The school’s Therapeutic Services staff are referred to as the ‘Coach House Team’. We can provide a range of specialist emotional and therapeutic support to pupils, facilitated by a professional and experienced team of practitioners.
Pupils can begin to access this support via a number of routes; many pupils request to start sessions themselves following peer recommendations.
We believe the quality of the relationship to be the most fundamental aspect of our therapeutic interventions. Through relationship change can occur:
“what has been broken relationally must be repaired relationally”(Kalsched, 2013, p. 13)
We take time to build relationships with pupils, to begin to form a trusting relationship, from which we seek to repair past relational trauma. Our universal aim is to get to know each pupil, and to understand them rather than change them; to see beyond their ‘labels’, and understand who they are.
If we are able to achieve this, and the young person believes that he is being seen, then change will often naturally follow. To enable this process to occur, our therapeutic interventions are typically long-term, but are regularly reviewed.
“Fire can warm or consume, water can quench or drown, wind can caress or cut. And so it is with human relationships: we can both create and destroy, nurture and terrorise, traumatise and heal each other”(Perry & Szalavitz, 2006, p.5)
The Referral Process
There is an in-house referral process, whereby pupils are referred for therapeutic support. This referral can be initiated by staff, parents/carers or indeed by a pupil himself. We often find that pupils will request support, following recommendation from a fellow pupil.
Following receipt of referral an assessment will be carried out, identifying the most appropriate level of therapeutic support, to meet the individual presenting needs of the young person. Then, the pupil will be invited to attend an initial session, during which he can decide for himself whether he would like to engage in sessions. Ultimately it is always a pupil’s decision, we have found from many years of experience that this is crucial in facilitating positive engagement in therapy.
We ensure that we maintain close communication with other teams in School, to facilitate a fully containing and empathic understanding of pupils circumstances. Pupils are aware of this information sharing, which often acts to reassure them that we will sensitively inform others of any current difficulties they may be facing.
Kalsched, D. (2013). Trauma and the soul: A psycho-spiritual approach to human development and its interruption. London & New York, NY: Routledge.
Perry, B. D., & Szalavitz, M. (2006). The boy who was raised as a dog: and other stories from a child psychiatrist’s notebook-what traumatized children can teach us about loss, love and healing. New York, NY: Basic Books.