Successful therapy depends on the ability to form a rapport and relationship with the therapist and we recognise that not all students may wish to engage in therapy. During the first six weeks we offer a trial session based on one of the three following forms of therapy for the teenager to see if it is something they would like to continue with in Phase 2. GRIT focuses on coaching rather than counselling. The general difference between the two can be explained by imagining a person at point B. Counselling focuses on how a person may have got from A to B as opposed to coaching which focuses on point C and how the person gets from B to C. All of the therapies we offer are a form of coaching and we encourage the teenagers to pick one which they feel they will be most likely to benefit from.
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art as an alternative way to communicate. The sessions typically last one hour on a weekly basis but can be adapted to suit individual needs. These sessions will be held with Rachael Baker, a qualified Art therapist and fully registered with Health and Care Professions Council who has extensive experience in helping individuals struggling with self harming and low self esteem.
The therapist does not interpret the art but will encourage the person to think about it in ways they may have not considered before. As art taps into the expressive side of the brain, (and the unconscious) repressed or difficult emotions may surface which can then be worked with if appropriate.
It is also a way of getting difficult feelings into a concrete form which can be thrown away or given to the therapist for confidential keeping. And of course it can be an enjoyable time where a healthy relationship is experienced.
During the GRIT program the focus will be about learning how to express emotions in a different way (i.e through the art), and experience a contained space where the person feels able to talk or simply feels 'held' rather than trying to explore too deeply. The aim is to help the person find their own tools to deal with things in a healthier way for the future.
Equine Facilitated Coaching
GRIT works with Learning to Listen, an Equine Facilitated Coaching Centre in St Pauls Walden. Equine Facilitated Coaching (EFC) offers a holistic approach to personal development and professional coaching. EFC is a powerful tool which, using horses, accelerates learning and personal growth. Horses have instinctive reactions and mirror behaviours within individuals. By recognising these attributes it enables us to be honest and true to ourselves and develop from within in a powerful and life changing way.
Working in a natural environment we utilise the horse’s instinctive reactions to accelerate learning and get sustainable results. All our concepts, models and exercises with the horses are unique to Learning to Listen, and all people who work with us under either Learning to Listen or Autism Angels (our registered charity) are trained in these unique concepts and models.
For further information please visit the website
Coaching with Sarah Leonard
Sarah is based at the Yoga Shed and can also work flexibly with teenagers to offer skype appointments for those for need it. sarah has been a qualified coach for over nine years and brings a wealth of experience to the table including coaching young people.
Each teenager is assigned to a mentor throughout the programme and it is hoped that the teenager will continue to gain support from their mentor when the programme has finished. The role of the mentor is that of a more informal relationship with the mentor acting as a neutral sounding board to the teenager. It is expected that the teenager will meet with their mentor 3-4 times during the programme.