Articles & Resources

Child Mental Health
Nicky Edwards

How does your nervous system affect you?

Inside your body, you have two nervous systems, which make up our central nervous system: Sympathetic Nervous System Parasympathetic Nervous System Sympathetic Nervous System Our Sympathetic nervous system is our Fight-Flight-Freeze-Fawn reaction. Our Sympathetic nervous system is activated when our AMYGDALA in our brain believes that it is under threat. This can be from something

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: Gratitude

Gratitude In recent years, research into the power of gratitude has identified the importance that this practice has on our sense of happiness and well-being. When we practice gratitude consistently, and over time, we can train our brain to focus on what is going well, and develop a sense of optimism. It has been found,

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Child Mental Health
Nicky Edwards

7 Types of Disordered Eating

An eating disorder is a mental health disorder which affects people’s behaviours, attitudes and thoughts around food and exercise.Eating disorders are a way of managing feelings and coping with difficult situations through the micromanagement of food intake. Eating disorders can change and develop new symptoms and behaviours over time. Beat (2020) believe ‘approximately 1.25 million

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: Flower Feelings

Feelings  A step of emotional literacy development is being able to recognise what our emotions are. Many children can find it challenging to be able to recognise, identify and respond to their emotions, particularly the more subtle feelings. A great first step, is to encourage children to reflect on their feelings, so that they can

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Adult Mental Health
Nicky Edwards

Why do children need routines?

We often hear about the ‘importance of routines’ for children, and their positive impact on child mental health, but why do we say this? Our brains are a complex set of highways, created through millions of neural pathways. The vast array of pathways throughout our brains are connected by neurons which pass signals from one

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: What can I control?

Sometimes, we can all get caught in spirals of thoughts surrounding things that are not in our control. So, how do we support children to begin conversations about what they are in control of, versus what they are not? Anxiety frequently exists where we attempt to control things that are uncontrollable. Ever noticed that we

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Child Mental Health
Nicky Edwards

What’s the emotional literacy gap?

Since the 2020 pandemic, there has been an increasing gap in the emotional literacy of children. One of my greatest observations from the last three years in my therapy and coaching work, is that whilst children are catching up academically: Behaviour issues are increasing Dysregulation is happening more frequently Expressing feelings is less comfortable There

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: How to solve my problem?

Ever find that some worries cause a lot of stress? Yet, we never take purposeful action towards reducing them? Many of us spend a lot of time in our own minds when we have a worry, and this causes it to keep growing. Therefore, if we can instead support children to express their feelings and

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Adult Mental Health
Nicky Edwards

The Online Safety Bill 2022

A conversation that I have seen more of over the last few weeks resolves around the new Online Safety Bill. The Online Safety Bill is a new set of laws to protect children and adults online. The bill will make social media companies legally responsible for keeping users safe online. The bill is related to:

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: Calm Colouring

Sometimes, we just need an activity that allows us to switch off and zone out, to process our thoughts, feelings and experiences. Colouring has many benefits: Develops fine motor skills Supports concentration skills Develops colour recognition Strengthens handwriting skills Encourages relaxation Develops focus Creates a focus on the present Calms a restless mind Develops inner

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Adult Mental Health
Nicky Edwards

Are children struggling more, post-pandemic?

Over recent weeks I have had a huge number of conversations about children’s mental health and the increase that parents and professionals are seeing in: Anxiety Health anxiety Separation Anxiety Phobias Emotionally Based School Avoidance Low mood Worries and fears For many, the question is ‘why?’ You may have also noticed that adults are less

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: Feelings Diary

Identifying that our feelings are fluid, and ever moving supports children to understand that they do not need to always feel ‘happy’. For so many children and adults, there is a pressure to always be ‘happy’, when in reality our feelings move continually throughout the day. So, in this article, we share a feelings diary

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Anxiety
Nicky Edwards

Phased Returns and School Avoidance

A frequent conversation I have with my therapist hat on, is surrounding emotionally based school avoidance and return to school plans. Having worked as a teacher, as well as therapist, in addition to supporting many children with return to school plans, the focus is always on: Creating a sense of safety for the brain Rebuilding

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: Feelings Lighthouse

How can we talk about feelings with children? Being creative about feelings exploration with children can support them to create visual ideas about how to work through those sensations. My Feelings Lighthouse Download here    Next steps Download the worksheet here  Collect pens and pencils On the starfish – write the feeling you want to

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Behaviour
Nicky Edwards

Carrot and Stick – Why punishments rarely work

An important part of supporting child mental health, is that we recognise areas where we can develop our practice. There is no end point in this, as the world evolves, we can recognise that the mental health needs are ever evolving. Therefore, strategies that we used 10 years ago may no longer work, whilst new

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: Goal Planning Ladder

Goal setting is a valuable activity, which can help both children, adolescents and adults to achieve their intentions. However, frequently we can see goals fall apart, or momentum being lost for a number of reasons, including: Not having a plan Not knowing HOW to get to our goal Charging too fast and losing energy Not

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Behaviour
Nicky Edwards

Why threats don’t work and we need validation instead

A lot of people can be concerned about the word ‘validation’, perceiving that by doing this, we are giving in, or enabling someone. However, validation is a vital part of our connections with children, building trust and supporting mental health. Without it, we are often caught in cycle of resistance, by which the child may

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Activities
Nicky Edwards

Children’s Activity: Therapeutic Colouring

Sometimes, we just need an activity that allows us to switch off and zone out, to process our thoughts, feelings and experiences. Colouring has many benefits: Develops fine motor skills Supports concentration skills Develops colour recognition Strengthens handwriting skills Encourages relaxation Develops focus Creates a focus on the present Calms a restless mind Develops inner

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