It's normal to feel nervous, excited or worried about starting sessions; we all feel this way sometimes about starting something new! We are really looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you to see if we can help out with some of the difficult thoughts or feelings you might be experiencing. Our job is to support you with your mental health and wellbeing - there are lots of ways we can do this. You might hear our sessions called 'Emotional Literacy' sessions, this is true but they are also based on learning about all aspects of well-being such as our self-esteem (how we feel about ourselves), our goals and values, and coping strategies for difficult times.
The sessions we will be having are unique to you, because we are all so different and each one of us like to learn differently. If you don't feel like you are enjoying the sessions you can talk to us and we can come up with some new ideas together.
We are not going to make you do or say anything that you don't feel comfortable to, and we usually see you weekly for around 12 weeks, sometimes more - plenty of time to get to know each other and to ensure you feel safe and settled.
what to expect
sessions at the hub
Our hub is called 'The Rainbow Place'
Your time at Bridge the Gap will be spent in either The Rainbow, The Sunlight, or the Dream Room. These rooms are full of lovely things and are very homely spaces. Bridge the Gap is a safe space that was created by someone who understands how difficult it can be to come to something new; you will not be made to do anything that you don't want to.
We are not a school, we are a neutral space for people of all ages to feel supported and heard and to attend fun clubs and sessions. Sessions last around 45 minutes.
We use lots of different ways to explore different topics, each session is unique for you. Some young people worry that sessions might be 'babyish' but we have resources and sessions for all ages.
We see children from the ages of five to 19 years old so there is something for everyone. If you have a question you would like to ask before the next session then please just ask your parent or carer to get in touch with us, we will be happy to answer.
You come into sessions on your own, your grown up can stay just outside. If you would like to show them the room on the first session then you can do, likewise you may wish to keep the space just for you, that's fine as well.
sessions at school
If 1:1 sessions are taking place at your school a teacher will bring you down to meet your *practitioner in a separate, quiet room. Our sessions will be about 45 minutes long.
Although you are in school we do all we can to make the space feel comfortable and agree with school that the space we are in is completely private.
*practitioner is the name used to describe the person who you will be seeing but you will call them by their first name.
what is emotional literacy?
We feel sometimes that we are stuck in a 'Happiness Trap' where we are always just trying to be happy all of the time. But this isn't normal - we are human, we experience a whole lot of different emotions and feelings. Emotional Literacy sessions try to help us understand that all of these feelings are completely normal - we can't be happy all of the time, and that's ok!
We will explore emotions and thoughts and how we might have gotten 'stuck' in the happiness trap. We will also look at how to sit with and move through difficult emotions, and learn much more about how to accept and manage our emotions.
Emotional literacy helps us to learn more about how emotions feel in our body and what thoughts we might have when we experience that feeling. We will look at coping strategies to help us feel better when we experience all of these normal emotions.
parent and child sessions
At Bridge the Gap we believe that it's important for children to have the option of exploring topics with their parent or safe adult with them, this is because a lot of children feel coming on their own is something too scary; even if it's something they really want to learn about. That's why we have created sessions that you can attend with the adult who makes you feel safe.
We do lots of different parent and child sessions, for lots of different ages, so we are confident that you will find something that is right for you. The parent and child sessions are held in our Rainbow Room and there will be up to 6 parents and 6 children in the session at any one time. Whatever the session you can be guaranteed not to be made to share anything or interact with anyone other than your adult.
We explore lots of different topics in a relaxed environment to help empower you and your adult with information that makes a difference.
If you have any questions about a particular session please let your adult know and they can contact us so that we can answer them for you.