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Emotion Coaching – a case study

Connecting with students through Emotion Coaching

Enid Bramley is a Teaching Assistant for students with SEND at Barlby High School. She tells us about her recent training in Emotion Coaching.

“Being new to a secondary education system I thought that Emotion Coaching training would help me to understand, fathom out and how to deal effectively with older children’s emotions as I have worked with Early Years for a long time.
In my role, I need to be able to support students who can and do display various emotions including anger, anxiety, frustration and many more. Emotion coaching would help to identify emotions using communication, empathy and compassion.
I thought at the beginning of the course that I didn’t know anything about emotion coaching and that it would help me to improve my practice. However, on reflection I found that I have already been using certain techniques without realising it. Adults find emotions burdensome and challenging to deal with effectively; children and teenagers must find it harder to make sense of and how to distinguish between one emotion from another!
I thought that an Emotion Coaching course would assist me to understand how to guide and support a child on their ‘emotional journey’ to gain understanding of their own inner being and emotions. This journey, a joint journey for both myself and the child would then help both gain recognition towards self-awareness, trust and relationship building. I needed to be able to support students who can and do display various emotions including anger, anxiety, frustration and many more. Emotion coaching helps to identify emotions through communication, empathy and compassion.
I have found Emotion Coaching fascinating from the start especially the new knowledge and theory regarding the brain and how emotion coaching works. Some of the skills that are needed are already in my ‘toolkit’ – being able to communicate with others, ability to gain trust and having empathy with others to name just a few. However, I do need guidance to use the skills I have and practice the techniques to be able make a powerful impact on a child’s emotions and behaviour.
To help with the Emotion Coaching process there are concise notes to help you to put the theory into effective practice. There are plenty of written details explaining how the brain coordinates, the different parts of the brain – ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ brain. There are discussions and details, diagrams, long words, scientific processes, how the ‘Chimp’ within us can be released!  
I have read through the details and joined in a practical scenario of helping a child and their emotion and behaviour. I felt that I would never get the hang of it although if you get the procedure ‘wrong’ it doesn’t matter… I would ask a child to try, try and try again which is a good piece of advice.
As Teaching Assistants, we have discussed the latest part of the Emotion Coaching course words like ‘unsure’, ‘positive’, ‘what!’ ‘lots to learn’ ‘really!’ came out of the discussions. It’s a new concept which needs time to embed and realise some of the strategies we are already using. The training is a starting place one which we can all move forwards together guiding and supporting each other.
I have managed to use this strategy and emotion coaching a couple of times, I felt a bit self-conscious and tongue tied but then I relaxed into the process and I felt it worked. So, here’s to more details and more practice. Emotion coaching gives you strategies to be able to support the developments of coping with emotions.”
Find out more about Emotion Coaching

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