Establishing a rapport

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Trust before truth

Most children who experience EBSNA do want to attend school, but they don’t have the knowledge of how to do it. To be able to help we must ensure that we have a clear understanding of the needs and barriers to attending. It may be difficult for a child or young person to understand why they find attending difficult. It is up to us as professionals to help children and young people uncover why they can’t attend.

A child experiencing EBSNA may have strong negative feelings about school and adults who work within a school. They can often feel like they are being judged, or that adults don’t believe what they say and how they feel.

Before we explore an individual’s EBSNA profile, we need to ensure that we have developed a trusting relationship with them. EBSNA protects an individual from experiencing painful emotions. They may not feel ready to think about changing their behaviours. They may see answering questions about their EBSNA as a threat to their coping strategy. It is therefore essential to invest heavily in rapport building before moving on to the child or young person’s EBSNA.

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