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Empathic Guidance for schools – raising self-worth, one child at a time

March 4, 2011

Above and below you can see the wonderful posters designed to promote my Empathic Guidance school service by my fabulous friend Donna Hall.

I decided to offer Empathic Guidance sessions to schoolchildren after discussions with my daughter and her friends about many of the usual issues which affect young people such as bullying, body image and sexuality. The support and guidance which I gave them seemed to make a huge difference to their self-esteem and what I found particularly heartening was the fact that the coping techniques which they learned soon became second nature to them. This resulted in a positive increase in their intrinsic self-worth and in their ability to deal with difficult situations and ultimately (and delightfully),  in significantly happier children.

I strongly believe that it really doesn’t matter how gifted and talented or academically successful someone is – if their emotional well-being has been eroded and consequently their  core sense of self is significantly diminished then chances are they’ll end up leading dysfunctional lives. I also feel that the emotional well-being of our young people isn’t given enough attention within our current educational system, so I thought it might be a positive contribution to our society to offer a service which might redress the balance a little.

A school Empathic Guidance session will offer support, insight and guidance to the pupils  and will hopefully be a safe place for them to share any issues which they feel they cannot discuss with parents, teachers or peers. Initially I’ll be working on a one-to-one basis but I hope to offer group workshops covering topics such as assertiveness and confidence-building alongside Panda, the school’s youth worker. Panda is a really lovely, warm and caring woman with some really innovative ideas who has clearly won (and deservedly so)the trust and respect of the young people in the school, so I’m really looking forward to working with her on this project.

My dream is that Empathic Guidance will prove popular enough for us to offer sessions and workshops to other schools and that eventually emotional well-being will be recognised as an important part of our children’s upbringing and education. A youth “Self-Worth” revolution – now that really would be something worth fighting for.

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