Rachel Burr

This site brings together new methods for working with children, teens and young people in order to support and enhance their sense of self-worth and positive resilience in the face of life's challenges. I developed the approach with the long term objective of supporting individuals towards independently and confidently managing their mental health needs.

It is my singular objective to create a culture of working with children and young people in which we trust and have confidence in their sense of self, and are open to both caring for and learning from each person whom we offer support to.

The site draws upon and compliments the ideas outlined in my book "Self-worth in children and young people'. On this site you will find the worksheets and recordings of meditative practices, referred to in my book, all of which can be used with children and teenagers in group settings and at the individual level.

About Me

Rachel Burr is a senior lecturer at the University of Sussex, where she teaches qualifying social work courses and students studying Childhood and Youth Studies. Her expertise is in developing techniques for working with children and young people in difficult circumstances and enhancing their emotional strength. She is an anthropologist with experience of working with street children in Vietnam and has a background in social work based child protection.

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Enhancing emotional strength in young people

The aim of this site is to share new and positive ways of working with children, teenagers and young people in order to enhance their sense of self worth and to support the development of a positive mental outlook.  

In 2012 I started doing group work with children and teenagers to see if we could come up with some positive and supportive strategies together. We found that working in groups made children and young people feel less isolated, and supported each persons journey towards feeling better about themselves. We enjoyed the process so much that we ended up working together for 4 years. The end result of that work is written up in this book.

I critically explore our current approach towards mental health and examine the strengths and limitations of our main focus which is to work with and diagnose individuals.

I also show  the importance of working with all children and young people as a preventative measure, so that should any of them go on to develop mental health issues, they will be able to draw upon their own resources alongside that of trained professionals.

In this book I bring my ideas to life by drawing upon my own case study examples to show that the ideas presented throughout do work, and I also show why a group approach should be the preferred way of doing things. I then go on to introduce the reader to clearly explained techniques for supporting children and young people towards feeling happier about themselves.

All of the techniques are easily applicable, and become far more affective if the practitioner has taken time to develop a genuinely trusting relationship with the children and /or teenagers they are working with. The method for doing so is also outlined in this book.

In 2023 the book was shortlisted for the Mental Health category of Teach Secondary School Awards. https://www.teachwire.net/news/teach-awards-shortlists/. I feel so lucky and humbled to be appearing on their list!

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Golden Egg of Light

The golden egg of light is a meditative practice that myself and the teenagers who attended my group sessions came up with together.
There are stages to the recording and anyone taking part will feel far more comfortable if they have already worked through the worksheets associated with each meditative stage.

View exercise

Worksheet Downloads

The listed worksheets are interactive and designed to be used as part of the wellbeing program outlined in my book.

Before starting to work on visualisations it is vital that each young person feels secure enough in the group setting to
be open about what feeling safe is like for them. They might have a place that they like to go to in real time or an imagined
place which they can go to in their mind. It is the safe place
that they note down which they will be encouraged to go to
while they are meditating and using the golden light guidance which you can find a link to on this page.

View worksheets
Children doing a playground parachute exercise.

Insights: ideas, updates & suggested readings

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