Resiliency Enabling Approaches for Children & Young People (REACH) - Online

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REACH aims to support settings to access the key knowledge and skills they need to enable vulnerable children to be more resilient.

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Dates / Times (TBC)

  • Module 1: Monday 10th May 2021
  • Module 2: Monday 24th May 2021
  • Module 3: Monday 7th June 2021
  • Module 4:Monday 21st June 2021
  • Module 5: Monday 5th July 2021
  • Module 6: Monday 19th July 2021

10am - 1pm via Zoom (If it is possible to deliver this in a venue we will aim to do this, otherwise it will be via Zoom)

Please note: attendance of each module is required.

What is REACH?

The REACH Course is an educational psychologist developed and led learning curriculum, delivered in six 'bite-size' three-hour modules, equipping practitioners with the psychological knowledge and skills they require to embed effective trauma informed, resiliency enabling approaches in their schools and settings.

REACH teaches 100 different learning objectives relating to the key knowledge and skills needed to develop an awareness not only of adversity and trauma, but also of the approaches that are vital in supporting young people to do well, despite their risk factors.

In particular, the course explores the five ‘Roots of Resilience’ – and numerous associated protective factors - that we can help vulnerable children to tap into, in order to maintain their strength and stability during adverse events, nourishing them from the inside out.

These protective factors are evidence-based interventions, known as ‘positive childhood experiences’ (PCEs), that can mitigate the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and foster the resilience of children affected by adversity. The course also teaches simple trauma informed techniques for addressing the often-hidden effects of trauma and toxic stress.

Because we know that stable and supportive social connections are the golden thread – or ‘ordinary magic’ (Masten, 2001) - running through research on what buffers us from risk, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of nurturing and attuned relationships for resilience in the REACH training course.

REACH Practitioners will learn about what has been termed ‘Relational Activism’ by Dove and Fisher – small acts of kindness and compassion that radiate outwards like the warmth of the sun, so as to grow resilience from grassroots and build resilient, regenerative communities.

The course also emphasises the importance of developing a strong sense of self and of who we are by ‘going within’ and nourishing ourselves.

REACH aims to be a highly cost-effective way for settings to access the key knowledge and skills they need to support children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs and is a must for any setting wishing to enable the resiliency potential of every vulnerable young person.

REACH Course Details

• Module One: Adversity, Stress & its Impact – Why REACH? - This introductory session will enable participants to gain an up-to-date understanding of stressful or adverse life experiences & their impact upon child development. In particular, we will make reference to the pioneering research of Dr Bessel van der Kolk and Dr Bruce Perry. This session will also introduce the rationale for responding to children through the lens of resilience and why resiliency research is essential in informing how we support those who are experiencing stressful life events.

• Module Two: Developmental Trauma: Promoting Safety & Emotional Regulation - We will look at the definitions of trauma and the signs and symptoms of developmental trauma. We will then consider the importance of addressing safety needs in children and young people experiencing SEMH needs. Participants will explore psychological models for promoting feelings of safety and reducing dysregulation, and practice some of these essential skills. In particular, we will draw from the seminal research of Dr Bruce Perry, Dr Stephen Porges, Dr Dan Hughes, Dr Dan Siegel & Dr Peter Levine.

• Module Three: Building Trust & Nurturing Relationships - We will consider why it is so important to focus first and foremost on strengthening stable relationships and building trust with vulnerable children & young people. Participants will learn psychological techniques for addressing children’s unmet attachment needs, including how to support secure attachment relationships through the use of nurturing relational approaches and the principles of attuned interactions. We will refer to the pivotal work of Marjorie Boxall, Heather Geddes, Louise Michelle Bombèr and Hilary Kennedy (AVIGuk) in this session.

• Module Four: Empowerment & Engagement - In this session, participants will examine cognitive-behavioural, strengths-based approaches based on the influential work of psychologists Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson, as well as Renee Jain, author of the resiliency programme 'Go Strengths'. We will learn why it is essential to tap into the strengths and interests of disengaged or disaffected students in order to strengthen attachment relationships, support more positive behaviour and promote their emotional resilience.

• Module Five: Connection & A Sense of Belonging - This session will explore the power of social relationships in mitigating exposure to risk. We will examine the ground-breaking work of Johann Hari in relation to the concept of connection and social recovery from addiction. We will also consider Robbie Gilligan's inspiring work on the importance of 'belonging' for children in care. We will conclude by examining a variety of approaches for developing social skills, including 'circles' for wellbeing.

• Module Six: Cross-Cultural Coping Skills & Using the Expressive Arts Therapeutically - In this final session, participants will learn specific techniques for supporting students to deal with feelings based on the important work of John Gottman. The course will conclude by introducing ways to use the expressive arts (e.g. drawing, sand tray, clay, Lego, stories etc) safely and effectively to support children and young people therapeutically.

What Is Included?

  • 6 x 3 hours of dynamic live online training
  • PowerPoint slide handouts & other handouts for each session
  • Key Learning Objectives pdf document
  • For EPs who would like to become trainers: full notes pages, resource list and guidance on how to deliver REACH in your area.

For more information and to view the more detailed course curriculum, please see

Feedback About REACH

"I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the training! I'm finding it the perfect balance between revisiting content that I'm already familiar with and taking my knowledge and understanding to the next level. There is so much psychology-informed theory in it which is great, but plenty of practical applications too which is often what schools want. Thank you :) "

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