Healthy Young Minds.
All mainstream secondary schools suffer to some degree with certain typical issues and emotional complaints such as excessive anger, upset, anxiety etc. One school may have many children who have anger problems whereas another may house more children who struggle to deal with the pressures expected of them by their workload and parents. Whatever the “personality” of the mainstream school, all would benefit immensely from access to a PSTEC therapist or PSTEC tools through staff training.
Children attending private schools are susceptible to all of the same problems that those attending mainstream schools are of course. However it could be that anxiety about the fear of failure or failure to live up to expectations may be more prominent than the number of children carrying a lot of anger. Anger is more likely to result in behavioural problems but anxiety and stress can often be hidden unless the child is really suffering. The reason we include this section is to make decision makers in more affluent schools aware that PSTEC can make a huge positive impact which can make their stay at your school more enjoyable than it would otherwise be.
Many of these children come from complex backgrounds and often have quite severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. This caused by a variety of factors including:
Child sex exploitation
Physical, emotional, sexual abuse
Rejection by one or both parents
Death of loved ones
Instances of many of the above occur in mainstream high schools but often the degree of suffering or emotional impact impacts the children in Pupil Referral Units to the degree that they would struggle in a mainstream setting. There is often a chaotic home life with ongoing issues. PSTEC really comes into its own when the dealing with traumas and quickly gives them a sense of peace whereas previously they were overwhelmed.
When problematic external factors are ongoing for a child, PSTEC can help them become more resilient and better able to deal with whatever they are facing.
PSTEC is extremely effective for many of these children and in the Pupil Referral Units we have worked in so far, the children are offered a combination of counselling/CBT and PSTEC, which work very well together.
In an ideal world the children’s care givers would also gain access to PSTEC should they need it. This would reduce the chance of a dis-empowering home environment refuelling certain problems. Regardless, even when external factors remain in place PSTEC can really help the child deal with whatever they are facing.
Up until now most of our work has been with children of secondary school age. Recently however we have ran a trial in a primary school and the results have been spectacular.
Working with children as young as 7, major anxieties, worries, anger and upset are dissolving over the course of 10 or 20 minutes. These younger children are even less stuck in their ways than secondary school children.
A variety of issues were dealt with including the after effects of bullying, parent separation, unresolved grief, lack of confidence and much more. One girl in particular had a crippling anxiety when speaking in front of class. After one quick session not only did all anxiety disappear but she confidently played a major role in the school play without any additional work required.
These kind of results were typical and although we weren’t surprised, we were delighted that the trial went so well.
With younger children the click track is framed as a game which bypasses any fear of the unknown. Also whoever is delivering the PSTEC session goes through the process at the same time so the child can copy until they become more familiar with it.
We tried to work with a small number of 5-6 year olds. The particular children chosen struggled with the process and so as a general rule of thumb, it might be slightly more suitable for older children. However we are confident that some children at that age could benefit depending on their ability to concentrate and follow instructions.