Social-Emotional Counseling Links and Resources

1. What is Social Emotional Learning? 

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and
manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain
positive relationships, and make
responsible decisions.

CASEL’s Widely Used Framework Identifies
Five Core Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.

Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.

Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.

Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others



2. What is the RULER Model? - Tools for Regulation (Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence)

  • RULER is an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence:

    • Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
    • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
    • Labeling emotions with a nuanced vocabulary
    • Expressing emotions in accordance with cultural norms and social context
    • Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

What is mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. We train in this moment-to-moment awareness through meditation, allowing us to build the skill of mindfulness so that we can then apply it to everyday life. In teaching the mind to be present, we are teaching ourselves to be live more mindfully — in the present, taking a breath, not beholden to reactive thoughts and feelings — which is particularly helpful when faced with challenging circumstances or difficult situations.

Links to Resources


Why use coping skills?

  • Mature coping skills help you deal with life’s difficult challenges in a healthy and productive way. If you don’t know how to deal with certain situations, they might only get worse. The right strategy, however, can get you through any situation quickly and with as little pain as possible.  

  • Coping skills also help increase resilience. Resilience refers to how quickly a person is able to recover from a difficult situation, or in other words, how quickly and easily they bounce back after something like the death of a loved one or another difficult life situation. People who are highly resilient can process difficult experiences by acknowledging their mistakes, learning from the situation, and moving on.  

    Coping skills increase resilience because they help people learn how to properly handle negative emotions, panic attacks, and other difficult situations. When you effectively deal with a negative emotion or situation, you also move on and let go of the negative feelings that are associated with that experience.  

What You Need to Know About Coping Skills

  • It takes time to develop ​really good coping skills. For instance, your first list of coping skills might contain walking, listening to music, watching a movie, talking to a friend, and writing. Over time, you might find that listening to music and writing are the best coping skills, and you hate the idea of talking to a friend. Keep revising your list until you get it just right.
  • Be patient! The first time you decide to go for a walk might not feel right. You might come back from the walk and think, “That was supposed to help?” If you’re not used to using coping skills, give each coping skill a chance. Try them a few times. Some of them grow on you and really help in the end.
  • Sometimes you have to jump from one coping skill to another. For example, your most effective coping skill might be playing video games, but you don’t want to grow roots in front of the screen. Get up after a while and go for a jog or clean your room – get your blood flowing.
  • Are coping skills effective 100% of the time? No, nothing is. There are going to be days when it feels like nothing works. Keep trying those coping skills anyway, though, and try to reach out to a supportive person for extra help if you feel like all your coping skills are letting you down.
  • Do coping skills make everything better? Occasionally your coping skills will lift your spirits very admirably. Sometimes, though, you may only feel 50% better or even just 25% better.