What I do
I work with children from 4 - 16 years by delivering outcome focused, evidence based interventions for those experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties, trauma, social/emotional developmental delays or those that just need a little nurturing to flourish in that area.
Most kids don't need a therapist. They need someone who can empower them with strategies to cope better with today's world.
My work is 1;1 or I can offer group sessions or workshops for children, schools, parents or community groups.
I offer several approaches to working with children. I am trained and licensed in both practices. Below is some info on each.
My work can also use themes from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotion Coaching, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT and mindfulness.
I offer a FREE 20 minute consultation service to discuss your child's needs and the best package for them.
What is an ELSA?
ELSAs are Emotional Literacy Support Assistants. They are often teaching assistants who have received specific additional training from educational psychologists from whom they receive on going supervision following training. Their role is to support children and young people in (usually within schools )to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst also respecting the feelings of those around them.
ELSAs are trained to plan and deliver programs of support to children who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. The majority of ELSA work is expected to be delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work will be appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills.
All children should be nurtured in accordance with their individual needs. There will always be children and young people facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage, and some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others.
Supervision for ELSAs
ELSAs receive clinical supervision from educational psychologists.
The priorities for an individual child will be identified in discussion with the parent or carer. These priorities will inform the setting of aims for the program, which are akin to individual education plan targets. Where possible it is also helpful to have pupil input on target setting. Working on what is important to them is likely to increase the impact of the support. With the program aims in mind the ELSA would plan support sessions to facilitate the child in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively. Each session has its own objective (either something the ELSA wants to achieve or something for the pupil to achieve) that builds towards the longer term aims.
ELSA as a time limited intervention
Rather than using an ELSA as part of a childs permanent support structure, it is better to see the intervention as time-limited to assist the development of specific skills, usually up to a term. Once new skills are acquired, time needs to be allowed for consolidation. Further intervention towards additional aims could be considered at a later date if desired.
Change as a result of ELSA intervention
It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties. It needs to target specific aspects of a pupil’s need. The training and development of ELSAs is an ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA. The supervising psychologist or the educational psychologist that usually works with the practitioner would be able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.
An ELSA needs to:
have a warm personality and be able to stay calm under pressure
be able to gain the confidence of children who are behaviourally challenging or socially withdrawn
be happy to work independently and show initiative
be creative in planning interventions and efficient in recording ELSA work
be eager to learn and develop new skills
Areas that can be supported with ELSA
+ Emotional Literacy
+ Self Esteem & confidence
+ Anxiety & anger
+ Bereavement & parental separation
+ Motivation & resilience
+ Social skills & friendships
Empowering children and families to THRIVE in life
The Human Toolbox™
Established by Lindy Wheeler, a qualified school counsellor who now works for the NHS wellbeing service in Suffolk. Lindy wanted a way to visually show young people how the mind-body connection works and started by drawing simple pictures with her clients. This evolved into the 8 module program that it is today. She realised that talking therapies alone are not enough for some children. Many are looking for answers as to why they behave the way they do or feel as they do.
Lindy recognised that we all have powerful Human Tools not just to help us survive but more importantly to thrive. Using Paul Macleans trinune Brain paradigm to explain "the science", she teaches us the process of THINK/FEEL/RESPOND.
The Human Toolbox™ Programme will help you discover the powerful tools you have to keep you and those you care for safe, healthy, motivated, energised and fully engaged with life.
Like all tools – the first step is to learn how to access them. Armed with that knowledge you’ll need to understand how and why they work. Finally you’ll need to become skilled at using them in your daily life - and that takes practice.
Once you’ve mastered the art of using your Human Tools you’ll never look back – and you’ll know more about being human than literally billions of others on the planet!
The Human Toolbox™ program teaches us these vital skills...
-To be able to create and maintain healthy relationships.
-To be able to look after our own needs and not expect to guess what's wrong or rescue us.
-To be able to calm and soothe anxiety and find balance.
-To bee active, curious and engaged with life.
-To be able to recognise and cope with rules and boundaries (and to set boundaries).
-To be able to cope with injustice and unfairness.
-To know when to fight and when to stand down.
-To be able to let go of the past and move on.
-To find purpose and meaning in life.
-To have goals and dreams and to strive to reach them.
-To have empathy, kindness and compassion for ourselves and others.
-To find time to play, exercise, rest and restore.
The Human Toolbox™ program works brilliantly for groups in school settings or as 1;1 with children in primary or secondary education. It is also beneficial for families and I can supply this course for parents as a class or to families in their own homes.
Drawing & Talking
Drawing and Talking is designed as a therapeutic early intervention that complements the work of CAMHS or other specialist therapy’s and is ideal for those children already on long waiting lists for other services. It is a person centred, play based therapy for anyone over the age of 5 years.
Drawing and talking is a safe and non-invasive, time limited therapy for any child who has suffered trauma or has emotional difficulties.
During scheduled weekly half hour sessions, the child will meet with myself and draw. Through talking about the drawing we use symbolism to heal trauma.
Drawing and talking is NOT an alternative method of communicating with children.
Children that will benefit from a therapeutic intervention such as Drawing and Talking:
-Are not realising their full potential, either academically or socially
-Are at risk of being/is excluded from school
-Have suffered trauma
-Are (or are in the process of being) adopted or fostered
-Suffer because of separated or divorced parents
-Suffer from anxiety, stress or phobias
-Have suffered a loss or bereavement of any kind
-Are withdrawn or continually unhappy
-Are ill, disabled or autistic
-Find it difficult to make friends
-Quarrel frequently with peers or siblings
-Bully others or are bullied themselves
-Display inappropriate behaviour
-Incarceration of a family member
-Gang, grooming and exploitation
-On poverty line
-Struggle with transition
Sand Play is part of the Drawing and Talking program so everything above is also applicable here too however, Sand Play is ideal for children who are younger, less able to access drawing or communication, those who require sensory input or those high energy children who need to move about. It is open to all children and young people and you may be surprised how many older children engage beautifully with Sand Play.
The Story Massage Programme offers a fun and fully inclusive way of combining the creativity of story, song and rhyme with the benefits of positive touch.
Benefits can include;
teaching positive touch
relationship building with adults and peers
self regulation skills to name just a few.
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