At SideBeSide, we believe that all children want to progress in their learning and develop to their fullest potential.  Sometimes, things can get in the way of this happening, and a child’s development can be held back by negative thinking; impacting how they think about themselves, organise their feelings, and communicate with others.

SideBeSide therapies offer children a non-judgemental, playful and creative environment in which they can talk about and explore past and current issues related to school or home life. The therapeutic worker uses their skills to support the child to explore feelings at different depths, and discover new ways of expressing themselves. It can be a space to resolve ‘stuckness’ and negative feelings, to build resilience in order to thrive socially and academically in school.

Therapy can help children:

  • Displaying low self-confidence or self esteem
  • Feeling so worried and stressed that they can’t have fun or enjoy school
  • Dealing with sadness, depression or grief
  • Having trouble because of too much anger
  • Being bullied or bullying others
  • Challenged by getting along with people (playing fair, taking turns, listening better)
  • Displaying challenging behaviour in or outside school
  • Experiencing difficult family situations — such as divorce, the death of someone close, or a serious health problem


Child therapists tailor their approach to the individual child and work in a way that’s appropriate to the child’s age and developmental stage. Sessions are typically led by the child, in a dedicated room in the school equipped with toys, art materials, puppets, a sand tray and other creative materials. Children are free to find the ‘vocabulary’ that best suits them. They may draw, talk about, re-enact or play out difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways, but there is no expectation on how they use their sessions.

Therapists may want to talk with children and their parents to find out about their early years and history. This will help them build a better sense of the child and their family, which will help the therapist support the child.

When a therapist listens and understands what a child is going through, it can help the child cope, feel supported, and more confident about better times ahead.