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

  • 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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  • Supporting children learning about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

    Supporting children learning about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

    When really big news hits the headlines, we cannot fully prevent the children and young people in our care from hearing about what’s happening. As the mother of an eight-year-old, however much I try to turn the news bulletins down on the radio while we’re on the school run, or switch the channel over when […]

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  • The healing power of stories

    The healing power of stories

    Oral storytelling has a powerful impact on us, and has been shown to alleviate pain. There is a physiological and psychological impact. Important clinical implications affirm storytelling as a low-cost and humanized intervention that can improve the well-being of hospitalised children.

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