Charity YoungMinds has chosen four UK schools to try out a programme of 'therapeutic teaching' designed to boost motivation and improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils.
Research shows techniques used in this special programme do have a positive impact on young people.
A typical session starts with a mindfulness activity to help students relax so they can get the most out of their minds. After this, they do a 'feelings check-in', where pupils indicate how they feel on a ladder of emotions. Next, they are given a lead for a story such as 'There was once a very angry dragon...' They are allowed to change the emotional direction of the story according to how they feel on the day. At the end they are asked to share their stories and while listening to each other, illustrate their own. The teacher then types up the stories and provides feedback on how each child can improve their work.
The feedback system is designed to validate each pupil's writing and give them something to be proud of.
The pupils say the exercise helps them release their emotions and that they leave the session feeling happier.
YoungMinds hopes the therapeutic teaching programme will help prevent mental health problems from developing children by giving them the skills to relax, reflect and process their own emotions. This open atmosphere is designed to improve the mental wellbeing of the whole school community, including staff and teachers.
Many alternative therapies incorporate mindfulness techniques for healing purposes. To find out more about therapies available and to contact a therapist near you, please visit our Therapy Topics page.
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