Therapeutic Thinking

1. What is therapeutic thinking?

Therapeutic Thinking is a philosophy. It focuses on how all children and young people are to be supported, particularly in terms of their emotional wellbeing and mental health; it also helps to develop an understanding of how to respond to those who may be communicating through concerning behaviours. The Therapeutic Thinking approach is a school-led embedded ethos characterised by an inclusive culture, based on training and information that is underpinned by best practice, policy and plans.

What are the aims of Therapeutic Thinking for schools in East Sussex?

Our overarching aim is for all East Sussex children to have the opportunity to flourish in their local school where they are understood, have their needs are met, and where they are prepared for the next stage in their education and lives. The Therapeutic Thinking agenda fits firmly within the Excellence for All shared vision and strategy with its focus on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable learners. Therapeutic Thinking will actively support all ESCC stakeholders to act as champions for vulnerable children and to better target resources in order to improve outcomes and opportunities for all children regardless of their educational or physical needs, their family background, the school they attend or the neighbourhood in which they live.

Therapeutic Thinking will lead to:

  • A common language and a joint approach that is followed by all professionals in East Sussex

  • Schools and settings that provide a safe and welcoming environment for all parties, where mutual respect and dignity are deep-rooted

  • An improvement in attendance and behaviours for learning

  • An understanding of the inseparable link between teaching, learning and behaviour

  • Improved staff confidence in meeting the needs of the children and young people

  • A reduction in the need to positively handle or restrain

  • The inclusion of children with difficult or concerning behaviours

  • A reduction in the number of Fixed Term and Permanent Exclusions.

It is the aim that Therapeutic Thinking will provide both; the foundation of principles upon which Inclusive Practice is based in East Sussex, but also; the umbrella under which all other interventions and programmes must sit.

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