HOW WE SUPPORT SCHOOLS
Art therapy works particularly well with children and young adults for they are often more comfortable expressing themselves through art materials than through words. If a pupil has a limited vocabulary, art therapy can be an essential form of communication to facilitate talking.
Behaviours that disrupt classrooms often stem from individuals with greater emotional needs. Unless the root cause of these behavioural symptoms are addressed, this can become unmanageable for child and school. Art therapy is recognised to be a useful tool for schools as it provides a space in which the issues can be safely addressed.
Parental consent is required from the outset of any therapeutic intervention. Following the initial assessment and then every six weeks until the end of therapy, the art therapist provides a clinical report for the school, parents and any relevant agencies.
EDUCATIONAL HEALTHCARE PLANNING
Having an art therapist to work with ‘at risk’ pupils directly supports their Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP) by focusing work on key areas of their ‘Social, Emotional and Mental Health’ development.
BCL Consultancy Limited provides an assessment and referral service for schools to enable them to provide valuable additional information to help facilitate a Tier 1 referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the NHS (CAMHS). This service can help reduce waiting times for a diagnosis of ADHD, ASD and improve relationships between schools and CAMHS.
Problems in relationships with others
Difficulty in naming/expressing feelings
Mental health problems
Coping with loss and/or change (e.g. transitions from primary to secondary school, divorce and bereavement)
Understanding sexuality issues
Physical, sexual or emotional abuse
Relational issues such as Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome
Re-engagement with the curriculum, a reduction in anti-social behaviour and the exploration of social care and child protection issues.
Artling therapists are registered with both the HCPC (Health Profession Council) and BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). They have enhanced, and regularly updated, DBS checks for working with young people.
Artling provides a tailor made package for the individual needs of a school, which initially includes a free informative, interactive and visual presentation on art therapy.
SO WHAT MIGHT IT LOOK LIKE?
The recommended duration of therapy can be as short as 10 weeks or as long as required.
The support provided can be individual/group or a combination of the two. Sessions are timetabled by the school to ensure the minimum disruption to the curriculum and can occur before and after school hours.
Directive and non-directive approaches can be used depending on needs of child.
Parental involvement is encouraged from the outset, and the therapists are available to see parents/guardians.
Artling structures the work to complement teaching and specialist support such as behaviour management and learning support. Additional training can be provided to schools to help develop their understanding of mental health and to create schools that are more resilient.
Artling offers informative and interactive art therapy workshops, to raise awareness about the benefits of art therapy. The workshops include the following components:
A brief history of art therapy and its benefits.Experiential opportunities where staff teams are encouraged to use art materials as a form of non-verbal expression. Case study presentations
In addition to these ‘taster’ workshops, Artling likes to build resilient schools. This can be facilitated through a series of workshops for staff to increase their understanding of mental health issues. By creating an ethos that embraces positive emotional health and resilience, issues can be addressed quickly before they escalate. Early intervention requires a ‘whole school approach’.
Katya worked with me at the Bridge Academy in Hackney, London from February to November 2012. She was the Assistant Transition Project Manager for Place to Be. Her main role was to facilitate and activate support for Year 7 and 8 students. She achieved a great deal with the students. She engaged them and gave them the confidence to cope with the transition into Secondary school.
She was relaxed and calm. Katya was a model for the students to follow. Her passion and dedication to the role was for all to see and gave confidence to all who met her. In a new developing school, she displayed the essential characteristics to be successful. I was aware of the very positive influence that she had on staff too. I did try to get her to stay at the Bridge as her contract was concluding and wanted her to stay and work with more students in the upper part of the school. Sadly, I wasn’t successful. I can strongly recommend Katya in this role to you based on my experience.