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Therapeutic Thinking approach

Therapeutic Thinking approaches: further information and training details.

Within West Sussex we are committed to having a therapeutic understanding of the development of children and young people.  One of the therapeutically informed approaches adopted within West Sussex is the Therapeutic Thinking approach advocated by Angela Wadham.

National context 

WSCC is working alongside nine other counties who have either embedded the Therapeutic Thinking approach across their county or are on their journey to do so.  Each county has a Therapeutic Lead and these Leads meet at least three times a year to share experiences, expertise and resources.

West Sussex is establishing this approach as a core aspect of our SEND and Inclusion Strategy 2019-24 and it is a key driver for improving expertise and support for inclusion in schools, pre-school and post 16 education settings. Kate Southgate is the Therapeutic Lead within West Sussex.

What Therapeutic Thinking is:

Therapeutic Thinking is a philosophy. It focuses on how all children and young people are supported, particularly in terms of their emotional wellbeing and mental health. The approach also helps to develop an understanding of how to respond to those who may be communicating through inappropriate behaviours. 

The Therapeutic Thinking approach is a school-led embedded ethos that is characterised by an inclusive culture, underpinned by best practice, policy and plans.  Therapeutic Thinking uses a range of resources to analyse an individual’s behaviour in order to better understand the child / young person’s needs.  This analysis then assists in better planning for the child, their class and the wider school or setting, to prevent difficult or dangerous situations from occurring by highlighting the learning or experiences that the child needs.

Last updated 8 December 2020

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