Providing Emotional Literacy and Well-Being Support for Children and Young People
"All children should be nurtured in accordance with their individual needs. There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning, and some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others."
I have worked within the education system for over 10 years. Over time I have specialised in supporting children with SEND and behavioural and emotional needs. I strongly believe that children will be better placed to learn academically if their emotional needs are met.
I graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a BA (Hons) in Drama and Communication Arts and have a Diploma in Child and Adolescent Counselling. I have completed Youth Mental Health First Aid training run by Mental Health England, am fully ELSA trained, receiving ongoing supervision sessions with Educational Psychologists, and a Licensed Thrive and Human Toolbox Practitioner.
I have experience working across Primary and Secondary settings, liaising with families, outside agencies and other professionals.
In my spare time I am a crisis volunteer for SHOUT crisis text line.
I have a genuine passion and desire to support children and young people to be the very best they can be and achieve their full potential.
Thrive Approach, Human Toolbox and Drawing and Talking
" Every child needs to feel valued, involved and appreciated."
Thrive is a therapeutic approach to help support children and young people with their social and emotional development.
The Thrive Approach offers practical strategies and techniques and is built around online assessments that identify children's emotional development and provides action plans for their individual needs.
Research has shown that how we behave is linked to how we feel and our emotions are linked to how we learn.
By teaching children to recognise and notice these feelings and emotions it can help with their development and learning.
Children sometimes need some extra support with their emotional growth and this can be temporary or over a longer period of time.
Thrive promotes their emotional and social growth by building positive relationships between a child and their peers and helps them explore and understand their feelings through various activities.
Why might my child or young person benefit from Thrive Sessions?
Many children experience difficulties during their time at school. These may include:
Difficulties with friendships.
Getting into trouble at playtime.
Finding it hard to settle in the classroom.
Finding it difficult to manage their strong feelings.
Not knowing who to turn to when feelings are too big to manage on their own.
These situations can lead to many different feelings which may seem overwhelming at times. They might include: anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, confusion or anxiety.
All these feelings are very normal and happen to a lot of children. The Thrive sessions are to help children learn to manage their feelings and teach them strategies that will help promote their learning at school.
What will happen in a Thrive session?
The session may be on an individual basis or as part of a small group of children within a school setting or home environment.
Focusing on building a strong, safe and trusted relationship where children are able to practice the skills they need to develop learning new ways to recognise, understand and make choices about their behaviour and feelings.
During each session there will be an activity which may include:
Arts and crafts
Movement and relaxation
Hand and foot massage
Cooking and preparing food
Roleplay and puppet work
I am fully trained in using the Thrive Approach and online tool to support children with their social and emotional development which can increase self-esteem, resilience, and ability to self regulate.
The Human Toolbox
It is a neuroscience-based emotional literacy foundation course developed by Lindy Wheeler. Lindy has 20 years experience as a school counsellor and as part of a mental health team delivering counselling for the NHS Well-being service in Suffolk.
" The science of neuroplasticity shows us that the brain never stops growing, adapting and changing. Old behaviour patterns can and do change for the better when we learn how to use the Human Tools and we begin to engage joyfully with life." L.Wheeler
Trained by Lindy, I am able to deliver an 8-week programme to children and young people either on 1:1 or small group basis.
Understanding the process of FEEL/THINK/RESPOND sits at the heart of the programme and gives the child or young person an understanding of the tools required to maintain balance.
Please explore Lindy's website for a detailed explanation or see below for the specific breakdown of modules within the programme.
Contact me today for an initial consultation, and find out more about how I can tailor my services to your needs.
Sand Tray and Lego Therapy
Children may initially find it difficult to verbalise their emotions. Using this creative and therapeutic approach helps children and young people to act out different scenarios.
Play is the language of children and the sand tray provides a safe medium for expression, free from evaluation.
It is a kinaesthetic approach. Sand has a sensory quality and the experience of touching and manipulating the sand can be therapeutic in itself.
I have a wide range of miniatures that can be used within individual or group sessions.
Lego therapy is now considered a successful type of play therapy. Several educational and medical studies in the UK and the USA found that facilitated group projects with Legos can help develop and reinforce play skills and social skills such as:
Verbal and non-verbal communication
Sharing and turn-taking
Growth mindset is a concept that refers to how we face challenges and setbacks.
Children with a growth mindset believe their abilities can improve over time. By comparison, those with a fixed mindset think their abilities are a set trait that can’t change, no matter how hard they try.
For children and young people with learning and attention issues, having a growth mindset can have real benefits. It can help reframe how they approach challenges. Below is an example overview of a successful intervention I have delivered:
M – I understand how making MISTAKES can help me learn.
I – I understand how seeing success can INSPIRE me.
N – I understand the importance of the words ‘NOT YET‘.
D – I understand what it means to be DETERMINED.
S – I can celebrate SUCCESS and understand how that makes me feel.
E – I understand that EVERYONE is different but that EVERYONE has the potential to succeed.
T – I know how important it is to THINK positively and have a ‘can do’ attitude to learning.
ELSAs are emotional literacy support assistants. They are individuals who have had special training from educational psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in school. ELSAs have regular professional supervision from educational psychologists to help them in their work.
Most ELSA programmes will last for 6 to 12 weeks, helping the pupil to learn some specific new skills or coping strategies. Clear programme aims (SMART targets) need to be set early on and each session has an objective - something the ELSA wants to help the pupil understand or achieve.
ELSA work should be fun – that’s what makes the difference. It isn’t a reward for bad behaviour. By building a positive relationship with challenging children the ELSA can help them think about and reduce their troublesome behaviour. It will take time, but will be worth it in the end.
Self-esteem is, in its simplest definition, the way you feel about yourself. When children feel confident about themselves and their abilities, they have good self-esteem. Children who feel like they're not liked by family or peer groups or who tend to believe their efforts will lead to failure have poor self-esteem. Self-esteem is one measure of a children's overall mental health.
There are many issues that can impact on a child's self esteem. Peer pressure and social media can have a negative impact.
I aim to support positive self esteem in order to ensure children and young people are best placed to deal with strong emotions, challenges and frustrations when they arise.
Children and young people with high self-esteem:
Have a positive view of themselves
Make friends easily and adapt to new situations
Can play on their own or in groups
Will try to work things out for themselves but are willing to ask if unsure
Can be proud of their achievements
Can admit their mistakes and learn from them
Are willing to try new things and adapt to change
Young people with low self-esteem can find it very hard to cope with pressures from school, peers and society. The teenage, and increasingly pre-teen yearss can be very stressful as youngsters are expected to achieve good grades, look a certain way and be successful or popular. Children and young people with low self-esteem are more at risk of developing depression, anxiety, self-harming and other mental health.problems as they grow up, and will often find the ups and downs of life in general harder to get through. (mindmoose.co.uk)
The successful development of effective social skills is vital. I aim to address emotions, social skills, relaxation and self-esteem.
Below is an example overview of a successful intervention I have used in the past.
I can co-operate and be part of a group
I can tell you what it means to be caring and can think of some ways to be caring towards others
I can talk to my friends and find out some things that we have in common
I can understand what personal space is
I can understand what it means to hurt someone’s feelings and how to make them feel better
I can tell you what being a good friend means to me
Human Toolbox 8 Wk Programme
The Human Toolbox Programme comprises of 8 basic modules. The modules are flexible and can be used in a 1:1 setting, in a small nurture group classroom settings. (KS1/2 or 3/4 differentiated packages.)
The structure is as follows:
Week 1 Introduction - Understanding human behaviour
Week 2 The Control Tool - Understanding the powerful Triune Brain and introducing the FEEL-THINK-RESPOND paradigm
Week 3 The Input Tool - Explores the way the brain is formed through the five senses and the intelligent gut and heart.
Week 4 The Back-Up Tool - Humans have an internal hard drive where we store emotional data.
Week 5 The Release Tools - Explores the Stress response and the concept of stress chemistry and calm chemistry
Week 6 The Fuel Tools - Humans are complex and we need different fuels to keep us healthy, energised and motivated
Week 7 The Connect Tools - Humans are social animals and we need safe, enduring relationships.
Week 8 Putting it all together and graduation - Recap, consolidation, goal setting and graduation.
Get in touch today for a consultation to see what I can do for you as a school or a parent of a child or young person.
Emotional Awareness and Well-Being Counselling
"Over recent years there has been increased recognition of the impact of social and emotional aspects of learning on academic attainment in schools. The Children Act 2004 (Every Child Matters) recognised that schools need to be concerned with the all round development of children."
I aim to provide support for children and young people in recognising and addressing issues that impact their lives. Providing time and space to think about their personal circumstances and how they manage them.
This can include work around anxiety, school refusal or Zones of Regulation.
What I Offer
A Personal Approach
My services are customised to meet the specific needs of each child or young person. I can deliver individual or small group sessions, addressing important issues such as self esteem, growth mindset, friendship and bullying.
Sessions would usually run for 6 weeks but can be increased depending on need.
Using basic counselling skills including:
verbal and non-verbal prompts
I aim to build a positive and nurturing relationship where I can assist the child or young person to recognise and reflect any concerns and lead them to explore possible strategies and solutions for themselves.
I have experience of working with children with a range of needs including ASD.
I am able to offer advice and support around inclusion and reasonable adjustments within school settings, EHCP's and signposting to outside agencies.
I have an enhanced DBS Certificate and am available to work within schools or in your home.
I offer competitive rates on all bespoke packages. Prices on request.