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Educational Therapy (previously known as school counseling) is a method of working with children and adults who struggle with learning. It is a technique that combines psychoanalytic, neuropsychological, and educational insight and techniques.
Educational Therapy offers children and adults with learning disabilities and other learning challenges a wide range of intensive, individualized interventions designed to remediate learning problems. It demystifies learning problems and stimulates clients’ awareness of their strengths so they can use those strengths to best advantage to overcome or compensate for areas of weakness.
Children in school can experience difficulties, which may prevent them from accessing the curriculum and managing in class. A better understanding of the complex issues underlying these problems helps teachers to find new ways of thinking about children and strategies for helping them both therapeutically and by preventing difficulties from developing.
It benefits children and young people with:-
- Learning and communication difficulties
- Poor social behaviour in school
- Poor social relationships
- The threat of school exclusion
- Children who have experienced separations, accidents, bereavement, mental or physical illness in the family, violence, sexual abuse or emotional deprivation and are unable to concentrate and learn in school.
These pupils are often identified early in their school career and given additional support to which they do not fully respond. Educational therapy can be offered as a preventive intervention at this stage.
The child or young person meets with the therapist, usually for one session a week for 50 minutes. Treatment takes place during school term time and may last for four terms or more. The use of stories, drawings, educational activities, games and play provide experiences which help the child make sense of their difficulties and gain the confidence necessary to become a learner. Regular interviews are held parents/carers and with teachers. Educational therapy can also take place in groups.
The purpose of Educational Therapy is:
- To develop a relationship which enables the child or young person to feel more settled in the classroom
- To explore and resolve the emotional difficulties which are holding back learning
- To encourage the child to make emotional and social progress.
The Association of Educational Therapists (AET) is the national professional association for educational therapists. AET is dedicated to defining the professional practice of educational therapy, setting standards for ethical practice, and promoting state-of-the-art service delivery through on-going professional development and training programs. AET provides information to the public about educational therapy and facilitates access to educational therapy services.
The approach is designed to help with issues such as:
- Non-Verbal Learning Disorder
- Reading and Writing Difficulties (dysgraphia)
- Math Disabilities (dyscalculia)
- Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Asperger’s Syndrome
- Fragile X
- Tourette Syndrome
- Language Processing Problems
- Visual Processing Problems
- Poor motivation
- Poor academic self-concept
- Poor time management and study skills
- School phobia and school refusal
- Test anxiety
- Poor social skills
- Educational placement and school retention
- Main article: Educational therapists
An educational therapist is a professional who works with young children adolescents and adults for the evaluation and treatment of learning problems and provides remedial Educational Therapy, . These problems may include, but are not limited to, dyslexia; attention deficit disorder; reading, writing, language or math problems; academic self-esteem and motivation; social skills; organization and study skills; school and college educational placement; and job performance. As special education legislation and services change and the demands of society grow, the role of the educational therapist is becoming increasingly valuable.
In the UK Educational Therapy is considered an appropriate mental health and educational provision. It may be recommended by educational psychologists at later stages of the UK Code of Practice in a Statement of Special Educational Needs.
In the UK in the 1960s Irene Caspari, Principal Psychologist at the Tavistock Centre,London, became a leading trainer and exponent of a more psychoanalytic version of educational therapy, leaving money for the establishment of a 'Forum for the Advancement of Educational Therapy'. It was Caspari's belief that a child might learn more effectively when an academic learning program went hand in hand with 'expression work' which tapped into a child's deeper feelings, and that it therefore behoved the therapist to be aware of, and to work with, such feelings as well as with his/her own relationship with the child as a learner. Training as an educational therapist is available to teachers and educational psychologists through a UK charity called Caspari. whose web site is http://www.caspari.org.uk.
The Association of Educational Therapists (AET) is the US national professional association for educational therapists. AET is dedicated to defining the professional practice of educational therapy, setting standards for ethical practice, and promoting state-of-the-art service delivery through on-going professional development and training programs. AET provides information to the public about educational therapy and facilitates access to educational therapy services.
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Remedial education
- School counselling
- Special education
- Teaching methods
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