonverbal. And then the fourth pillar of the framework is really what I'm excited to share about often today. And that is we are teaching our children, little like four or five years old, in our adolescents and the adults, we're learning together about our nervous systems. So we're really moving away from always talking about behaviors, and looking at how our sensory and nervous systems are driving the behaviors that are indicators. They're just really signals that were rough, you know, or that we're feeling some steadiness or some groundedness. So that's, that's really what that's the work that I'm doing right now.
Carrie Schmitt Oh, that's wonderful. I'm super excited to unpack that a little bit. Because I think, at the start Institute, we often encounter clients who come to us, because there is a behavior that the parents are encountering, the teacher is encountering, and that they're trying to make sense of, we are equipped with sensory lenses, right, because of our education around sensation and how sensation underlies a lot of our nervous system capacities. And so I immediately heard as you started the conversation around behaviors, and what behavior can teach us about what's going on with other people, but the twist that I heard was, what does behavior or our inclination to manage that behavior? Tell us about our own nervous systems? So talk to me a little bit about that.
Lori Desautels Well, it's it's really a big shift in this time for adults, whether we are parenting whether we are caregiving, whether we are teaching anyone who sits beside Children and Youth, we need to begin to understand how our nervous systems are so contagious. And we can unintentionally escalate a child, or an adolescent, or our own children, by not tuning in, and being aware of our own nervous system states. And this is critical, because in our school, over the past couple of years during kind of during COVID, and kind of as we move through this global pandemic, all of us have been impacted by the trauma of this pandemic. And in the reason I bring that up, is because our bodies become hijacked by this sensory fragment, or the fractures that happen when we are confronted with significant or chronic adversity and trauma. And so, when we walk into a classroom, when we walk into, you know, our schools, we carry that with us, and our children and adolescents pick up on the autonomic state of our nervous systems. So we are seeing a significant correlation of high discipline referrals from educators that are also coming in in a very elevated and activated stress response state. And our discipline data in our schools really tells the story of our autonomic nervous system state. So when you see an teacher and administrator, a social worker, or a counselor, a bus driver of food service provider appear professional, when any of us are feeling so dysregulated, we can, again, unintentionally, really escalate everybody around us. And we misunderstand that that behavior is communicating a sensory or nervous system need, it's really a physiological challenge. It's not a behavioral challenge.
Carrie Schmitt I'm so fascinated by how you're reframing this, and I think it's going to be pretty new to a lot of people. You work in a school system. And when you see high discipline referrals, one of the questions you're asking, is the adult in the situation regulated? And I think our system is built to say, what's wrong with the child's behavior? So what how do we, as adults take responsibility for our nervous system? Are there tools as a school counselor, as you know, a PhD scientist that you are like, what is it that you think, helps us? Is there a tool that helps us to understand our own nervous system state, so that we can come into these situations regulated with the capacity to also we'll talk about this later. But I think this is a good segue into lend our nervous system to the children that need the CO regulation, right? Because their behaviors are behaviors, they're communicating something, they're communicating something about their own nervous system. And oftentimes, as adults, we're called upon to lend our regulation to them, so that some co-regulation can occur. In the absence of an adult with a regulated nervous system. And a child with a dysregulated nervous system. We're getting discipline and behavioral referrals. Is that di summed that up correctly?
Lori Desautels Yeah, pretty much. Yes. And this is true for Fs parent. So I really want to make the you know, as we speak about this framework, during the podcast, it says much about me at the mom as it is a professional and I want to also be clear that it's not very realistic to you know, to think about I must be regulated, I must be regulated. The goal is to recognize and be aware when we are dysregulated that is the first step that is a practice that we really want to bring awareness to the adults that worked with children and youth. It you know, we are human beings we're living you know, physiological organisms system that bro Read and live in rhythms and we, you know, move through our autonomic nervous system states all day long. That's, you know, there. That's the beauty of this, but, but we just really want to be very clear that it is so critical to be aware and to have that. Just that ability to tune into ourselves, and what's interesting in the western part of the world, when we come into the world, as infants, it's almost as if we're socialized out of our bodies, it feels like our heads go one way and our bodies go the other way. We're very cognitive, we're very language oriented. we problem solve, we talk about cognition in schools right now, the big hot topic, which is shocking, still, since coming through a pandemic is learning loss. And what we misunderstand is that it's that the language of the nervous system is sensation. And we are feeling and sensing creatures who think we are not thinking creatures who feel and sense. So our biology is all about sensing safety in our environments than seeing the rat or sensing conditions or experiences that are unfamiliar. So it really, we've moved away from the natural evolution of our nervous systems. And then language of the lower, like the brainstem, and the nervous system is all about conversation. So one of the tools that we share with adults than we share with students is to start to become aware of those sensations. And our children understand that we we talk about words like tingly, edgy, teary, flat, stuck. And we're moving away from those feeling words, as we really focus on those sensation words, because I know when I'm hot, I know when my ears are buzzing. I know when my heart is beating fast. I know when I'm sweaty, those are sensations that are informing us that our bodies hold this beautiful communication system that knows how to find a home, that knows how to get home that knows how to find homeostasis, which is that that balance. So this is really critical work as much for adults, as it is for children. So this is not a program. This is not something that we do to kid. This is not something that has a Bach or a script. It's it's not, it's not just about children and adolescents, it is as much about the adult as it is youth.
Carrie Schmitt That's a message of inclusivity. To me, that we are asking all humans, yeah, in every environment, to us the sense data that they have, right, to contribute to the to the collective. And what you're saying, which is super important, and is often overlooked, as you mentioned in the Western world, is how vital sensation is and tuning into our internal sensation. You know, in our world, we would call that interoception, or sensation that arises from within our bodies, and laid down our over reliance on both cognition and extra receptive sensory information. Because I notice in periods of dysregulation in children who experience chronic dysregulation that could be from a trauma history, it could be from other issues, right, that have contributed to this. Oftentimes, they over rely on extra receptive sensory data. So you know, things that happen from outside of us noises, lights, movement, and lose track of or haven't learned the awareness that you were mentioning, how do we tune into our sensation without judgment or emotion, and just notice what is happening within our bodies? And that's the first step as you mentioned, if we have an awareness of that we understand what's happening in our nervous system. And then that awareness helps us to understand do we need to take action, do we not right? Do we need a behavior or an action that supports our nervous system? And what is that behavior action? And so What you're saying is every person you're teaching every person for you and your work environment at school, for you, as a parent in your in your home, to learn the integration, learn the mind body integration, learn the awareness, learn to pay attention to sensation without judgment. Does that sound like what you were saying?
Lori Desautels Absolutely, it does. And one of the things that, you know, I want to add to this is that it feels empowering. And it feels relieving to children, to know that there's nothing wrong with me, and I not a bad kid. And, and I mean, all ages, it really feels good to us as adults to know that, when we start to feel hot, when we start to sweat, when we start when we can feel our heartbeat to know that this is much more than anxiety, this is much more than a panic attack, this is much more than or if I am experiencing heaviness, or I just don't have the energy to get up and do another day, I don't want to just quickly label that as depression. You know, we understand that anxiety is oftentimes energy that needs to be released, and it just doesn't have an outlet, you know, that anxiety is that energy that, you know, maybe has been stagnant in our bodies. And it just sometimes will come out in times that, you know, start unless, you know, and, and so this is really important because we traditionally have pathologized. And we have given classification and rulings to behavior disorders. And this is something that I am working towards every single day is that we've, you know, when you label a child emotionally disturbed or behavior disordered, or other health impaired, or even add Attention Deficit Disorder, it these aren't disorders, you know, this is this is really kind of a re ordering, a nervous system architecture, brain architecture. So we know that the nervous system have plasticity, it is experience dependent. So we form perceptual maps of the world, based on our embodied experiences. And so nothing, you know, Nothing comes from nothing. I mean, it's like if a child grows up in an environment where there is a lot of chaos, or if the environment feels overwhelming, or if the environment feels frightening, then our nervous system adapts to those experiences. So that child may pull in, they may begin to retreat, they may begin to shut down, out of protection, out of survival. That's called a survival drive. And so as that child moves through school and turns into an adolescent and a young adult, oftentimes, we are on autopilot, we revert back to that survival drive, because that's what we have known. That's what we have used, and we don't need it anymore. I love what therapist Deb Dana share, she says sometimes we activate those survival drives that no longer serve us. And so that's, we share that with our students, you know that you know, you're safe in this classroom right now. You know, and we're here for each other, and we're working together, and your body, if you're feeling threatened, or if your heart's beating fat. Again, if your heads fuzzy, if your ears are burning, then that's that's a good thing, because we know that your body is working to protect you. But it doesn't need to right now it thinks it needs to. But one of the things that I want to share carry is that when trauma happens to a child, or to any of us, but or when our sensory systems are overwhelmed, that experience is often not time stamped in the midbrain region. So we can have something happen at six years old, or a 10 years old, or two years old that we don't have explicit declarative memory, but we have body memory, which is implicit memory, and it feels as if it's happening. Right now 20 years later, and it's true for us as adults, and there's nothing in the body that says, you're okay, Laurie that happened in 1980. Today is today. So this is really important. And that's why it's frustrating for me to see so many children and adolescents punished and disciplined for the implicit body memories that get triggered. And all we do is just see the behavior. But we're not looking under the behavior, and we're not getting out in front of the behavior.
Carrie Schmitt So helping that our own selves and other people, demystify, that sensation is information. And it its primary function really is protection and survival. And so thank our system for the information and normalize it, I think that's the piece that's missing that you're working on in the schools that we're working on at the star Institute. Just because your system over responded to that loud noise that happens that happens to other people, How often have I said in, you know, in the context of education, and in the context of therapy, that doesn't work for your body? That's all we know, right? It's, we're not placing a judgment, that loud noise didn't work for your body, it gave you some information, you know, and we're going to work with that information. Same with parents and learning about their own sensory profiles. Let's sit down and do an adult sensory profile as an adult and learn how sensation impacts you. Right, and how it impacts your nervous system. The thing I think that we're, that we're talking a little bit around, and that I think is kind of the next logical place to go with this is how do we establish this felt sense of safety, so that when we incur it, when we incur or recognize sensation in our own bodies, we can thank it for its information and for the survival that it's helping us to accomplish. And then take the next step in, I think that your work, as you mentioned, in like the third pillar, values, highly values, relationship and connection, oftentimes, that's where a traumatic experience occurs, is in relationship and then a broken connection. And that's where the repair occurs is in a tuned relationship and positive relation in, you know, positive attuned relationship.
Lori Desautels Yeah, absolutely. And there is, you know, we know that we are also social creatures, and we can't survive without each other. And so, Dr. Bruce Perry talks about this so beautifully, is that many of our children come into our schools with relational poverty, they just they don't have the trust, they don't have the connections that they need for nervous development. And for many of our children and adolescents, school, can be their place of felt safety, but it can also be a place of adversity, and trauma, where, you know, they're not feeling safe, and they're not feeling connected. So I want to be respectful. Looking at both ends of that. And so when we think about touch point, it's, you know, as an educator, or as a clinician or therapist, we can't have a robust, you know, deep, rich relationship with 150 students. I mean, that's, you know, if your caseload is if that's not what we're talking about, but we're talking about this relational reciprocity, where we are creating a culture where our children feel seen and heard, and felt in our presence. And I love this, this it's called the magic of resonance. And Dr. Albert Wong talks about this and, and he says, you know, there's just nothing that feels better to a human being than to feel seen and heard, and, and to be felt by another. It just, it's, it's, it's really just miraculous. So and though, but those relationships take time. So there are practices that we are integrating into our classrooms and into small group therapy, one on one or whole class where we're learning together. So that begins with checking in with our nervous systems tracking our nervous system state, I would have done that, as a mom, we would have, we're using work. What I love is the polyvagal graph from Dr. Steven Porges. His work. So, Deb, Dana, and I revisited that graph, and we augmented it a couple of years ago, year and a half ago. And so this is a way for families, or classrooms, for all of us to check in with our nervous system. And if we are functioning, you know, in our prefrontal cortex, and we can feel some steadiness and some groundedness, then, you know, we track that, and if we get triggered or activated, and we move into that sympathetic pathway of the autonomic nervous system, which is traditionally known as fight flight, that we noticed that, and we track that, and, and again, then if we, human beings have this autonomic state, that is our state of disconnection, and it is that traditionally known as freeze, but more accurately expressed as immobilized or collapsed. And in polyvagal theory, we call that dorsal vagal, a dorsal vagal state, where we just shut down we retreat. And we, we see that a lot in our homes and in our schools with our children that might have high absences, not you know, they're failing grit, there's their grades, they're failing school, they have their hoods over their head all day, they're, you know, they're just retreating. And that's what we also called internalizing pain. And so, by, by tracking those Nervous System States, is really helpful for all of us to notice patterns to notice, you know, like, what were the sensory experiences that happened right before, during after was, you know, what, what was happening around us what was happening, like happening internally, or relationally. So that's a practice that we use, that we're integrating in our schools every day, it's tracking lots of different ways to do that.
Carrie Schmitt Thank you for bringing both ends of the spectrum to this conversation, a lot of times, our conversations end up focusing on the problematic behaviors that drive kids to get referred, you know, to the office, or don't allow them to stay in the classroom. But that free state gets left out of the conversation a lot. And we don't often reach out to the kids who are in that state, and that dorsal vagal, freeze, state because their behaviors don't look as problematic or affect others, maybe as often as the people who are in sympathetic kind of overdrive or acting out. Yet, what we know is the education piece that you're bringing up, checking in with our nervous system, tracking, sensation, nervous system response, and a tune resonant relationship reaches both those both of those examples, both of those ends of the spectrum, both of the kids in those examples. So there are some things that you know, that we tend to implement for kids who are acting out what we tend to stop thinking about or don't implement for the kids that are in the frozen state. So let's talk practically, about the the nervous system education that you're doing the practices that reach everyone, no matter where their nervous system is at the moment, if that makes sense.
Lori Desautels Absolutely. So in my work is specifically in the schools. So we are, first of all, helping educators to understand that our procedures and routines and transition, they're already in place at the teacher at the social worker, as a counselor as an administrator. That's a significant cultural piece of, of a school. So the practices with regard to checking in with our nervous system, those practices of identifying sensation, like am I flap Am I feeling teary? Is there a mic open and mic flowing? Our kids write or draw their sensations on they use color line shapes So that's all a part of our procedures and routines. And we ask the staff to do this. So before we have a staff meeting, before we have a department meeting, before we start the day, our staff and students have an opportunity to check in with either their autonomic nervous system state, or they can draw and use color in lines and shapes to identify a sensation. So we have a lot of practices, different ones, that really are a part of our procedure. So we're not asking educators, anyone to do anything more, it's being intentional about the procedures and the routines and the transition intentionality is huge. Yes.
Carrie Schmitt I think the teachers listening will really appreciate what you're saying, we asked a lot of our educators. And so when we come in with a message, and we're teaching, you know, something that we've learned from neuroscience, or from, you know, occupational therapy, or whatever it is, when we ask them to add one more thing to what they're already being asked, it doesn't feel fair. But when you're saying is, let's just build it into the culture, let's just build it into the routine, and let's build it into the teacher routine as well, because then it benefits them as well. So it's not just okay, we need you to do one more thing to benefit your students. This is let's build something into our school into our culture that benefits teachers and students alike, administrators, you know, all the way down to whatever the youngest person in the school is. And so I love that because it's practices that are intentional, that are not adding tasks, but additive to the lived experience.
Lori Desautels They are and they're also helping our children and youth to access the cortex. And this is critical, because if you're not functioning from this medial prefrontal cortex, then you can't have strong working memory, you're not able to have sustained attention, problem solving, emotionally regulating. And, and this is why this is what happens when we don't take the time, and attune and attend and, and are intentional with helping our kids to get to the Quartet. You know, it's it's an and as many of us walk in to work, and we're not in the Quartet, you know, we just had a rough morning that kids were throwing up, the pet is lost, you know, the tires flat, we can't pay our bills, you know, we are no different than our children that we sit beside. So oftentimes we walk in to a classroom and we're functioning from the mid and lower brain, we're in fight flight, or we are in shutdown.
Carrie Schmitt No, I think it's your point is so great, because neuroscience is teaching us when we are in sympathetic activation or high levels of arousal, we are unable to access our prefrontal cortex. So our executive functions go away while they're there, but they're just not available to us. And so if we see another adult or a child who is unable to problem solve in the moment, what that tells us is that they're unable to access that for some reason, and the reason typically is some sort of nervous system activation reason. So what say you have a checking in you have a tracking, say there is an identification that there is nervous system activation, or a big emotion is, is is being drawn. Are there also intentional practices built in? That are regulatory practices? Yes.
Lori Desautels So many of the practices are regulatory practices. And the key is not to wait for a crisis, and used regulatory practice. Traditionally, as parents, as educators, we are reactionary, we're focused on consequences. We're focused on if the consequences aren't painful enough or uncomfortable enough, then the behavior will not change. And this is providing our students with these regulatory practices that we call anchors out in front of the behavior, getting out in front of the behavior, getting out in front of a crisis, and we practice those, you know, those are in our school. We have the tier one, tier two and tier three of response to intervention or response to instruction, RTI, and these are tier won practices meaning that these regulatory practices, strengthening connections through touch points, that's a tier one practice that's for all students. And that's a part of our procedures and routines. Now some of our children will need a little more intensity, they might need a little more frequency of these practices. But we now understand that we're not talking about this group of kids or that group of students, or, you know, this, this group, I mean, it's really a tier one practice. But the key is, you know, getting out in front of that behavior. And that's why our procedures are so important. And we provide our children and our adolescents with these anchors, whether it is chewing on ice, whether it is listening to the music, whether it is coloring, journaling, creating their sensation through art, whether it is holding a hand warmer, you know, there are so many anchors, sensory regulatory practices that we provide for our students based on surveys that we get them that they kind of like ordering off the menu, and, and then app, they can choose three or four, try them out. But we practice those in neutral times, we practice those so that they're more acceptable when there is a rupture. And, and that's true for all of us. You know, it's if we wait until we have some anxiety to put on our, you know, tennis shoes and go for a walk, we'll never do it. But if we get into the habit of a five minute 10 minute walk, even when we're feeling steady, that practice is more accessible to us.
Carrie Schmitt I love Yeah, I love how proactive that is, it's also, again, very inclusive, all of us are going to explore what works for our nervous system, and identify it in a neutral state. So that when our nervous system does need it, and we're not accessing our problem solving, or executive function, we have already established some a menu of ideas that work for our nervous system, because I often recognize, as you mentioned, we wait until we have a crisis. And then we try to implement regulatory strategies that may or may not have been practiced before. And we're asking the child to choose when we recognize they've lost access to their problem solving and executive functions. And so we're saying, We'll do you want this or this, we'll do you want this or this, we we and we in our minds, no, that's not available to them. And yet here we are adding to their dysregulation by asking them to make a decision in sympathetic activation. How much agency two is built into this, I'm going to learn about my nervous system, I'm going to understand what works for my nervous system, I'm going to have a whole menu of things that I know regulate my nervous system, so that I'm a caring adult might recognize dysregulation and offer me my menu. Like that is such a beautiful, really juxtaposition to let's wait until they're in crisis, forced the decision on them, right? Or isolate them, you know, from what they need most.
Lori Desautels That's right. That's right. And so that is that is really at the heart of this shift in how we perceive behaviors, and also exploring and re examining our discipline protocols, in our homes, in our schools and in our communities.
Carrie Schmitt Thank you for putting that onus on us as adults as well to take accountability for our own nervous systems and how we contribute to the environments that we enter by bringing our own nervous system dysregulation sometimes into the nervous into it. Recognizing that the tools that we're saying are effective for students are also effective for us. That going into the our work environment, recognizing and having an awareness of our nervous system dysregulation. Go seek out that attuned resonant relationship. As a regulatory strategy, check in with yourself. You know, use the intentional practices that you've mentioned that your that your school environment uses. Those things could also be practices we could all take to our home and work environments.
Lori Desautels Absolutely.
Carrie Schmitt So I think I'll just try to summarize, really quickly a little bit of our conversation. And I think a lot of the common ground between your lived experience of of Educational Neuroscience and kind of the star Institute model of, you know, understanding nervous systems, in particular through sensory lens, which we, we both highly value as contributing to all of our nervous system, activation and brain power, the mind body connection being so powerful. Hear your examples of education, and practices, take positive bodily sensation, add the special ingredient of a tuned resonant relationship, and deliver a really hopeful message of rewiring our brains through neuroplasticity. Recognizing that that can contradict previous negative multi sensory experiences, like a traumatic experience is a good example, which we brought up today, our relationship rupture, something like that, we can contradict that, with the positive bodily experience, the practice of checking in and tracking the special ingredient of attuned resident relationship. And the result we hope is, and we've seen in practice, leads to regulation of the nervous system, which affects both our availability to our environment, and our emotions state helps us to take sensory data from outside our body and inside our body and respond in kind to it right with the right amount of response or modulation. And what we have there is an embodied cognitive response to our environment.
Lori Desautels Yeah, absolutely. And I, and I also want to be very clear that it's not just the brain that has neuroplasticity, our nervous systems, old neuroplasticity. And a couple of years ago, I wouldn't have said that, but, you know, the research is showing that, you know, we have these, this beautiful communication system between the body and the brain. And those afferent projections go 80% of them, our body to the brain. And only 20% of those projections are efferent going from the brain down to the body.
Carrie Schmitt Thank you for bringing up that, um, by directionality of our nervous systems. And the hope that is in this message. And that is that our entire nervous system can be impacted positively and rewired positively and the result can be us being able to show up in the world in a different way for other people to contribute to the collective. And that is true for adults and children, which is something we didn't used to think was true, right that we didn't think neuroplasticity lasted through the lifetime, and through the lifespan. But your work is showing us that it does. And so thank you for for that work. One of the things we really, really highly value at STAR is curiosity, and intellectual humility. And one of the practices that intellectual humility calls for is following the science and sometimes changing our minds about something or just being open to having our thoughts evolve on a topic. So tell me, what's one thing that maybe you once believed that your thinking has evolved on, or something you've changed your mind about?
Lori Desautels Well, for me that the response is very clear and succinct and easy to reach. And that is that I have really changed the way I define and view and perceive behaviors. I wish I had known what I know today as a young because what we label oppositional, defiant, aggressive. What we label as oftentimes violent, or just manipulative. Is is there's so much more to that behavior, as we've talked about today. So, I know I will continue to learn, and I will continue to understand that yes, the behavior is an important signal. It's important cue I'm not going to eat Ignore the behavior. But I love the quote from Angela Davis. I shared it at the star symposium. And she defines radical as pulling things up by the root. And so that's how I see my change in in how I'm viewing and perceiving behaviors. It's a radical change, actually. And it's been evolving for a long time, it takes time. But we were just kind of picking it the leaves. And we still are in our schools and in our homes and communities, we are still opting for compliance, and obedience. And we're not really reaching for that sustainable behavioral shift that produces that sustainable mental and emotional well being.
Carrie Schmitt I wonder, practically speaking. You referenced wish that you wish you had known what you know, now, when you were a young mom, and I'm thinking about parents listening, I'm thinking about teachers listening, when they see a behavior that is not okay with them, or is not safe for their child or for the people around them? Can you think of like what one question maybe they could ask themselves to help get to that next layer of thinking of like the root? Or the cause? Or the what's underneath this behavior? Like, what's one question when you, as a school counselor are pulled in to say we have this behavior? What's like one of the questions that pops up into your mind?
Lori Desautels Well, it's the first question, and it's the initial question. And that is, am I in my holding a nervous system state that can capture a sense of emotional availability, so that I can drain off and share my nervous system with that child who needs it in that moment?
Carrie Schmitt Wow. Yep, thank you for saying that. That's it. To me, that's a paradigm shift. To turn it back to myself and my own nervous system is something I think that's really unique. And something that will, as Angela Davis is, you mentioned her quote, help us pull something out by the route, is by turning the question back to ourselves and not over relying on other people to change their behavior to make our life easier. So thank you for saying that. I think that's a real paradigm shift. Thanks for the work that you're doing. Thank you for sharing it with us. We were lucky enough to have you at our 2022 STAR Institute symposium this year. And so that is initially how you and I connected. And I got to hear a lot of your thoughts and works, which prompted me to ask you to come on and share it with a broader audience. So I really appreciate your willingness to do this. And for your continued work. Where can people find you and find out more about your work?
Lori Desautels So I have a website that is very, it's filled with resources, very interactive, and it's revelations in education.com.
Carrie Schmitt And we'll link all all the names you mentioned today, all of the your website, any resource that we mentioned today, I will find it and I will link it in the show notes. So if anybody's listening, it is interested in that. All of that will be in the show notes for today. So thank you again so much for being here and for for sharing your work with our audience. I appreciate that.
Lori Desautels Thank you, Carrie.
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