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The Therapeutic Toolbox - A Box of Treasure

We all recognise the growing social, emotional and mental health needs of our pupils. Beccie Hawes shares her thoughts on the Therapeutic Wellbeing Toolbox and how it can support pupils. Truly a box of treasure!

Posted on Thursday 05th January 2023

Sometimes it all gets a bit too much and we can find ourselves becoming a bit discombobulated and dysregulated. This looks different for everybody. For some, it can be a small but niggling feeling of not being ‘quite right’. For others it can be a huge overwhelming mixture of complicated feelings that are exceptionally challenging to manage.

When this happens, we might find it difficult to work out how we are feeling, why we are feeling that way and then to regulate ourselves (and we are supposed to be the grown-ups who know how to do this sort of thing). Imagine what it must be like for small people who have big feelings that they have not yet learnt to identify and manage.

That’s where the Therapeutic Toolbox comes in. For the small people I work with it is truly a box of treasure!

What do I like about the Therapeutic Toolbox?

The Therapeutic Toolbox contains many useful tools that children and young people can access to develop many different self-help skills and strategies and a deeper understanding of what they might be feeling and why. The six sets of cards offer engaging activities which can be used not only during difficult times, but also in calmer times to develop proactive regulation and well-being approaches. There is also a screening tool to help you to identify which areas should be prioritised from:

  • Effective thinking (CBT).
  • Building confidence and self-esteem.
  • Positive psychology tools.
  • Anger and stress management.
  • Anxiety management.
  • Mindfulness.

I particularly like that the cards contain a range of activities so pupils can find what works best for them. They get to know themselves in a non-threatening and supported way. Each card is written in a simple, accessible format making them non-specialist friendly.

In addition to this there are a range of sensory tools included. These can be used to identify sensory preferences, meet sensory needs and offer calming resources for more challenging times.

There is also a USB stick which contains useful CPD videos to make sure that you are able to get the best impact from this resource.

We all recognise the growing social, emotional and mental health needs of our pupils. It is something that many of us are extremely concerned about and something that we all want to get right. However, whilst we might not have the budgets to provide a qualified therapist in school and waiting lists for support from outside agencies are long, we can be doing something positive. The Therapeutic Toolbox offers a supportive and safe resource that we can confidently use to help our pupils become re-combobulated and regulated.

Happy, safe and secure children means that learning can then occur!

A huge thank you to Beccie Hawes for writing this blog for us.

About Beccie Hawes

Beccie has worked in all aspects of Special Educational Needs including mainstream, additionally resourced provision and specialist settings. She has extensive experience as a SENCo, SEND Advisory Teacher and has set up and led an inclusion advisory service.

Beccie is currently proud to be the Head of Service with Cadmus Inclusive, part of Cadmus Services, based in Walsall. This service has a national reach and actively supports schools with all aspects of providing a high quality education for vulnerable learners. Beccie is the author of ‘The Complete Dyslexia Toolkit’ and co-author of ‘Getting it Right for SEND’ and ‘How to Create the Perfect Partnership with Parents’. Beccie also writes the national Ebriefing: SEND Bitesize. She has developed a number of educational resources to support learners which schools across the UK have purchased and use.  Beccie remains very ‘hands on’ in the classroom and is passionate about being at the chalk face to support teachers and children to think differently for a brighter tomorrow. She is also the mum to four boys and a dog.

Beccie Hawes - SEND expert