Emotional blocks to learning
Emotional blocks to learning in children/adults without learning disabilities, attention problems, or autism may be reactive to family stresses such as separation, divorce, illness, or loss. When these issues are overriding, children/adults can become sad and depressed, which compromises the ability to pay attention and memory. Learning problems are the result of the emotional problems and not the cause of them. Once the emotional issues are dealt with through a psychotherapeutic experience, children/adults are more available to learning and can achieve greater success academically.
What are the signs of emotional blocks?
Emotional blocks to learning can be hard to detect, but if one truly believes that children want to succeed in school, the task becomes easier. Children/adults who appear inhibited and afraid to take risks may be blocked emotionally. At the other extreme the class clown may have emotional blocks that are hidden behind the acting out behavior. In both instances, emotional blocks may be secondary to learning and attention problems. With true emotional blocks it is important to take a hard look at family and school circumstances. Family stress such as separation and divorce, and school stress, such as bullying, can result in turning off to learning and sometimes warded off feelings can fuel negative behaviors.
What types of treatments are available?
Psychotherapy helps children/adults to better understand what is getting in the way of learning. Fostering an empathic home environment amid family/school stress helps to diminish anxiety and/or depression, allowing children to become more absorbed in learning. Sometimes parents unwittingly become so involved in their own life problems, that they ignore what is in the best interest of their children during these difficult times. Family counseling can help reset priorities and allow for emotional growth of individual family members and the family as a whole.