One of my daughter’s favourite bedtime books is Hugless Douglas, about a bear who is just looking for a hug. I have recently experienced the power of the “the hug” with one of the students I support here at Bucks No Limits.
The young man in question is called Adam and I support him once a week on a Friday. A few weeks ago we had a bad day; the day hadn’t started well for Adam, as he had had to share a taxi to the Life Skills Centre with another student, something he does not like doing. His mood didn’t improve over the course of the day and I was told on several occasions that “I don’t want to work with you again”, “I like the old staff I used to work with” and “I hate being here”.
Fast forward a week and Adam arrived on Friday morning, smiling and in a jovial mood. He had not had to share his taxi journey and had had a good week. He came to find me and asked if “we could have a bear hug”. We hugged it out for a few seconds and then Adam said he was sorry for what he had said to me the previous week. Adam very rarely shows his emotions and does not normally like engaging in “touch” but this was definitely “a moment”. That ‘touch’ facilitation skill was used to good effect: offering comfort, reassurance and warmth.
Since the hug, we have had two really good Fridays, where Adam has been engaging, entertaining and enjoyable company.
Like with Douglas, all he really wanted was a hug to feel a whole lot better!
MacIntyre No Limits