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This therapeutic story focuses on feelings of social isolation and unhelpful thinking habits linked to friendship difficulties. Stacie wonders why her best friend, Kayla, ignores her when she sees her in town at the weekend. All weekend she thinks about the possible reasons, and imagines some of the negative things Kayla might be saying or thinking about her. By Monday morning, she has convinced herself they are true, and that Kayla no longer wants to be her friend. She avoids Kayla at school, which causes further problems.
At break time Stacie sees Kayla with another group of girls and imagines they are talking about her. At the end of the day Kayla catches up with Stacie and asks her if she has done something wrong. Stacie says she knows Kayla no longer wants to be her friend because she ignored her in town. Kayla explains she had just been fitted with her new contact lenses and didn't even see her! Stacie is shocked and confesses how she imagined she knew what Kayla was thinking and saying about her. Kayla laughs and they joke about Stacie being a very poor 'mind reader'. Stacie agrees that if she catches herself mind reading again then she will test out her thoughts by talking about them. The accompanying, 'Let's talk about mind reading' highlights this common thinking error, and suggests further coping strategies.
Paula Nagel has worked as an educational psychologist for 17 years. This has included working as a Lead Professional Educational Psychologist managing a traded service, as well as holding Senior Specialist posts for early years and disability. Over the years Paula has worked in multi-agency teams within paediatric services, youth offending teams, Sure Start and an anti-bullying service. She is currently Principal Educational Psychologist (North) for the national children's mental health charity, Place2Be. Before qualifying as an Educational Psychologist Paula was a primary school teacher.
Gary Bainbridge is an artist, comics creator and secondary school Art, Photography and Media Studies teacher from Durham. He's best known for the North East based kitchen sink superhero comic Sugar Glider and the Newcastle-set crime fiction comic, Nightbus. Gary teaches at an academy in Northumberland.