Welfare Services

Emotional and Trauma Support

Our team of registered and qualified psychotherapists work within a supportive and safe framework of therapeutic sessions to support your pupils.

Contact us or call 0161 276 0160

Why choose One Education for Emotional and Trauma Support

With more than 16 years’ experience working with schools and academies to design and implement bespoke therapeutic programmes, our methods are tried and tested.

What makes us different?

  • We provide therapy situated in the home, or school or academy - wherever needed.
  • We send our HCPC qualified therapists directly into school and academies to work with your staff.
  • You can expect a fast response - in most cases a school visit within a week of first contact.
  • We plan with you and co-create a bespoke intervention according to the child's emotional needs. This may involve liaison with education psychologists, professionals in CAMHS, social care and other agencies.

The therapy sessions have been excellent and have enabled us, through the therapist, to identify the children’s emotional barriers to learning. The sessions are highly valued by the children and their teachers. The impact on the children’s emotional wellbeing and learning has been wonderful to see.

Sarah Starkey, Headteacher
Charlestown Community Primary School

In school, we now spend a lot less time sorting out issues between the children, they can discuss things sensibly themselves because they've got that emotional literacy to be able to do it. This allows my teachers to teach.

Richard Jackson, Headteacher
Hillview Primary School

Teachers have felt supported and have a better understanding of how to work with the emotional and mental health needs of pupils.

Lizzie Wray, Headteacher
Crowcroft Park Primary School

One Education

Emotional and Trauma Support Overview

Each child’s drive towards health and wellbeing is unique and sometimes children need specialist support on their journey to positive mental health.

Our team facilitate creativity, imagination, learning, insight and growth to meet the needs of Social, Emotional and Mental Health as well as behaviour issues with proven positive results for the pupil, the class and the whole school.

Our evidence-based services not only meet children’s needs but support staff, alleviate stress for the teacher, prevent the situation deteriorating and stem greater future costs. One Education’s Education & Trauma Team are a real investment and offer lifetime rewards.

Behaviour Needs

Therapeutic Interventions

Counselling as a therapeutic medium

Family work

Mental Health Needs

Emotional & Trauma Support


We provide an extensive range of services for schools and academies. These can be tailored to your requirements and we can provide a bespoke package incorporating one or more services.

Behaviour Needs

We work with children whose behaviour is causing concern in schools - for instance behaviour may be disruptive or destructive, children may be truanting or struggling in other ways to engage with learning.

Our team of therapists hold one-to-one and group interventions which can help children and young people with these challenging emotional needs. We also offer programmes that include raising self-esteem, building confidence, learning to make friendships, attending better and building resilience. In parallel with delivering these programmes we support staff in understanding better the inner world of the child.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Mental Health Needs

Early trauma can manifest later as behaviour in school, and there is often a blurred line between behavioural and mental health needs. We offer support across the entire continuum - for children with lower level needs through to highly complex cases involving emotional trauma. The simplest way of describing trauma is that it’s an experience we have that overwhelms our capacity to cope.

We work with non-attenders, and those children struggling with any of the main mental health disorders, including: conduct disorder, anxiety, depression, attachment disorders, eating disorders, ADHD, self-harm and post-traumatic stress.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Therapeutic Interventions

Therapeutic interventions are useful for a number of different children in a variety of different situations. Within educational settings, children may be identified as requiring emotional and trauma support if they are struggling to settle or thrive in the classroom and there is knowledge of challenging circumstances around the individual.

These difficult conditions could be due to a wide range of things like being at risk of exclusion, having a disability or illness, suffering a bereavement or exile, being under the care of social services, experiencing neglect, abuse, domestic violence or any other exposure to traumatic life events.

Our therapists seek to address underlying emotional and psychological difficulties which are problematic for the individual. In some cases, this could manifest as withdrawal and inability to engage with activities, whereas in others, the problematic behaviours could be uncontrolled outbursts of anger. Whichever way these responses appear, if they are problematic, persistent and reducing the individual’s ability to function or flourish at school, then they could be considered for therapy.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Art Therapy

Art therapy is the creative use of art materials for self-expression and reflection in which the child is able to explore their feelings. Allowing these feelings, and experiences including traumatic ones, to be expressed in a safe environment. This can be helpful for pupils who find it difficult to speak about their feelings or have difficulties with verbal communications.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Dance Movement Psychotherapy

Dance Movement Psychotherapy uses movement and dance to enable emotional, cognitive, physical, social and spiritual development. Movement reflects a child’s thoughts and feelings and is a proven way of expressing feelings and exploring psychological problems or difficulties.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111


Storytelling and dramatisation brings imagination into the interactions between therapist and child, allowing space and time for the child to express their feelings.

Using drama within therapeutic work allows the opportunity for the individual to try out differing roles, giving them a chance to explore how these varying positions might feel and seeing what their emotional responses are to being in diverse situations.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Play Therapy

By watching the way that children play we can learn about the way in which they frame the world.

Stories, imagination and creativity are all part of this expressive therapy. Children can show therapists their feelings through the personal sharing and demonstrating of their play. Materials and equipment are provided which allow children to communicate comfortably at their own level and at a pace which suits them and their specific needs.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Music Therapy

By using the creativity which lies at the heart of musical expression, the therapist is able to develop a therapeutic relationship with the child through improvisation and communication using sounds, harmonies and rhythms. These aspects of music can often mimic those found in language, and can act as the basis for a new form of creative communication in which there is no need for verbal communication.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Horticulture Therapy

Being surrounded by nature and nurturing plants is increasingly being recognised to have beneficial effects at several levels. Horticultural therapists work with clients to promote health and well-being. Practical sessions with specific goals assist process and outcomes, resulting in enjoyment and a sense of achievement for the child.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Counselling as a therapeutic medium

It can be really important to have someone to talk to when things feel like they are challenging, and life gets on top of us. Our experienced counsellor offers the opportunity to confide in someone who is not immediately connected to the rest of our lives, offering a non-judgmental space which people can use to explore their feelings.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Family work

Family interventions work in parallel with parent and child, using a combination of counselling and the creative therapies. This type of support is well suited to individuals who have struggled to engage with services or who find attending school particularly difficult. By offering Psychotherapy Interventions to child and caregiver, we are able to provide a unique support service which wraps around the child and addresses individual, familial and systemic issues.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111


We pride ourselves in putting children first and delivering exceptional services at affordable prices to schools. Here are some additional benefits of working with One Education.

Quality assured therapies

Evidence based methods

Capacity building staff training

No waiting list

A Statement of Solidarity and Commitment to Black Lives Matter, Anti-Racism and Equality

We stand united with our black colleagues, friends, and family and clientele and offer our unconditional support and understanding at this challenging time and in the future.

Read the full statement

The impact that COVID-19 has had on the therapy profession

When the boundaries of normality have warped beyond recognition, how do therapists manage to maintain their provisions for those in need?

Read the full blog

Training courses

Training courses & Conferences

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We work with children from EYFS onwards, through to young people aged 25 Years old. We also work with parents, carers and grandparents of any age.


Yes. In fact we work with a wide range of behaviours, including what may be described as ‘challenging’ or ‘aggressive’ behaviour. There may be powerful emotions, resulting from difficult experiences, driving the way the child is ‘acting out’. We establish safe boundaries in several ways, to carry out the work of building a good therapeutic relationship with the child.


Much of our work is sessions with individual children due to high levels of need. We work with groups too. The therapeutic process needs time and attention to work through the impact of high levels of loss, anxiety, stress and difficult feelings. The child must feel comfortable and safe enough to start exploring their internal world. An hour may seem a long time to spend with one child, but you will know that counselling sessions tend to be around an hour.


Different modalities require slightly different types of spaces. Possible spaces can be discussed with the therapist. We have worked in many different spaces and are familiar with difficulties schools have with finding space. Where there’s a will there’s a way! The room needs to be booked for the same time, on the same day of the week for the duration of the sessions. Sessions are usually 1 hour long and the therapist will need some time before and after the session, to set up, and pack away. A vital feature of the safe space used by all the modalities, is that the space/room needs to be private and that the session will not be interrupted. If there are windows or glass panes in the door of the room we will need to partially cover these with paper, for the duration of the session to ensure privacy.


If developmental trauma or persistent experiences of abuse are the cause of the child’s behaviour, this takes time to change. The inner patterns of the child’s experience, have been set to ‘self-defence’ mode. That is how they have managed to survive, the child’s whole body having reacted to the abuse and defended the child through the flight/fight or freeze response. To change these patterns takes time, trust, patience and very careful attention. Schools are well placed to offer the safety and positive attachments these children need, through the carefully co-ordinated work of school staff and therapist.


A child missing a session may be an important part of the therapeutic process. When they return the following week matters can be explored that may not otherwise have arisen. The therapist will use the time to reflect, liaise, or think of new ways to reach the child. It will not be time wasted. The work of a therapist is process-oriented.


Yes, we work with small groups, after brief initial assessments with individual children. The rationale for the group is carefully formulated. Sometimes children need individual work before being able to benefit from group-work. Other children may be able to work in a group, but it then becomes apparent that they have a high level of need, hitherto unnoticed. It might be important to offer them individual sessions for a while and monitor progress. Some of our therapists also deliver brief whole class interventions, for instance on transition issues such as primary to secondary for Year 6 and year 7 pupils, or around resilience and how the brain functions. We can also offer ‘drop-in’ sessions. These are, for instance, 10 minute slots for children who need to check in with someone or need a confidential opportunity to express something that is worrying them. Someone in school may then be identified to help them.


Our therapists are professionally qualified to the highest level in their particular modality and are experienced in working in schools. Art therapists, Dramatherapists and Music therapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. We have a strong, highly motivated Emotional and Trauma Support team so when one of our therapists is on site you know you have the added value support of an expert team at the forefront in its field.

One Education has rigorous Recruitment policy and procedures, and regularly reviewed Safeguarding policies and practice. All staff have enhanced DBS certificates and up to date Safeguarding Training.


There is an extensive body of evidence on the effectiveness of each of the modalities we offer. Much of this is in academic articles; books; health, education and social science journals; and conference papers - numerous case studies show how the creative therapy process, professionally delivered, facilitates positive change. The non-verbal therapies work creatively and accessibly with memory that is stored in the body and mind. These are safe and effective ways of working, undertaken at the pace the child can handle, and which will not re-traumatise them. We are actively involved in research projects and pride ourselves at being at the cutting edge of practice.


We use a wide range of standardised assessment tools and outcome measures according to the needs of the child and the school’s existing systems. We set a baseline and then start an assessment period of three or four week weekly sessions. These will establish whether the child is engaging in the therapeutic process. The therapist will give a verbal or written assessment report and a formulation will be made for the therapy programme. The child will be involved in this. Reports can be provided for reviews, PEP or LAC statutory meetings or other specific purposes. A final report at the end of therapy will sum up the impact of the work and will give recommendations. In all but rare cases, the child sees and contributes to this report. Another way of measuring impact is to ask teachers and/or family members if they have observed change. With some children there are very soon observable changes in behaviour in the classroom and life outside the therapy room. For other children the process takes longer. The therapist usually starts to see changes before the child’s presentation changes in other contexts.


The process is very straightforward. After an initial consultation, we provide a referral form and then discuss further details of setting up the therapy. Parental consent is required. We will help you choose the right modality for the child. There are several different factors to take into account, the most important being the child’s preference. All our interventions are child-centred and share features in common such as exploration, discovery, creativity and play.


There are many different reasons for referring a child to us. A child may be ‘acting out’ and their ‘behaviour’ may be indicating that they are unable to deal with the usual stressors of everyday life. You may have concerns about a child’s wellbeing and mental health because you have noticed a change in how they have presented in school, and they are no longer engaging in learning as they did previously. You may have noticed everything appears to be alright but the child has given an indication that they are not happy nor fulfilling their potential. You may, or may not, know of past experiences which may be leading to their difficulties. They may have attendance problems.. Sometimes children’s needs are identified through the SENCO’s discussion with another professional such as an educational psychologist, a CAMHS professional or a Speech and Language Therapist. Sometimes the Designated Safeguarding Lead identifies children who have survived abusive situations and need help with their emotional and behavioural response patterns which appear to be rooted in these causes. Sometimes the LAC or CLA nominated staff member identifies the needs. This is not an exhaustive list, there are other ways of identifying need too.


This depends on the intervention, level of need and the progress made in the therapy. It may take several sessions for a child to engage if their trust in adults has eroded. Once a robust therapeutic relationship has been built, the middle section enables the child to work through therapy, dynamically addressing inner world matters. We then need time to end sessions safely. Abrupt endings can be highly detrimental and resonate with previous negative endings the child has experienced in life. The first three weeks of an intervention serve as an assessment period. Reviews are held which determine if the sessions need to continue or whether the need has been met and the carefully planned ending can be carried out. We also offer brief interventions, both individual and group, for lower levels of identified need such as confidence-building. Each intervention is designed for the circumstances.


We need consent from parents/carers and if possible a meeting with them before the work starts or at a subsequent review. We need a private space to work in that is booked weekly for the same day and time. We will need to set up an appropriate communication system with a named member of school staff. This is usually the person with whom we set up the intervention initially. Someone who is interested in therapeutic processes and committed to the well-being of the child could be delegated to do this. The therapist can communicate through weekly chats in person before and/or after the session, via phone or email or a shared notebook. We work with the school’s preferred systems, using whatever will be most effective and time-efficient. A central component of our work is dealing with the difficult emotions which are affecting the functional and educational life of those we work with. You can support us by working closely with the therapist in order to build on new understandings of how the child is experiencing life. Frequently, the insights into how the child functions and learns will, with the child’s permission, help teaching staff. They can use these insights to find accessible ways into learning experiences for the particular child, sometimes including innovative curriculum interests. Since learning styles are so personal to individuals, we can gain enormous information during therapy. This all clearly helps towards the school’s main aims and aspirations for the child’s academic achievement too.


Usually the therapist will start working with the child on their own, to get to know them. The school staff member referring will have carefully planned the child’s introduction to the therapist. The child will be offered a ‘meet and greet’ session with the therapist. The 1:1 support worker will work with the child before and after the sessions. There have been occasions however, when the 1:1 support worker has been present in initial sessions to help the child build confidence in starting therapy. Gradually the child will develop confidence and his or her own ways of expressing and dealing with emotion states. This will help the 1:1 support and the team around the child understand the child in new ways.


Sessions are structured in a way that provides emotional containment and attention is given to how the ending of the session is managed. It may be difficult sometimes for some children to enter the full class situation after a session. At such times, the therapist will communicate the child’s needs to a safe named person who has the previously agreed role of spending some time with the child until they are ready to re-enter the classroom.


We will liaise with CAMHS practitioners on your behalf. If the child’s needs straddle both services, the best way forward for the child and family will be identified and agreed. Partnership and joint working can be very productive. We work closely with CAMHS services.


Yes, in a variety of ways. We offer creative parent support groups in school through group-work. For instance an art therapist offered a six week art and reflection group for parents who had a range of needs not being met by any other services. Accessing their own creativity and finding support in the company and friendship of others, several parents started to approach their own personal, family and social situations in new ways. These sessions empowered the parents, impacting positively on their mental health.


There are several circumstances in which we do home visits. With children who have complex needs and are not in school, we have been commissioned to start working in the family home, and have then helped the child towards integration back into an education setting. We support the family and the school. We work in a variety of settings according to need. These include the family home, children’s centres, educational settings outside school and in systems such as the Youth Justice service.


Each family has different needs and we do sometimes work with siblings. Work with each child can be with the same therapist or different therapists. We have worked with sibling groups also across different Key Stages in school.


Yes. We offer a range of well-being interventions for staff, including monthly creative self-care sessions, regular supervision sessions, drop in sessions. There are many possibilities. As with many other questions a consultation or chat is a good place to start to plan the right support for your school tailored to your specific needs.


We work alongside you, your staff and other professionals and organisations, to identify the best solutions for any given situation. We can dovetail with universal services and targeted services and offer consultations as well as providing our specialist therapy sessions. We are adaptable and flexible, while at the same time maintaining core requirements and adhering to our ethical code of practice. This ensures bespoke and effective therapeutic interventions.


Our therapists offer staff briefings and trainings. We cover a range of modalities and topics, including experiential trainings. These offer the opportunity to learn about how emotional trauma affects children’s learning in school and how schools can work creatively to help children affected by relational trauma and attachment difficulties .
These trainings can be twilight INSETS, full day training for all staff, or other possibilities. They can be for the pastoral team or for the whole staff. We also offer introductory training on the sensitive use of creative expression for mental health and well-being at the universal level.

A significant benefit of staff training alongside interventions is that staff will gain understanding about the role, aims and work of the therapist. The training to become a therapist is a lengthy process. To qualify as an Arts Therapist means undertaking a two year full time Masters course, or three years part-time, at a University. The therapist in your school, or the Universities where the Masters courses provide training can tell you more about what training involves.


Capacity building within the school is another way of offering staff opportunities to learn about how to work creatively with SEMH. For instance a member of staff who is keen to learn about process-oriented working and motivated to work in this area could work alongside a therapist who leads a group. The staff member would have to be committed to participate in all the sessions.


The Pharos programme (for Key Stages 2 to 5) is an example of our group-work where a school staff member can be skilled up. We are the only providers of this evidence-based programme in the UK and have been delivering it for more than a decade. It is designed to support children who have lived in other countries, now are living in the UK. As with all our interventions, there is a variety of reasons why children may be referred into the Pharos group. Many of the children are from refugee families or have come as separated or unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to the UK. The group is facilitated jointly by our counsellor therapist who leads on Pharos, alongside a school member of staff. This person is introduced to exciting and creative ways of working with child refugees and speakers of other languages. Improved academic attainment outcomes for many participating children has been dramatic, often due to increase in self-confidence and ability to access stored innate knowledge. ETS is the specialist provider for CAMHS trainings delivered to multi-agency staff on ‘Identifying and meeting the mental health and well-being needs of refugee children’.


Meet The Team

ETS Team Leader - PCGE MA Registered Art Psychotherapist

Deirdre McConnell

Artist, teacher, trainer and art psychotherapist. Deirdre is experienced in early intervention and complex casework. Interests include: children’s rights and human rights; creativity and neuroscience; psycho-spiritual and self-care models. Guest lecturer at several universities, speaker at national and international conferences, practitioner PhD researcher.

ETS Assistant Team Leader - Counsellor

Yanela Garcia

Yanela, qualified counsellor, has a wealth of experience including working with refugee and asylum-seeking children, young people and families. She works in primary, secondary and home settings, actively liaising in multi-agency contexts and managing family cases with complex needs who have or are experiencing trauma.

ETS Assistant Team Leader – Art Psychotherapist

Colette Flynn

Colette is passionate about using creativity to support positive mental health in children, families and communities. She enjoys engaging families through dyadic therapy (parent-child), working in 3D with natural materials like clay, and working across creative modalities to deliver dynamic and insightful team trainings.

Latest Blogs

Our team of Education Professionals regularly author articles and news items. Use the link below to view these in our One Editorial Blog.

Emotional and Trauma Support

The impact that COVID-19 has had on the therapy profession

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Emotional and Trauma Support

Wellbeing: who safeguards the safeguarding leads?

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Emotional and Trauma Support

One Education school-based Arts Therapies at New York Global Arts Conference

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Address details

Universal Square,
Devonshire St North,
M12 6JH

Phone Numbers

Main Contact:
0844 967 1111
One Education ICT:
0844 967 1113
One Education Music:
0844 967 1116