Stories to support pupils’ emotional literacy and academic skills

FOR educational professionals

The Centre for Therapeutic Storywriting promotes the use of Therapeutic Storywriting by educational professionals supporting the mental health of pupils in schools.

We do this by delivering training to educational professionals, conducting evaluative research, providing online support and delivering a Train-the-Trainer programme.

Schools in more than 40 Local Authorities in England have introduced the Therapeutic Storywriting programme.

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Therapeutic Storywriting is a therapeutic teaching model that uses the educational curriculum as a therapeutic context.  It does not require educational professionals to become therapists but rather to bring psychological-mindedness to their work in supporting pupils with severe behavioural emotional and social difficulties.

Pupils will generally be on the SEN register as requiring support for their mental health. They are selected because emotional anxiety is getting in the way of their learning. Pupils may or may not have literacy levels below that of their peers.

Dr Trisha Waters introduces Therapeutic Storywriting via the SENDcast podcast:


“It has been a ray of light- working with very needy children gets overwhelming and this seems a practical, pro-active way of helping children to address their own needs.”


‘I just really like it.  I really like it.  I just prefer it to class. If the storywriting was class and I had to go there every Friday that would be even better.’

Mike, Read case study

From our blog

  • Open Training in Therapeutic Storywriting

    Open Training in Therapeutic Storywriting

    Wednesdays: 24 Jan, 7 Feb, 6 March 2024 3-day online training for SEND specialists working with groups of 6 pupils to support mental wellbeing. Research shows the intervention improves emotional resilience while developing writing skills. Training days are spaced out to allow supervision of case studies on Days 2 & 3. For more information contact…

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  • Magical metaphors

    Magical metaphors

    The magical element of story that defies rationalisation is what makes it attractive to thechild. Story writing is essentially a playful and creative activity. Children who are preoccupied with the anxieties of their internal world can find it difficult tofocus on classroom tasks. Sometimes their particular life circumstances can also make themfeel ‘different’ to other…

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  • Meet the trainer: Claudia Moss

    Meet the trainer: Claudia Moss

    Dr Claudia Moss is a highly experienced Chartered Educational Psychologist and Founding Director of Moss Inclusive Psychology. After completing her BSc Honours degree in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University, she worked as an Inclusion Support Worker with KS3 and KS4 pupils who experienced Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs and then undertook a Postgraduate Certificate…

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  • Meet the trainer: Rachel Dann

    Meet the trainer: Rachel Dann

    Story Links supports the mental health of pupils whose behaviour patterns are related to attachment anxiety. It is a parent partnership intervention in which the educational professional facilitates the co-creation of stories between parent/carer and the child. The story metaphor is kept in the animal or fantasy genre to be non-threatening to the parent who…

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