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What is Tala?

A Therapeutic Active Listening Assistant (TALA) is a specialist teaching assistant who has been trained by educational psychologists to support children experiencing emotional or social difficulties. Mrs O’Connor is St Anne’s TALA lead.

TALA offers an emotionally safe and supportive space in which pupils can explore their feelings and experiences. They are heard by the practitioner on a deep level using active listening. Practitioners listen to a child's views, experiences and feelings without judgement in an atmosphere of respect and empathy based on a secure and trusting working relationship.

How does Tala work?

How it works is that the child has a regular slot during the week for a targeted period of time (around 30-45 mins). It usually runs for around six weeks but can be longer. Sessions are confidential, offering the child an opportunity to talk about things that concern them.

The sessions are one to one and are very pupil led involving play-based activities where required.

Who is it for?

Not only does TALA offer a child a safe place to talk, it supports them in many other areas:

  • Cope better with issues, concerns and situations
  • Achieve some level of understanding with regard to thoughts, emotions and behaviours
  • Accept their limitations and strengths and to feel ok about them
  • Change behaviours which have negative consequences
  • Look at things differently
  • Maximise the opportunity to reach their full potential
  • Empowers pupils to find their own resolutions and build resilience for the future.
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