Sandi and Chris Phoenix on using the Safety Cup for Wellbeing

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Sandi and Chris Phoenix on using the Safety Cup for Wellbeing


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Sandi Phoenix

Sandi is the founding company director and Principal Facilitator at Phoenix Support for Educators, and the Phoenix Cups. Her framework, The Phoenix Cups, have revolutionised how staff not only work with children’s behaviour, but how teams view each other’s behaviour. The Phoenix Cups adds a new perspective to understanding each other and learning to work and live in harmony together.

Sandi started studying Psychological Science in 1998 and has many years’ experience collaborating with staff and teams to support positive relationships and partnerships. She is highly regarded nationwide as a speaker, coach, mentor and Professional Development facilitator.

Christopher Phoenix

Christopher is the is the Wellbeing specialist for Phoenix Support for Educators, and co-author of the Phoenix Cups book – The Phoenix Cups: A Cup Filling Story. He tours Australia and beyond delivering the Phoenix Cups model through a highly entertaining Workplace Wellbeing workshop and keynote presentation.

He has appeared on Australia’s most popular national morning television show Sunrise, has featured as the Commonwealth Bank’s Australian of the Day, been interviewed on national radio station Triple M, and has been the subject of numerous national and international newspaper articles.

In this interview we discuss:

Five Phoenix cups: mastery, freedom, connection, safety and fun. Everyone has different needs profiles and different size cups, the level of how far empty they are in any current moment is what could be changing too. So making sure that we get all our needs met making sure that we get our cups filled.

When the safety cup is emptied, it prompts the stress response – fight, flight, freeze

Supporting the team means being aware of those needs supporting each other, understanding each other’s cups and our behavioural choices are the things that fill or empty our cups.

Assign a wellbeing officer. Use shared language to have conversations with your team and really open-ended conversations around what you need.

One of the biggest things that’s going to impact on children is the adults around them and their cups. So they’ll look to us for guidance and ideas around how should I be feeling at the moment. If we’re feeling unsafe, the children are going to feel unsafe. Also, children should have accurate information and to have information that is useful.

Do more of the things that fill cups within your program and less of the things that empty cups. Challenge your unhelpful thinking, become aware of your thoughts because your thoughts can be cup emptying or cup filling.


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Kathy Brodie

Kathy Brodie