My name is Alyson Richards and I offer psychotherapy and mental health support to children and their families at the Court School. I work closely with pupils, families, staff and others stakeholders to improve the emotional wellbeing of the children in our care.
Psychotherapy is a safe place to get emotional support, learn and understand about feelings and problems, improve our relationships, and try out new solutions. Goals of therapy may be specific, such as; learning to use kind hands, be less angry, have a friend, sleep better OR more general e.g. feel happier, feel less anxious, feel better about myself etc. With primary aged children, play, as well as talking, is used to resolve emotional conflict and bring about changes in feelings and behaviours.
I have worked in the field of Developmental Disorders / Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD) and Mental Health, with children, young people and adults, for the past forty years, both in the UK and USA, as a Chartered Psychologist and Psychotherapist. I have a particular interest in the factors that foster educational attainment for those with multifaceted additional learning needs related to a complex mix of neurodevelopmental disorders and emotional difficulties.
I'm available during school termtimes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 9.30am and 3.30pm. During those times you can reach me on 029 2075 2713, or on 07458 073352, or email me on email@example.com, or message me on The Court School ClassDojo - Alyson's Class
Dr Alyson Richards PhD, MA, MSc, PGCE, BA
HPCP Registered Educational Psychologist
UKCP Registered Psychotherapist
I'll be adding resources from time to time that I hope will be helpful for managing our emotional stresses whilst school is closed. If you come across any resources to help with our emotional challenges and those of your children then please send them to me and I will share them with other parents and carers. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or need any support 07458073352. I'm available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm.
Monday 27th April
Hi all, hope all is well with you.
I was just wondering if any of your children would like to let me know how they're feeling whilst school is closed and the lockdown.
They could show how they feel through drawing/painting, through making something out of lego, plasticine/playdough/dough, out of junk for example boxes, cartons, write a song, a piece of music or a story. Whatever works for them and is fun. What your children create doesn’t have to be a thing … it might be something but it may also be a bunch of colours, shapes. There is no ‘right’ thing to create, so encourage your child just to create rather than have to create a ‘something’. Then, if you and our child would like to, you could send me a photo of what they’ve created.
You don't need to ask them any questions about what they are creating but they may want to tell you about it. They may only want to tell you about the colours, shapes etc and not the feelings and that's just fine. Just the drawing/painting/creating/making can be healing in itself. Enjoy!
But they may want to tell you about their feelings. ‘Active listening’ skills are really helpful when your child wants to tell you about their feelings. Here are some links about ‘Active Listening’. When we start back in school, perhaps we can look at these skills in the Parent and Carers’ group and learn more about them together.
Hi parents and carers
Thought you might find the following link helpful. MindHUB has been recently created by young people for young people and provides information and links to services for emotional health and well-being. I thought the links were really helpful and I thought they might be helpful to you when needed and for others you know.
Monday 4th May
Hi all, hope things are going ok for you all.
Two weeks ago I sent a song out to you that I thought you might enjoy with your children. One of the parents replied that their child wanted to share a song with you and your child that makes him feel happy and he hoped that it might make you happy too. Its the Disney Lava song. Hope you enjoy it.
If your child is happy to send me an idea of a song that makes them happy, then please do so and I'll post it like I've done with this one. Thanks.
Please don't forget that you can call me (07458 073352) if you have any concerns about your child or of your own during this lockdown period. I'm available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Very best wishes, Alyson
Monday 11th May
Hope you're doing ok. Its Monday again and I'm ready to post another possibility for supporting your children with their feelings.
During this lockdown we are all feeling less secure and are missing our routines. Its helpful to talk about our feelings with someone we trust. I found this lovely website that I think can support you in encouraging your children to talk about the feelings they are experiencing at this time:
I suggest you listen to the video first before doing any of the activities with your child. Just ten minutes a day focussing on feelings would be great.
If you and your child want to share any of their feelings with me then please do. Or if you have any concerns when listening to them then please don't hesitate to get in contact on 07458 073352 OR firstname.lastname@example.org OR you can message me on ClassDojo - Alyson's Class
Take great care and stay safe.
Wednesday 13th May
I found this book when I was reading the news. At the moment its available online only. Its a free book. Its a book of short stories, poems, essays and pictures with contributions from well-known children’s writers and illustrators. Its all about bringing messages of hope to children through this pandemic.
Please let me know if there are any stories, poems and pictures that you child particularly likes and I'll let other parents and carers know.
Very best wishes
Monday May 18th
Hi all, hope all well
Its mental health awareness week this week in the UK and the theme is Kindness. As we all know, doing something kind for others supports our mental health. I thought you might like to share the daily act of kindness sheet from Twinkl with your children.
Here's a useful resource explaining about mental health awareness week: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness
and in particular about how kindness helps positive mental health - https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/kindness-matters-guide
Don't forget to get in touch if you have any questions/ need some help and stay safe.
Wednesday June 10th
Hope you are all ok. For those of you who have decided to send your children back to school, I thought the following might be helpful. The link for this resource is: https://www.traumainformedschools.co.uk/resources . There are some other resources on this page that you might also find helpful.
Very best wishes
Parents and Carers Chat Zoom Next Tuesday 2nd February 1.30 pm
Rhian Hartwell and I wanted to let you know that we are going to hold a zoom chat next Tuesday at 1.30 pm for parents and carers. Please see the link below. We thought it might be helpful to have the opportunity to 'meet' with other parents and carers to chat about how its going for you at home during this lockdown. You may have some things to share with the others about what has worked for you, thoughts about what you might want some help with, and just the chance for a bit of time for you! Rhian and I thought that we would run the session from 1.30 - 2.30. We would then be available from 2.30 - 3.30 if anyone wants to speak to us on a one-to-one basis.
Here's the link:
Rhian Hartwell is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Parents and carers chat
Time: Feb 2, 2021 01:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 851 8863 2541
We thought that we might start to do this monthly. We'll meet on a different school day next time, and each time, which would hopefully help for those who are working on particular days.
Please join us with your tea/coffee ready for a chat and hopefully a bit of time for you.
Take care and hope to 'see' you next Tuesday!
Alyson and Rhian