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Psyward Training Simon Ward

Positive psychology and well-being training

S I M O N W A R D is a Senior Educational Psychologist om Wirral where his specialism is mental health and well-being. His particular interest is in positive psychology and the approaches, strategies and experiences that promote the emotional, psychological and social well-being of all in the community. Alongside his Local Authority work, Simon has, for a number of years, worked as an independent trainer/consultant with a range of clients from all sectors. This has involved running a variety of projects to develop the attitudes, skills and experiences which allow individuals and organisations to thrive and lead to success and achievement. He has delivered keynotes, twilights, inset days and bespoke projects to a variety of groups. This has often involved working collaboratively with a school or group of schools to help them develop sustainable approaches to well-being at individual, group, school or community level He has worked in partnership with schools to develop an approach to mental health and well-being that can be sustained to fit with their mental health needs.
Although Simon’s main interest is in the field of well-being , he has delivered seminars on a range of related topics including: motivation and learning, positive behaviour management, coaching, conflict management and solution oriented approaches. Simon is currently an International Consultant for Cambridge University Press delivering training and conference keynotes in a range of countries.

The science of well-being
Feel good, function well and flourish.

Schools are looking for effective solutions and strategies to develop wellbeing and improve the mental health of the whole school. People who work with children and adolescents. want to know they are effectively supporting the children and young people they work with to prevent mental health problems developing.
Recently, we have begun to develop a better understanding of the psychological processes, which underpin positive mental health and the environmental factors that support their development. In Simon’s training, combining theory with practical examples, the focus is on key concepts, ideas and research in this area. In particular, the evidence base of positive psychology and resilience is drawn upon with an emphasis on developing the attitudes, skills and experiences, that promote mental health and well-being.

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing and focuses on improving and promoting mental wellbeing rather than focusing on the causes and impacts of mental illness. It includes research on hope, happiness, strengths, resilience and other positive aspects of human functioning and flourishing.   When Positive Psychology is applied through a range of evidence based interventions it develops the wellbeing, resilience and optimal functioning of individuals, organisations and communities. In Simon’s training, participants will gain a clear understanding of wellbeing and how to build it in themselves and how this benefits others, including the colleagues and young people they work with.

Teachers and researchers in positive psychology are natural allies. At its core education is about nurturing strengths, about growth and learning. Furthermore, psychological and social well-being are key concerns for teachers and other educators and for people working in the field of positive psychology’ ( Shankland and Rosset 2017)
Research indicates that “whole school approaches” are most effective in promoting wellbeing and good mental health. These approaches can improve staff and pupil wellbeing, and have a positive impact on the prevention and reduction of mental health problems across school populations A key concept in this area is Positive

Education which  seeks to combine principles of Positive Psychology with best-practice teaching and with educational paradigms to promote optimal development and flourishing in the school setting. Interest in Positive Education continues to grow in line with increasing recognition of the important role played by schools in fostering wellbeing, and the link between wellbeing and academic success. Through this focus, we will be better able to incorporate the science of positive psychology into the life and work of schools and develop practices that motivate and empower staff to promote well-being and tackle mental health issues.

Training would typically have some of the following aims:

  • Gaining a clear understanding of well-being and how to build it in ourselves and how this benefits others including the colleagues and young people we work with.
  • Introducing the core principles and research findings of positive psychology, offering insights and interventions that staff can use to promote well-being in themselves and their students.
  • Understanding the evidence about what works and getting a shared understanding of what is happening in our schools and classrooms
  • Developing a whole school approach
  • Fostering links to existing practice, identifying gaps and opportunities
  • Developing staff well-being and supporting staff to feel confident and capable of improving the mental health and well-being of pupils
  • Determining priorities for action and embedding and sustaining effective practice

Alongside general training introducing the key concepts around positive psychology, promoting mental health and well-being I am also happy to deliver around particular priorities. Recent topics have included:

Positive psychology in the classroom

Dealing with difficult situations/conflict management (headteachers and deputies)

Promoting staff well-being

Appreciative Inquiry

Balancing ACE’s with HOPE

Coaching positively

Introduction to therapeutic approaches: SFBT, anxiety management

Understanding anxiety/low mood

Developing strategies for coping in difficult times

Leading with a nudge (the psychology of influence)

Using a strengths based approach

Positive behaviour management

Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, Optimism

Mindsets and motivation

All training will consider evidence from research and practice. It will offer prompts for debate and activity bringing everyone together and building on existing practice, identifying new approaches and interventions, setting priorities and implementing and evaluating change.

Services available Nationwide.

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