When Alfie began he used one-word answers when communicating and found focusing for any length of time a barrier. He showed a lack of self-confidence and belief in his own abilities, as he would not attempt any tasks.
Working outside gave Alfie a sense of ‘space’ both emotional and physically. He worked with the horses and small animals to allow him to understand ‘what a healthy relationship looks like.’ He was able to recognise the importance of trust and positive communication when working with the animals and transferred this to the relationship between himself and coach. Alfie was then able to interact with other coaches and appeared to enjoy sharing his experiences of the sessions with them. Reflection on the communication skills he had developed, improved his self-confidence.
Alfie developed an awareness of how outside influences can impact our behaviour by observing animal behaviour. He learned how communication and respecting boundaries built trust and allowed the animals to feel safe.
Alfie began to recognise the importance of adapting his tone and body language, enabling him to share his emotions at times of apprehension and regulate them by communicating positively and taking responsibility of when to share and when he wished for the conversation to end.