1st Edition

Relational Practice: New Approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools

    270 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    270 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A clear and compelling text written by teachers, psychologists and educationalists, Relational Practice: New Approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools proposes a dynamic and relational approach to supporting the mental health needs of children and young people within education. Contributing authors advocate a movement away from the deficit, medicalised model of mental health and instead encourage readers to embrace a relational approach, considering philosophical and spiritual dimensions, as well as the wider everyday contexts that shape the mental health of individuals, groups and school communities. 

    Filled with case studies, intervention strategies and CPD activities, this essential guide bridges the gap between theory, research and practice to offer evidence-based resources for practical application within schools.

    Areas covered include, but are not limited to:

    • Supporting neuro-divergent and LGBT+ students to thrive
    • Creating and actioning an anti-racist approach
    • Multi-agency interventions
    • Relationships in SEND settings
    • Creating a supportive culture to enhance staff wellbeing
    • Appreciative inquiry
    • Staff Perceptions of Building Relational Schools (BRS) 
    • The role of intersubjective processes and the impact the have on relationships in educational settings

    Providing a comprehensive introduction to relational practice within education, this is an indispensable resource for anyone working in education who wishes to support the mental health and wellbeing of their school community.

    1. Working relationally: A paradigm choice;  2. Humanizing our Practice:  The Radical Possibilities of a Relational Approach;  3. Psychosocial justice: a matter of ecologics;  4. An inquiry into the heart of separation, selfhood, connection, and love:  The implications of non-duality to relational practice;  5. ‘I am because we are’: African and Buddhist perspectives on ‘relationship’ and human flourishing;  6. Personal selves, professional lives: Engaging the ‘self’ in work with families and young people;  7. “There’s TRUST there at the heart of it”;  8. A reflection on how a relational approach supported an Educational Psychology Service’s work on antiracism;  9. Exploring the relational power of Appreciative Inquiry: drawing on previous experiences and diverse perspectives within an Educational Psychology Service to create new ways of working;  10. What works to create a supportive relational culture that enhances staff wellbeing?;  11. “It’s all about relationships”;  12. Children in care proceedings: trauma, commitment and relational practice in schools;  13. Supporting Neuro-diverse LGBTQ+ Students to Thrive;  14. Emerging Adulthood and Working with Uncertainty – A Multi Agency Perspective;  15. REFLECT: A collaborative and reflective relational approach that empowers adults to better understand and nurture, and children and young people to flourish;  16. The role of intersubjective processes and the impact they have on relationships in educational settings;  17. Special time: An intervention to support the building of teacher-pupil relationships to promote belonging, trust and development of positive attachments with school staff;  18. Beads of Life for transition to High School: Educational and Child Psychologists’ re-telling their embodied narrative practice with young people, staff and families;  19. Winnicott’s Relational Wisdom: Playing in the Space Between


    Sahaja Timothy Davis is a practitioner, teacher and researcher of mindfulness and non-duality who has contributed to national and international research projects, conferences and publications in these areas. He is also co-director for the Doctorate in Child and Educational Psychology at the University of Sheffield.

    Tom Billington is Emeritus Professor of Educational and Child Psychology at the University of Sheffield (UK) and is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. His work as a practitioner has driven his research, utilizing critical approaches to Developmental Psychology that accord with principles of equality, diversity and social inclusion.

    Mary Chilokoa is a practising Educational Psychologist working in Leeds Educational Psychology Service. She is an Academic Tutor on the Doctoral course in Child and Educational Psychology at the University of Sheffield, and has published in the areas of peer supervision and pupil ‘voice’.

    Claire Whiting is a specialist Educational Psychologist for participation and engagement at Rotherham Educational Psychology Service. She is co-lead for ‘Genuine Partnerships’, a group of practitioners, parent carers and young people who model and support co-production and inclusive practice. Claire is also Director of Placements and course tutor for the Educational Psychology doctorate at the University of Sheffield.