2 out of 3 teachers are worried that if they talk to children who self-harm it will make things worse.

Talking Self Harm Report, 2015

Two Day Advanced Level Practitioner

Course Aim: The course will focus on evidence-based research and cutting-edge knowledge regarding how children and teenagers become mentally unwell and troubled and what assists their recovery.  From this knowledge base, delegates will develop rational and conversational skills to help children move into emotional and relational health, with positive impacts for behaviour and learning. This 2-Day Course will empower key practitioners to develop the key skills and understanding of age appropriate interventions to support students suffering with trauma or mental ill health.


By the end of the course, participants will: 

Day 1: 

  • Gain an understanding of the neuroscience, psychology and physiology linked to trauma and mental ill health. They will explore the impact trauma has on a child’s ability to learn and the effects on social and emotional development.
  • Explore ‘Blocked Care, Blocked Trust and Blocked Grief’ and the power of relational and conversational interventions that heal. ‘No correction in behaviour, until connection’
  • Understand the absolute importance of the ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and how the findings can be used when considering ‘why’ some children are presenting behaviour that is deemed to be challenging.
  • Explore the significance and implications of ACE scores in relation to underlying trauma, learning difficulties, low educational attainment, poor attendance, exhibiting challenging or violent behaviour and the misdiagnosis of specific conditions e.g. ADHD, CD, ODD
  • Examine how schools can reduce suffering for children who have experienced trauma, loss or who have mental health difficulties, through the improved provision of protective factors in the school environment and the vital importance of the ‘Emotionally Available Adult.’
  • Use the narrative of a child/ parent/ colleagues to build a ‘real picture’ by linking together their ACE score and the available ‘Protective Factors’.
  • Explore ‘Motional.’ As Motional ambassadors, we will provide trial access to this online tool for assessing, improving and measuring change in emotional health and wellbeing.
  • Learn about the importance of ‘Panksepp’s Emotions;’ the genetically ingrained pro-social and alarm systems, and their relevance for child mental health and child mental ill-health. Opportunity to reflect on the way that their school manages behaviour and how they help children to reduce exhibiting their challenging behaviour from their ‘internal world.’
  • Develop their understanding of Dr Stephen Porges’ ‘Polyvagal Theory’ and Neuroception and how to keep children feeling psychologically and physiologically safe. Staff will explore how children become ‘socially engaged’ or ‘socially defensive’ and the implications for the whole school environment.
  • Understand the brain’s CARE system (Attachment), and the importance for schools to address children’s unmet attachment needs. (Ambivalent Attached, Avoidant Attached, Disorganised Attached) 
  • Gain practical skills for effective evidence-based interventions for traumatised and troubled children
  • Have an understanding of the ethical considerations in working with traumatised and troubled children in a school setting, limits of competence and knowing when and how to refer on.


Day 2

  • ‘PROTECT’~ Understand the significance of ‘Emotional Protection’ as well as physical safety in school. They will explore how we can ensure the relational environment through the culture and ethos of a school. Participants will evaluate their own school settings for emotionally regulated adults who can provide essential calming and emotional containment for a child/teenager when they are overwhelmed by an event, a situation or their feelings thereby promoting the ability to learn in peace.
  • ‘RELATE’ ~ Recognise the heightened significance of the ability to form meaningful relationships through a key intervention workshop 
  • ‘REGULATE’~ Learn how to move children/young people away from ‘toxic stress’ to manageable/recoverable or ultimately to good stress.
  • ‘REFLECT’~ Learn the essential skills to be the Emotionally Available Adult. 
  • Understand PACE (Play, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy)which is a method of intervention devised by the clinical psychologist Dr Dan Hughes. 
  • Explore, through a workshop approach, integrated ‘age related’ therapeutic approaches to helping children/teenagers process trauma.
    Eg. Sandplay therapy, Big Empathy Drawing, Emotion Worksheets, Mental State Talk, Conversational Skills
  • Be provided with a School Relationship Policy template that can be adapted to their settings for promoting empathetic relationships and good mental health.
  • Understand the significance of secondary trauma for staff absence in the profession. Participants will understand, explore and share methods for supporting the mental health of staff.


The course is informed from cutting edge research from Professor JaakPanskepp, Dr Margot Sunderland, Dr Stephen Porges, Dr Dan Siegel and Dr Dan Hughes.



“On average it takes a child 10 years to receive help for a mental health problem”
The Centre for Mental Health 2015
We can change that.



Contact us today, with no obligation, to discuss your training needs.

Telephone: 01924 891080 or 07581562669

Email: reactuktraining@gmail.com


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