Therapeutic Interventions

Therapeutic Interventions

As part of our holistic offer at SWA, we offer a range of therapeutic interventions, delivered by a team of trained practioners on a daily basis, to support our students in dealing with emotional issues which are barriers to them engaging in learning.

Our therapeutic interventions include Draw and Talk Therapy, Lego Therapy, ELSA (Emotional Literacy) support, art-based therapy, and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Drawing and Talking 

St Wilfrid’s Academy has two fully trained professionals in advanced Drawing and Talking. Drawing and Talking is a safe and easy drawing technique for use with children and young people who have suffered trauma or have underlying emotional difficulties affecting their mental health and well-being. The technique is based on Jungian and Attachment (Bowlby) theories. 

Drawing and Talking therapy supports those who are not realising their full potential either socially or academically.

Drawing and Talking is completed over 12 half an hour sessions, one session per week. It has been a successful intervention so far, with several students benefitting from the course.

Drawing and Talking can also be completed at St Wilfrid’s as part of a group course or sandplay if the practitioner feels it would be more beneficial.

Student responses to Drawing and Talking:

 “I enjoyed it because someone was listening to me” year 10 student.

 “I liked Drawing and Talking a lot because it helped talking about things” Year 9 student.

 “I enjoyed the group Drawing and Talking, it helped knowing other people feel the same as you and had the same things happening” Year 11 student.

 “I enjoyed group Drawing and Talking because it helped me talk about things I hadn’t told anyone else” Year 10 student.


St Wilfrid’s Academy has two fully trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistants that were trained by a team of Educational Psychologists (EP) and who receive ongoing termly supervision from the EP team to support them with their work.

The ELSA programme was originally developed by Educational Psychologist, Shelia Burton. It was designed to support the emotional needs of pupils and recognised that children learn better when they are happier and their emotional needs are being met.

The ELSA programme lasts between 6 – 12 weeks, depending on the need of the student, and aims to support pupils who need help with their emotions, anger management, social skills, resilience, and self-esteem.

LEGO Therapy

LEGO therapy is a social development programme which helps children and young people with autism spectrum disorders and related social communication difficulties. It was created by Clinical Neuropsychologist Dr Dan LeGoff as a way of getting pupils to socialise appropriately.

Not only does it hugely benefit pupils with ASD but it can also be used with other pupils as a way of developing and reinforcing play skills and social skills such as:

  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Joint attention
  • Task focus
  • Sharing and turn-taking
  • Collaborative problem-solving

Art Psychotherapy

St Wilfrid’s academy work with Fortis Therapy & Training: a team of dedicated, qualified therapists, counsellors, and trainers based in Grimsby, Scunthorpe, and Hull.

There are two Fortis art psychotherapists based at St Wilfrid’s Academy, offering 1:1, group art therapy, as well as brief therapeutic interventions to individuals and groups. Our art therapists are trained to Masters level, holding Health Care Professionals Council registration, as well as BAAT (the British association of art therapists). They have experience working with a range of mental health issues and training for two years before qualifying, applying a wide range of theories and techniques to their practice.

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. Within this context, art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.

Art therapy can help a range of individuals explore their mental health using the art materials. This can include: Attachment, PTSD, depression, anxiety, behavioural and physical wellbeing. Art therapy is a person-centred approach, meaning it can be tailored to each individual’s needs.

Student feedback on working with the Fortis Therapists:

"It was good and I felt happier because I had someone to talk to who listened and cared"

"I look forward to it – it’s nice to have a regular time every week to get things off my chest"

"It helped me to open up to someone and made me feel more comfortable talking to people"

"It’s nice to talk to someone so I feel less stressed"