In readying ourselves for this year’s Children’s Mental Health week, we talked to children who use our service about what being ‘brave’ means to them; we had some fascinating feedback!
We will be sharing the themes we’ve heard from the children who receive therapy from us during the course of the week on our social media platforms.
I am brave when I ask for help
A theme in our work, whether it be with parents, children or school staff, is that asking for help can often make things feel better immediately. However, some children need to connect to their brave selves to ask for help in the first place.
Why? Because for some children, help hasn’t always been given or their problem feels too big to be helped or they just can’t find the words to convey what they need to say. The braver we are as emotionally literate adults and the more children see that we need to ask for help too, the less our children will need to feel ‘brave’ to do what we need them to do in times of stress: ask for help.
I am brave when I stand up for someone who is being bullied
It takes great courage to step in and support someone who is being bullied. We run Understanding Bullying workshops which strive to support children and young people to empathise with what a ‘bully’ can feel. This helps them to feel empowered to stand up to someone who may - in that moment - seem very powerful to them.
Sometimes, I don’t feel brave
It isn’t always easy to ‘find your brave’. We know this as emotionally literate and robust adults. It may feel difficult for example, to walk into a room full of people and say hello.
We often expect our children to do things that we may naturally avoid or be anxious about. Supporting your child to identify that there are times when they don’t feel ‘brave’ and that this is okay is an empowering and liberating thing to do for your child.
I don’t like it when …
It takes courage for a child to talk about how they feel with their therapist. Children and young people naturally want to protect adults from their feelings and it takes courage to share them. There’s the risk that they won’t be understood, that they will overwhelm or damage, or that they will be vulnerable as a result.
The relationship between a child and their therapist is a precious one that takes time and skill to establish.
Being brave together
A therapist will often be the person that will name, address, identify, consider and ponder a client’s thought-processes.
We don’t shy away from the spoken and unspoken things. We don’t wave a magic wand. We connect, bear, hold, name and validate overwhelming thoughts and feelings from the children in our care.
Supporting others to be brave
We strive to support school staff to do the same. Our workshop on Difficult Conversations is aimed solely at supporting school staff to “be brave” and say what they think may be happening: in doing so, they will most likely be naming the very thing a child or young person hasn’t yet found the courage, awareness, or freedom to say.
What a liberating experience for everyone involved!
If you would like to talk to us about anything you have read here or would like more information about how we support children and families in school or in our therapy rooms in Rayleigh, please email Catherine Munns who will be very happy to help.
Read more about the services we provide on the Our Services section of our website.