Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun.Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding. In treatment, the Theraplay therapist guides the child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and nurturing activities.
Drawing and Talking is a therapeutic intervention that “enables a child to express, in a visual form, worries and preoccupations from deep in the mind that they would not be able to talk about”. Drawing and Talking is a 12 week course of therapy that utilise drawing and questioning to enable a child or adult to process a trauma, worry or hurt by coming to a “symbolic resolution” whereby they are able to “heal old hurts”. During a course of therapy, an individual may go through 3 stages of processing:
- Initial stage- reflecting on their feelings towards a trauma or loss
- Conflict stage- acknowledgement of trauma or loss
- Resolution stage- Acceptance of trauma or loss
While traditionally a 12-week course, this may be extended to cater for individuals needs as they go through the three stages at their own pace. However, the goal is always to reach the “resolution stage”.
Attachment refers to the ability to form emotional bonds and empathic, enjoyable relationships with other people, especially close family members. The attachment bond with the primary caregiver, is essential to later attachment. A weak attachment bond can result in both social and emotional developmental disruptions; issues which may have an effect on a child’s ability to form healthy, secure attachments later in life. Children who have experienced complex developmental trauma or attachment inconsistencies frequently exhibit insecurity, behavioural and emotional difficulties.
Attachment informed practice typically seeks to repair the traumatised child’s attachment relationships and/or promote attachment security. What we hope our Children will gain from Attachment & Trauma focused Therapy:
- The building of trust with a ‘secure base’ in order to increase self-awareness
- Improved self-esteem and confidence
- Awareness and coping strategies for dealing with trauma
B MORE ARCHIE
‘B more Archie’ is a 6 session programme that has been specifically designed and developed in order to teach children young people a range of resilience building and self-soothing strategies to help them to be more like Archie and to ‘eat’ their ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts). The theory base for the programme is CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Tools) and TA (Transactional Analysis).
The programme is flexible by design and can be delivered universally [recommended] and/or as a targeted intervention. As well as the teaching of resilience-building activities and self-soothing strategies, it covers personal awareness development, thinking skills and cognitive tools, emotional literacy development, positive behaviour choices, taking control of mental health and building compassion. Each session begins with an activity to build self-esteem and ends with a practical strategy for building resilience and self-soothing.
Bishopton PRU believe that opportunities to work with animals provide unique opportunities for learning. We recognise our responsibility to provide a safe environment and positive learning experiences for all pupils and a high standard of care and welfare to all animals involved.
The value of pet ‘therapy’ is widely accepted as a powerful aid to stimulation and communication. Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of children and lower the rate of anxiety, simply by making the environment happier, more enjoyable and less forbidding.
Our aims in bringing animals into the school environment:
- To help pupils develop increased respect, empathy and a sense of responsibility for living things.
- To encourage pupils to consider the experiences and needs of other living things, including other pupils, school staff, and their families.
- To promote an interest in the natural environment and support hands-on learning across all areas of the curriculum.
- To help pupils develop a calm, confident, and sensitive manner when interacting with animals.
- To demonstrate best practice in the care of pets and other animals.
- To encourage pupils to consider careers working with animals.
Schools can be extremely stressful settings for students, creating a strain on resources that can help young people cope with emotions, disorders or relationships. Therapy dogs provide an inexpensive way to assist students in focusing on their education. They provide a comforting presence that should be available to young people in need.
The introduction of a non-threatening therapy dog can serve as a catalytic vehicle for forming adaptive and satisfactory social interactions. Guided activities and group discussions help teach students how to handle interpersonal conflicts and develop constructive responses.
The simple act of petting a dog is shown to reduce blood pressure. Lower levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, and an increase in oxytocin are also associated with pet therapy and contribute to respiratory and cardiovascular health. In short, reducing feelings of anxiety and depression positively affects physical health.
The dog’s also stay with their family, not at the school, so the cost for food, supplies, and veterinary bills go to the owner of the dog.
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) curriculum aims to develop the underpinning qualities and skills that help promote positive behaviour and effective learning. It focuses on five social and emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills.
The approach and learning materials help children and young people develop skills such as understanding another’s point of view, working in a group, sticking at things when they get difficult, resolving conflict and managing worries.