The marginalised of the marginalised
People with albinism are the marginalised of the marginalised. Due to deep-rooted cultural myths people with albinism face human rights abuses, discrimination and personal attack as a result of what they look like and who they are.
Khulisa Social Solutions, an organisation that focuses on addressing issues in marginalised communities has a dedicated project working with people with albinism.
5th Place was invited to conduct a morning workshop introducing emotional fitness using Shape of Emotion to a group of people with albinism.
No previous experience
This group had never used Shape of Emotion before, they were largely unschooled in mindfulness nor bodyfulness practices and have a history of emotional difficulties as a result of the victimisation they have routinely suffered.
In addition, the workshop was conducted in English, not a first language for the participants. Despite all of this, and with minimal coaching, this group were able to connect with their feelings, and engage with a tool that allowed the majority of them (77%), many for the first time ever, to release a difficult (negative) emotion.
Building emotional fitness and resilience
Dealing with one’s difficult emotions is not a once off event. Emotional resilience and emotional fitness comes with consistent and continuous effort. It is hoped that this group of individuals will continue to attend to their emotional well being as an ongoing practice. Shape of Emotion, used as a daily practice, enables people to build emotional fitness and this both supports and promotes physical, psychological and relational wellbeing.
Pre and post session comparisons
Ability to feel feelings and emotions
Prior to the workshop over half (50%) of the participants found it difficult to feel their feelings. At the end of the workshop, 100%, or all 13, of surveyed participants, confirmed that they were able to feel their feelings.
Ability to engage with feelings
In terms of engaging with their feelings, 81% reported difficulties doing this. 50% indicated that they only allowed themselves to feel a little and 31% noted that they did not allow themselves to feel and held back their feelings.
By the end of the workshop respondents were engaging better with their feelings to the point that 92% of respondents said they could find their feelings in their bodies.
It is understood that many individuals who have suffered extended periods of trauma become disassociated from themselves, their minds and bodies. The most important self-regulatory skills that these individuals need to learn is emotional regulation and adjustment.*
Given this, the data below highlights the importance of learning a tool like Shape of Emotion to build emotional fitness as well as using other emotion-regulation strategies for people with albinism and other individuals who have suffered trauma.
* Courtois, Christine A. “Complex Trauma, Complex Reactions: Assessment and Treatment.” Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training 41, no. 4 (2004): 412–25. https://doi.org/10/c8dzs5.
A selection of feedback from participants.
I am the controller of my feelings
First of all I want to thank you for bringing this programme to us – with all of my heart, I commend you.
What I’m taking forward is that I am the controller of my feelings; I own my feelings. At least now I know there’s this tool I can use to control and regulate my emotions on a daily basis. It’s my corner to go to when I know I have the wall I must break down.
A very fruitful day for me
Today was a very fruitful day for me. I’ve learned something and I’m going to continue with the tactics that was taught to us on how to develop your emotions; how to engage with yourself.
In general, it was a good feeling. I didn’t know that when you feel something, it’s emotions speaking to you. I’ve learnt a lot. Thank you.
Grateful for this opportunity
I’m grateful for this opportunity to learn an exercise on how to control my emotions.
I’m going to practice it every day.
I’m going to control my emotions better
I’d like to thank 5th Place for the opportunity to come here and experience this.
It’s the first time I’ve felt something like this. I’m sure I’m going to control my emotions better. Going forward, also control my anger.
About the author
5th Place offers specialised psychological services in the form of coaching and therapy for immediate relief from stress, anxiety, & other mental health challenges. It works fast, deep and quick. For individuals and groups, children, teens and adults.