Teachers’ Comments: TSW Groups

What teachers say about the Therapeutic Storywriting Training

“This is an excellent course … delivered at a level that is very accessible for school staff and behaviour support services.” Support teacher, Kent & Medway

“Without having to train as a therapist, Therapeutic Storywriting allows a teacher to provide a safe place to explore difficult feelings by creating their own stories and staying within the metaphor.”
Educational Therapist, Oxford

“I’ve become utterly convinced of the value to children of this way of working. Initially a little sceptical, I found the children writing stories that could have been scripted to prove the efficacy of the method.”
Teacher with Behaviour and Education Support Team,Kent

“One child in particular, who finds writing a practical, cognitive and emotional challenge really took off on this … His involvement was total and consuming, which led to a greater quantity of writing than I had previously seen. His story reflected many aspects and desires at a particularly turbulent time in his life and as a consequence he has sustained a new level of confidence in himself as a writer and as an individual.” Teacher, B&H

Comment on Therapeutic Storywriting Groups in Hampshire

Jackie Batchelor, Educational Psychologist, Children’s Services Department, Hampshire County Council:

As part of the national TaMHS (targeted mental health in schools) project in Gosport, Hants, the Hampshire Educational Psychology Service and Behaviour Support Team have run 3 days’ training (following Trisha Waters’ model ) plus supervision for running therapeuticstory writing groups. 32 members of school staff have been trained over 2 years, reaching more than 200 young people in years 5, 6, 7, 8 across Gosport and Fareham, as virtually all those trained have not only run groups with the initial 6 young people, but have gone on to run further groups, because of the success of the intervention. The groups have run, not only in primary and secondary mainstream schools, but in a secondary special school for pupils with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties and in a pupil referral unit. There has been 100 % take up of the first round of training, with all staff trained running at least one group and the second round of training looks set to follow suit.

The impact has been as reported by Trisha Waters in her work. Pupils (and facilitators) have been motivated to put pen to paper, which has helped the young people express their emotions, feel heard, gain in confidence and a sense of well being and belonging, with school staff observing improvements in demeanour, behaviour, motivation, acheivements and friendships. 

“This has given me a structure to work therapeutically with groups of children within the normal school setting. The progress in writing and tapping into their own feelings is great. It is very visible each week to see how children relax, become more confident and move on from entrenched positions.” Teacher, Kent & Medway

“There was some wonderful writing from the children. What particularly impressed me was how much their story writing developed through the focused interest of myself and other members of the group. Such was the enthusiasm it became rather a battle to stop them writing at times.”
Headteacher,  Kent

“It has been a ray of light- working with very needy children gets overwhelming and this seems a practical, pro-active way of helping children to address their own needs.” Teacher, Kent & Medway

“I’m much more aware of how story writing can provide a real healing tool to help children deal with their emotions…A very good course- thought provoking and useful in many ways.”
Teacher, West Sussex

“It was helpful to have the ideas and strategies put into an academic framework. It was also good to work with a practitioner who is very aware of the reality of doing such work in schools. The exercises helped focus my thinking and to gain an insight into the challenges the children would face.” Teacher, B&H