ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
Climbing trees is a fun activity, but not everyone knows how to do it. The two no-gear methods of climbing are scrambling and shinnying. Scrambling means using your hands and feet to go up a tree with branches. Shinnying involves wrapping your arms and legs around a narrow tree without branches, and ratcheting your way up. Of the two, scrambling is much easier, thus generally the best way to start. Climbing with gear tempts people to ascend to great heights, and you have to understand your equipment. It is therefore best left until after you have mastered the basics of freehand climbing of small trees.

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ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
Shock can take physical or emotional form. Both can pose significant dangers. Although physical shock tends to be more serious in the short term, emotional shock can easily turn into chronic conditions such as PTSD or depression which can kill later. Also, either version can feed into the other. Responses to trauma vary along a spectrum of severity. Acute stress reaction is a normal response to abnormal situations which exceed the victim's coping capacity. Symptoms typically subside within a few hours or days. This is best treated by Emotional First Aid unless symptoms pose a threat to self or others, or interfere with everyday life, in which case professional care may help. Acute stress disorder spans a period approximately two days to one month after trauma, with symptoms serious enough to upset ordinary functions that aren't healing or seem to be healing slower than expected. Treatment at this stage may reduce the chance of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, a chronic form of trauma reaction. It is important to distinguish between normal response (which heals on its own), disordered response (which may need a little extra support), and a disorder (which typically requires professional care). Just like physical injuries, mental injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe and need different levels of attention.

Local-American advice is not to seek hospital treatment for emotional shock; the facility is not equipped to provide the soothing atmosphere needed for trauma survivors or people with a loved one in the hospital. In many situations, little or no treatment is available for mental issues at mild or moderate levels. People can only get help for severe problems. Unfortunately this has much the same effect on mental injuries as on physical ones: ignoring them increases the chance they will not heal cleanly and that serious complications could develop.

Terramagne does have a Shock Room alongside the Emergency Room at most hospitals. The SR provides a clinical setting for Emotional Trauma Care, just as the ER treats physical trauma. They have an assortment of private and ward therapy rooms for techniques that help traumatized people feel safe or let them burn off excess energy after a trauma. Some are like industrial-strength quiet rooms; others are padded rumpus rooms. Therapeutic video games such as Tetris help process experiences into new memories in a healthy way. A small hospital might have only a few treatment options, while a large one has many, just as they expand support for more types of physical complaints. Specially trained therapists provide immediate comfort care, followed by assessment and then arrangements for long-term care if needed. (Doing the assessment first, while the person is still overwrought, can make matters worse.) They can also teach people about self-care following a trauma. This helps tremendously in preventing the initial upset from crystallizing into long-term damage. Sometimes it works amazingly fast, although most of the time it takes longer.

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ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
Emotional First Aid (also called Psychological First Aid) minimizes the lasting harm from traumatic events by treating it immediately. This is greatly preferable to ignoring the harm until it festers into a serious problem. Basic EFA may be taught in schools and community classes, with more advanced versions covering things like bereavement, sexual assault survivor assistance, etc. In Terramagne-America, an Emotional First Aide is roughly equivalent to an Emergency Medical Technician and they are often deployed in an ambulance, firetruck, or other first response vehicle. Many instutitions such as schools or malls also keep someone trained in EFA along with a nurse at the first aid station.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 I found this awesome page describing the needs of introverts in the office and showcasing various facilities for their use.
ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
Slightly belated, I'm doing [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw again. I'm pulling together some useful resources. This one is a party monitor kit, inspired by several of my characters in Polychrome Heroics who are or have been party monitors.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "sensory" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Danso and Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Note: This poem features detailed description of beginning sensory therapy for a toddler. It's almost entirely a positive experience for Nathaniel, but readers with sensory issues and/or crappy experiences of therapy may wish to consider their tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Based on an audience poll, there are 5 new verses in "Essential for Human Survival."  The Kwan Yin House of Compassion can accommodate a surprisingly wide range of needs.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] moongoddessgirl. It also fills the "vulnerability" square in my 4-3-17 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Danso and Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kyleri and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "Fresh Air" square in my 4-1-17 card for the Month of Rainbows Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "Too Close" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] kyleri is working on a recipe for iron rations, and would like input on alternatives to ingredients, so it can be made free of allergens. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Someone asked me how to help an online friend through a difficult time. All the advice, of course, is aimed at helping friends in meatspace. Considering how many of us have online intimates, this is not helpful. Here is my effort to fill that gap.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
One of the most famous psychological tests is the Rorschach or inkblot test.  It's very controversial, with some people arguing it's pseudoscience and others saying it gives valuable insights.  Actually, they're both right.  It has no objective basis in that different people will score the same response in different ways, and that's before  accounting for cultural differences. However, any kind of symbolic material can serve as inspiration for useful conversations.  The problem comes when someone makes binding decisions based on these test results -- that  is the pseudoscience.  It penalizes people for not doing what someone else wanted.

I've been watching this for a long time, and finally found where someone scanned the images online.  Previously you could only find vague replicas.  This page has the full-color cards along with instructions on what the tester wants to hear.  Some of its observations (sexual imagery will get you in trouble, positive interpretations score better than negative ones) apply across many psychological tests.  By memorizing these, you now have two options: tell a tester you're already familiar with the test, which invalidates this and most other psych tests; or cheat on it by telling them what the handbook says everyone should see (or whatever other image you may wish to project).  That's very useful if, as is often the case, the test is being used against you and against your will.  (It's commonly used in contentious legal cases such as divorce or abuse, and sometimes in employment.)  In particular, note that this article highlights the type of lying ubiquitous throughout psych tests: falsely telling someone they can "do anything" or "it doesn't matter" when in fact everything is being scored and difference from the center of the bell curve is heavily penalized.  You really can't rely on anything they say unless you have read the instructions and scoring rubric (if there even is one) for yourself.

However, if you have a psychotherapist you like -- and you really need someone with a high level of experience for this, most counselors won't be able to follow it -- then you can get into awesomely deep territory by discussing symbolism back and forth.  Rorschach cards are great for this kind of exercise.  But so are most types of abstract art, and any kind of symbolic art such as Tarot cards.  If you study the symbolism of colors, shapes, etc. across cultures then it becomes even more illuminating.  Dream dictionaries are great for this because they give you a ton of ideas what things could  mean. You just have to account for the fact that symbolism always includes both a universal and an individual aspect.  Butterflies always have an element of transformation due to their metamorphic biology, but to an individual they might be very sad due to seeing butterflies at a grandparent's funeral.  Plus when you look at the different possible meanings, you can gain insights into how other people think, or spot parallels among several related symbols.  One Tarot card may have 12 possible meanings, but if three other cards all have one overlapping interpretation, that's the one active in this reading. Some branches of psychotherapy are really into this symbolic stuff, and it's ideal for handling some types of problem that don't lend themselves well to logic.  Or just for fun.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Someone asked me about emotional first aid for adults, so here are some ideas about increasing access to that ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] curiosity and [personal profile] shiori_makiba. It also fills the "get enough sleep" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] callibr8, [personal profile] alatefeline, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] alexseanchai, and [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "why" square in my 12-1-16 card for the iPod Shuffle Music Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features teen shenanigans, adult bullying of an innocent teen, abuse of authority, culpable bigotry, undermining the fire department's professional objectives, despair, outrage, frustration over lack of superpower awareness, and other angst. However, two adults stick up for the targeted teen. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "loneliness" square in my 8-1-17 card for the Survival Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It has misery, loneliness, low mood, abandonment issues, alienation from hometown, serious prejudice against soups, and other challenges. Also, the positive interactions and upstanding shown provide a little lift, but not an actual happy ending. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: (monster house)
This poem is spillover from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "fear" square in my 8-1-17 card for the Survival Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Monster House series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Occupational therapy is one of the very few branches of health care that I have frequently seen putting out fantastic material. Here is an example of things occupational therapists have thought of for conserving energy in self-care.  The whole point to this field is enabling people to do things, by finding new ways to do stuff when the old way doesn't work anymore.

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