Services for Schools

“Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual recognises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and be able to make a contribution to his or her own community.”

 

World Health Organisation

Our highly trained and experienced team of therapists can support your staff team and the children, teens in their care.

We are fortunate to have worked with many schools who do an incredible job supporting their most vulnerable children.

We know that providing care and support to vulnerable people can be challenging both emotionally and from an expertise point of view, when all the strategies have been tried but aren’t having the desired impact.

We know that hearing about the positive experience of others is the best way for professionals to trust other professionals. Via recommendations and positive feedback, we have built a reputation that allows us to work in many schools within Lancashire.

We thought it may be helpful to describe a case and how the process worked...

Case description

A well-respected Educational Psychologist whom we have worked with alongside to support a child in the care system, recommended us to a Social Worker and Inclusion officer at a three form entry Primary School in Lancashire.

The initial consultation allowed the Senior Leadership Team to talk about the challenges they were experiencing as a school. This conversation enabled us to create a bespoke, targeted formulation on around how to support the staff team in moving forward in the direction that they had identified.

A package of support was offered and detailed in a service level agreement which was agreed and signed by all involved.

The package of support offered to this school consisted of different elements to help meet the needs of a particular child who was in the care of his Mother but involved with Children Social Care. The child was struggling to learn in the classroom environment, would flee becoming unregulated throughout the school day, and needed one to one support from a member of staff. The child struggled to follow classroom instructions, exhibited behaviour that left staff feeling helpless and deskilled. The staff team did not want to exclude the child as they were aware of the impact this would have on his sense of self and recognised that school was where he felt safest and had secure attachments with key adults.

The first part of the process was to offer training to the Senior Leadership Team and the key adults around the child. The training we offer is always bespoke to the setting and the training needed for this school was around trauma, polyvagal theory, adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) and attachment. The training forum allowed for a conversation that understood the individual needs and strengths of their team and the child/family. The process allowed us to identify what was needed to move forward and to help the team of staff feel supported, confident and skilled in their approach. A formulation was devised and shared with the key adults around the child.

A therapist was then identified to work with the child. All our qualified therapists are highly skilled and knowledgeable about child development, trauma, ACE’s and attachment.

The therapist then met the parents/carers to gain a history of the child’s life and an understanding of what was going on at home. Once an assessment of need was completed and shared, therapy began. As always, we worked within a written agreement that ensured a general understanding of how the process of therapy works.

Therapy sessions took place weekly and the therapist used different mediums to encourage the child to process their thoughts and feelings.

Alongside the therapy for the child, weekly support sessions were provided to the key adults working with the child in school. Within these sessions, there was an ongoing conversation about the child’s presentation and how best his needs could be met in school. This involved discussions about the impact of trauma and understanding behaviours via this lens; and then appropriate strategies for staff to use to support the child’s capacity to feel understood and able to trust.

The Therapist provided a contained space which allowed staff to speak openly. Via this process the staff developed their knowledge around attachment, trauma, child development and learned new ways to meet a child’s unmet needs.

The process of working with our therapists is always collaborative, allowing staff to express any concerns or fears safely. This enables staff to receive the emotional support they need which in turn brings a feeling of empowerment when working with challenging children, allowing them to feel in control, skilled, connected to the child and effective.

Therapeutic Play Skills Training

This training is offered to staff in schools and nurseries. It can be provided to a small group of staff or on a one-to-one basis.

In this training, the skills needed to provide in house, one to one therapeutic play sessions to support the development of emotional literacy and emotional regulation capacity are provided. The training takes 5 hours for a small group and needs to be followed up with regular supervision sessions to ensure that the trained staff are working within their capacity as intended and that this therapeutic intervention for ‘low tariff’ children is being provided safely and effectively.

Staff Support Sessions

Our support sessions (individual or group) combine emotional support and time to reflect, and look at children’s behaviours via an attachment, trauma and sensory processing lens too. They help to develop the staff support systems within the school and increase knowledge and understanding of children’s presentations and behaviours. As the self-reflection group/s became established, we can train the members to run the groups themselves.

We have facilitated this programme in other school settings and the feedback has been that staff benefit greatly from the sense of togetherness that develops; they learn new skills, feel more able to understand what children are communicating through their behaviours and learn specialist therapeutic approaches/strategies to help children understand and learn to manage their emotions and, therefore, reduce their challenging behaviours.

Staff feel listened to, can share practice and experiences, gain support and learn from each other in a protected, predictable space. This results in a feeling of team cohesion and increased confidence in their roles in school.

Our services have been used by

Barrowford Primary School

Briercliffe Primary School

Colne Primet Academy

Heasandford Primary School

Hendon Brook Short Stay School

North Chadderton High School

Oakfield Primary School

Oxenhope Primary School

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School

St Peters Primary School

The Rose EBSD School

Roselyn House EBSD School

West Street Primary School

Wheatley Lane Primary School

Feedback from The Rose School:

"I have worked with Essere Therapies for well over a year now and have learnt so much from them. I work at The Rose school which caters for students with SEMH difficulties and I was trained in Therapeutic Play skills . The therapists at Essere are always thorough with their training which began with me observing some therapy sessions. Afterwards, we would discuss what behaviours we saw and what the child was trying to communicate.  I then did some sessions with students and recorded them so that the therapist could watch them and give me feedback, this felt very supportive and I learned a lot.

The whole experience was enjoyable and the therapist was incredibly supportive. Her belief in me gave me the confidence to go on and have my own ‘therapeutic classroom’ in school . I now offer therapeutic play sessions on a one to one basis with a variety of students. Often, students just want a safe place to come and chat and we have found this so beneficial to our setting.

All students sign a contract at the beginning of each therapy term and I explain that although I don’t talk to other staff about our sessions I do speak to the therapists from Essere who comes in to help me and support me once a month. Some students are fine with this, others ask to meet the therapist which they are always happy to do. This relieves the student’s anxiety around the sessions. I make notes after my sessions and then I meet with the therapist on a monthly basis to discuss students and consider the next steps to helping them. The therapist will suggest different strategies which I find invaluable and she is able to explain the behaviours I witness during my sessions.

The knowledge I have gained is fantastic and I simply couldn’t do my job without the input and support I have received from Essere Therapies. The Therapist supports me emotionally too, and I need this as being with so many students can have an impact on my mental health if I don’t take care of myself. I really want to do the best that I can for the students, so I have to put time into caring for me too. The therapist therefore checks that I’m looking after my own wellbeing and helps me to think about ways I can do that.

Sometimes the students want me to be their ‘voice’ to teachers or senior leaders; when this is the case, the therapist supports me in working out how to go about this in the most efficient and effective way without causing undue stress. This has become a really effective way for me to support students and their need to communicate difficult things with others in the staff team.

Essere Therapies aren’t only available to support me face to face, I can contact them any time by phone or email and they always respond promptly whatever it is I need support with. They also often just ‘check in’ with me too, which is a support in itself and I feel is  important to anyone in a therapeutic type role.

The training, knowledge and experience that Essere Therapy offers in our setting is invaluable and has had such a positive impact on the students and myself. I look forward to working with them in the future and I highly recommend their services to any setting."

Higher-level Teaching Assistant, The Rose School