Guidance for professionals in Gloucestershire working with young people with mental health or emotional wellbeing concerns
Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment in a purposeful way, using techniques similar to yoga and meditation. Children and young who learn mindfulness skills are likely to be calmer, more able to concentrate and have decreased levels of stress and anxiety.
GHLL have developed a mindfulness resource which has been written to support children’s learning through a range of simple ‘focusing’ techniques. Contact the GHLL team on 01452 427208 / 427327 for help or to obtain a copy of the resource.
Sandplay is a predominantly non-verbal therapeutic approach, which consists of the child or young person working with a wide assortment of miniature figures in a tray of sand in the presence of a trained professional. During Sandplay children are invited to choose items that appeal to them and place them in the sand to create a picture or a story. They can talk about what they have created or not depending upon how they feel. The intervention usually runs weekly for at least 10 sessions, with a session lasting around 30 minutes. Sandplay can be a positive intervention for supporting children who are not able to explain in words how they are feeling or what is troubling them. It can help children and young people with social and emotional difficulties, including those who have experienced trauma.
Lego Therapy is a method of using Lego as a way to engage children in conversations about their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It has been found to be particularly beneficial for children with autism and related conditions. Collaborative play provides opportunities for children to practise skills such as turn-taking, listening, sharing ideas, communication, compromise, problem-solving and shared attention. You can find out more about from the Building Skills website
Therapeutic Story Writing
This approach provides a non-threatening way to process difficult feelings while also developing the child’s writing skills. Evidence-based research has shown that Therapeutic Storywriting Groups can lead to a significant improvement in both children’s emotional resilience and their confidence with story writing. The model has been used by the DfES as an example of best practice to support inclusion (SEN Impact: Case Study 14). Find out more about Therapeutic Storywriting
The Gloucestershire Educational Psychology Services offers training in Sandplay Therapy, Lego Therapy (Build to Express) and Therapeutic Storywriting. Their webpage contains more information on the courses available.
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