Social context

NB Names altered for anonymity


- Improved self-awareness and ability to use strategies for managing challenging situations
- Improved ability to take responsibility for self and ownership of actions
- Improved confidence and self-worth
- Improved ability to express feelings and thoughts positively

Attachment difficulties occur when a child’s early, relationship with their parents did not provide sufficient nurturing, resulting in them feeling negative about themselves, wary of others and pessimistic about the future. They may also lack conscience development, social skills, and the ability to control impulses and emotions. Sadly, it may make it particularly hard for them to trust in any new caring relationships.


Feedback from school:

‘Thanks.  These updates are really lovely!  It is great to see that Ben is engaging so positively with you.  We have his PEP today so I will be asking for funding for another 6 weeks.’

Background to case

Year 8 boy with an EHCP
Looked After Child
Previously attending Play therapy
Attachment difficulties
No self-regulation
No coping strategies

Process at The Seeds of Change

At the start of the programme Ben was reserved but relaxed quickly around the animals. He was reluctant to take responsibility for his own choices and defensive about his behaviour. He showed little understanding of positive relationships and lacked interest and respect for teachers or adults.

He was chatty and interested in words of song lyrics that he related to and over time the relationship with coach allowed him to discuss his siblings and 'previous life experiences'

Allowing him to have ownership of the sessions and make choices worked well and after week 10 Ben was comfortable in discussing how he takes ownership of his actions and accepts consequences easily.

He was soon able to recognise body language of the horses and the animal interaction allowed discussion to take place organically. Discussions and reflection time based on his actions at home and school led to Ben taking responsibility for self and how we act upon difficult feelings.

Reflection over time has led to improved confidence and self-worth.