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How one angry and disruptive Year 9 pupil became a motivated learner



One of our Coaches recently met a Year 9 Student in their school for six weekly sessions. The young person was well known in school for getting into trouble and being sent out of lessons for disruptive behaviour.


The student told the Coach that they were ‘getting angry in lessons’ and ‘gobbing off’ which got them into trouble with the teachers and resulted in them being sent out of class. They also said that they had social anxiety so for example, when they went somewhere new, they got stomach pains which meant they didn’t eat and then ended up feeling sick which made them angry.


The student wanted help with both these things, so using the Emotional Logic materials, the coach explained initially about Shock Reactions and using Safe Places to make a plan. The student responded well to this and was able to implement the suggestion of finding the safe place and used distraction techniques when they felt their shock feelings and began to get angry.


There was an immediate and noticeable reduction in disruptive behaviour and when something did go wrong during the second week, the coach and student were able to work out together what had caused the upset by using a loss reaction worksheet.


It turned out (much to the student’s surprise) that one of the values they had lost in that instance was the teacher knowing they were trying their best! They felt that they had been reprimanded and sent out of class for something they hadn’t done, this had made them extremely angry, and they had chosen aggressive bargaining to regain what had been lost, but this led to further losses.

During the discussion with the coach, the student came up with a strategy to make sure that teachers knew they were trying their best. From then on, staff told them that they were pleased with their behaviour in school. At the end of the 6 visits, one member of staff commented that they had not heard about any disruptive behaviour for the last 4 weeks which was most unusual.


With regards to the social anxiety caused by new places and crowds, again, once the student had realised their uncomfortable feelings were because they were on their Shock Stepping Stone, they were able to make use of their safe place and distraction techniques and they reported that their social anxiety had decreased because they now knew that they could cope with new / busy situations better.


At the end of the 6 weeks, the coach asked the student the following questions. The student's responses are in italics below:


What has changed since you started learning Emotional Logic?

· I’m calmer

· My shock reactions are less and I can cope with them

· I feel better because I am not in trouble with teachers like before

· Teachers are complimenting me because I have not been getting into trouble


Has anything unexpected happened?

· Learning that one of my values is that I want the teachers to know I am trying my best in lessons!


What has been most helpful?

· Knowing that what is happening when I get a shock reaction is there for a reason and it helps me know I can do something about it.


A quote from the Assistant SENDCo at the school:


She’s so different I can really notice the change in her since you have been working with her.’


This was written by one of our Coaches anonymously so that we can protect the identity of the child. If you would like to know more about this case study or discover how we can help you or the children you care for, please contact us.






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