Training & Feedback

SYSTEM RESET
90 Minutes

50 – 250 People – Suitable For All

Training around handling stress proactively & self care. A small set of individual psychological interventions and tools to apply everyday and why they work.


SYSTEM HEALTH 
1 Day

50 – 400 People – Suitable For All
Well suited to corporate/business settings

A powerful and engaging day long certificated training session backed up by a plethora of psychological academia. Learn how to manage and enhance the psychological  health of yourself and others. This session arms people and organisations with;
1. A bank of psychological interventions to use with themselves, colleagues and students/clients.
2. Some basic psychological coaching techniques and tools

3. 1 hour senior team consultancy input.
4. Includes the use of:

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QUARANTINE
3 days  – [Certified]

30 people max – Suitable for Experienced Police Professionals

20 participants are divided into pairs and train together. Training participants how to “quarantine” trauma, anxiety, depression, stress & isolation using a mix of psychological tools & coaching independently. This package teaches the academic knowledge and theory behind why it works, how to apply the skills learnt in high stress occupations, teach others & measure positive impact on mental health. It is assessed personally via video/Skype & includes a handbook to use for extremely efficient implementation when time is short/in the field.

(Developed with a specialist MET police Team)

SEPPT – SELF EVOLVING POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY TEAM TRAINING
4 days – [Certified]

25 people max  – Suitable For Experienced Professionals


A “mini” degree in psychology, positive psychology & coaching for those wishing to drive and sustain long term psychological organisational improvement. Enables embedding of interventions & tools strategically, over time with access to 50 measurements to prove positive impact on mental health.


INDIVIDUAL POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY COACHING SESSIONS  
60/90 minutes 

Suitable For All – Especially Teachers, Police & Military.


Individual sessions of psychological coaching that can purely be a one off or a pattern of up to 12 sessions depending on need.

Have you just had enough? Feeling anxious and don’t know why? Struggling with a personal or family problem? Maybe you are close to leaving your profession? Maybe you feel out of control? Maybe a toxic colleague, boss or system is distressing you? Can’t sleep?

These sessions are of an exceptionally high standard [International Coaching Federation] are affordable, strictly confidential and really work. We can come to you at work, at home or other location in person or online through Skype. Having an external and neutral professional can really help and many report our coaching sessions to be “life changing”.

Previous clients include Headteachers/Principals, Heads of department, Police Sergeants, PC’s, returning army soldiers, prison staff, learning support assistants and youth workers. Life is too short to spend it worrying, being anxious or struggling. Do get in touch for an informal chat and see if this could work for you.


Psychological Improvement Consultancy
1 year 

– One to one support up to a year   
– 10 leadership coaching sessions
– Measures and data gathering design, implementation and academic write up.
– Targeted reinforcement for up to 4 individual staff within the Institution.
– Targeted reinforcement for one department (up to 5 staff).


FEEDBACK

Please find below some more detailed feedback from our work:

EDUCATION

1. SEPPT (Self Evolving Positive Psychology Team) Training. Passmores Academy – Case Study [UK] SEPTEMBER 2018

POLICE

2. “QUARANTINE” Case Study with Essex Police [UK] SEPTEMBER 2018

 


1. SEPPT (Self Evolving Positive Psychology Team) Training. Passmores Academy – Case Study [UK] SEPTEMBER 2018

 

 

 


Al,

I was afraid of what these sessions would bring up (past traumas, weaknesses etc) they definitely brought these up and more. I don’t trust people to take care of me and protect me, so I often thought about dropping out of the course – but I’m not a quitter, so i stayed. I’m so glad I did. thank you for providing me with the environment to trust and feel with those around me. Even though its taken me to the end to get to a place where I can voice my thoughts, i know it will continue as i move forward as a team with my colleagues, through this magnificent journey. having participated in ‘mental health’ training before and spent a lot of time with professionals involving my own mental health, I was sceptical about SEPPT. Now I am completely inspired to put this into practise to not only sort out my own head, but to help others around me.


Dear Al, thoughts for me are as follows;

  • Being part of such an innovative project with huge potential
  • Realising that positive psychology has the potential to enable teachers and young people to grow and deal with issues in a positive way to solve real world problems
  • Giving me the confidence to think about and in only a short period of time, deal with some of my own issues (personal and professional)
  • Thanks. It was and you are inspirational.

Dear Al,

I came to the SEPPT training with high hopes it wouldn’t be another watered down, unscientific formula. And was very pleased to find a course full of honesty and openness, all corroborated with evidence and delivered with appreciation of the darker side of life (that can be as enriching as the positive side) The skills I’ve learnt will be long term and far reaching in my personal and professional life.


To Al,

Thank you! More questions, more learning needed. But what an amazing group you have led. I know i need to think about myself more, I need to look at things but I’m not quite ready yet. I have faith it will happen. I started totally scared, nervous, not feeling good enough. But the core of the group has left me in a much better place. I feel I have woken up! How do we coach, help and support one another, how do we take this to students? How do we save a generation from mental health crisis. I feel my journey was 5 steps forward, 3 steps back.


Dear Al,

I was excited for the course; being so invested in Passmores, the idea of something helping the children and the future was a no-brainer. I worried that it would be so heavy I’d lose myself, but Ive felt safe the whole time.


Dear Al,

I was skeptical of the training as I’d been fed some of the worse training over my career. However, the whole process was a real eye opener and from the first hour i was hooked. This will actually change my life, so I can only see benefits for the students of Passmores.

The SEPPT went beyond expectations in terms of the way in which staff were gently guided and steered into being vulnerable and showing aspects of themselves that were both enabling them to thrive, or in most cases (and the most valuably) causing them trauma and concern. Our staff developed closer bonds and a deeper understanding of themselves and each other – which can only benefit the whole organisation.


Al,

I thought this would just be another training course and you were silly to say that this was a journey. I have been on a massive emotional journey and I’m more self aware with things that I have been struggling with for years.

I can’t wait to implement this in our school and community. I cant even put into words this experience, thank you.


I came in feeling very negative, very defensive. After I came in and listened to Al and how he was delivering the session it made me feel more comfortable in coaching. Very positive frame of mind. Understanding what coaching psychology is all about.


I came in feeling very anxious and apprehensive. I didn’t like Al telling everyone that he would keep them safe, it made me very angry. After attending the sessions I really had to figure out why I felt this way. Once I did the coaching I realised it was because I felt vulnerable and actually I shouldn’t.


Dear Al,

I came into this believing in you and your passion without a real understanding of positive psychology. I had trust in you because of your experience as a teacher and therefore not wanting to preach.

I now believe in positive psychology and see the potential of how this can be “Inner Armour” that will enable us all to grow. We are going to shatter glass ceilings and I am very excited to see the impact of what can be changed. You have captured our hearts and minds, lets ride this rollercoaster. EBI – 6 Days!


I didn’t have any anxieties before the course – but was intrigued and looking forward to learning some new stuff. I’ve greatly appreciated having your expertise and the time to talk through ideas – I certainly feel that it is starting to crystallize in my mind. I am looking forward to delving deeper into positive psychology and seeing how we can use it to make a real difference in Passmores.

I guess I was surprised at the range of different aspects that the course encompassed – it was a key strength but it was also quite emotionally and mentally draining so I suspect that ideas will start to flow after I have had sufficient time to reflect and research further.


Dear Al,

Thank you for a wonderful 4 days. Looking inside myself and thinking about what my make up is has been challenging but rewarding. I was sceptical about what ‘wishy washy’ impact this would actually have, but it is as far removed from that thought as you can imagine.

I look forward to working with you continuously to bring this to fruition throughout our community.


Dear Al,

I was really looking forward to the course without quite knowing what to expect. I suspected that my inner most feelings would be challenged and they were – in a positive way At no point did i ‘hate’ you (sorry) but you did make me think (a lot) in a good way. Thanks for having me as a guest – it has been a  privilege. Looking forward to seeing our partnership develop.


Al,
great course, a fascinating introduction to positive psychology and how to better protect staff so they are better equipped to look after others. Really interested in the interventions and the subjects of coping with stress, trauma, looking at character strengths, random acts of kindness etc.


2. “QUARANTINE” Case Study with Essex Police [UK] SEPTEMBER 2018

 

 


Thank you so much for your work with us over the 2 day course, it was pretty intense but worth it! I think we all saw how passionate you were to make a difference in the Police service – It really is appreciated.

 I saw from the assessment at the end of day 2, quite how effective the method is. When speaking to [X] around her issue, I initially thought it was something that I would struggle to assist with – However, having followed the training, I found myself thinking in a completely different way as I had further information and responses from her – I was amazed that the conversation led to me almost seeing the stress ‘drain’ out of her, over a really sad story. There is most certainly a place for this to be used amongst my colleagues, my friends and family, and the public we serve.

The mental health of officers and staff across the Police service has never been so important, with a reduction is staffing, it is crucial that we are thriving and have the tools to manage our stress and emotion. As you describe, it is important that we operate as the ‘Best me”, so when those traumatic or stressful situations arise, the impact takes us down to a level that is still above that of a depressed/stressed state. If we are all on board with this and talk to each other and understand our emotions better, this tool will equip us to make sure we are maximising the effect of the conversations we have with one another.

I am a TRiM practitioner so understand the importance of the reactive function after trauma – But, quite rightly, it makes sense for us to be putting ourselves in the best possible mental place before any job related trauma takes place and minimises the likelihood of any other stresses in our personal or working lives aggravating any particular work related trauma. Quarantine can be used at any time, not just after trauma, and there is no need for a referral, just the awareness of colleagues around us. Quarantine also allows us to probe for an issue, or identify the root of an issue, as opposed what is initially presented.

Great work Al, thanks again for you time!

POLICE SERGEANT | JAMES BULL 75688 | ESSEX POLICE


Thank you again for a fantastic 2 Days. Excited about taking this forward and really being able to make a difference.

 In 2 days I have been able to reflect on matters in my personal life but also professionally. Professionally it has given me a tool to increase morale, improve relationships amongst teams but also help individuals.

 If officers are open to this and willing to “give it a go” I think this could have massive value to the force. Reduce stress and increase morale

PC MARTIN WILSHER | CONSTABLE 72390 | ESSEX POLICE


Hi Al,

Thanks for the course. I have been telling as many people about the benefits of Inner armour as I can. I joined you guys for 2 of my rest days (don’t worry I got them back over the weekend) having one day of before returning to work. I have not felt as refreshed as I did in a long time.

The two days provided me with time to reflect on what I needed to let go of to free my mind up, so thank you.

I’m looking to try some “carpet bombing” of officers by giving the late turn a set of cakes for briefing simply for arriving at work and gratitude notes to my officers for the help the provide me. I’m hoping this will start an interest in what’s “wrong” with me providing a platform for Inner armour to be discussed. Additionally I get the benefit as well seeing them happier.

SERGEANT LLEWELLYN HOLMES | APS 75583 | ESSEX POLICE


Positive Psychology and Positive Education: The Passmores Experience
Peter Tait

 

 

 

Article by previous New Zealand headmaster and author for The Guardian, The TES & The Telegraph detailing the training by Inner Armour on: Friday 14th September, Saturday 15th September, Friday 21st September & Saturday 22nd September
Passmores Academy, Traceys Road, Harlow, CM18 6JH [UK]
KEYWORDS: Well-being, Positive psychology, education, teacher  training.

 

What would persuade eighteen members of staff to undertake four days of vigorous training in the first fortnight of a new school year?  That was what I asked myself when I joined the group from Passmores Academy for the final two days of their training as a SEPPT (Self-Evolving Positive Psychology Team) in late September. Clearly, they were all looking for some means to make them more effective in their role as teachers by improving their own resilience and that of their students. The question was whether they would find the answers they wanted in Positive Psychology.

It was not difficult to understand their motivation. There is currently a crisis in our schools with the retention of staff which highlights the difficult conditions that teachers operate under, especially in areas of social and economic deprivation. Even though Passmores has an excellent record of staff retention, teachers are increasingly compromised by the emotional and physical demands being placed upon them.  Add to this, the failure to cater for marginalised students– at Passmores, white working class boys – the course seemed a risk worth taking. The training to be delivered by Inner Armour Psychology promised to equip them with the requisite knowledge and coaching skills to make them more resilient and self-aware and to be able to impart the same knowledge to students. The question was ‘would it deliver?’ The answer after four days was a resounding yes – and moreover, a belief that it would change the lives of the teachers and children at the School.

Positive Psychology is an umbrella term for work ‘that investigates happiness, wellbeing, human strengths, and flourishing.’ (Gable and Haidt, 2005). What distinguishes it from well-being or mindfulness is the rigour and science that underpins it and the demands it places on those who practise it. Its application in schools through Positive Education aims at building greater resilience, an ability to cope with pastoral concerns and to address issues of mental health.  An immediate and far reaching benefit, however, is in helping staff to be better able to do their job, through the knowledge and tools provided, the coaching sessions and the use of positive psychological interventions (PPIs). All who participated in the SEPPT agreed that by taking a more proactive approach to mental illness, the school was better equipped to anticipate psychological distress and mental illness in their students and therefore help them through any issues or trauma.

The importance of Positive Psychology has increased with the renewed focus on the well-being and happiness. Anthony Seldon led the response to growing mental health issues with his pioneering work on happiness and well-being at Wellington College and most schools now have similar strands in their pastoral care programme. What is different with Positive Psychology is that it offers something more robust, more grounded in science, designed to prevent the incidence of mental illness through its training, coaching and interventions.

For the two days I attended, the content was demanding, focusing on such diverse yet complementary topics as self-regulation, stressors, values in action, the importance of belonging and ritual, coping strategies, dealing with stress, values and ethics and resilience. It was the coaching sessions that set the programme apart, however, and the use of interventions. This was positive psychology at its most raw which challenged a number of staff and elicited the most significant results.

From the outset, I was struck by the openness and engagement of the staff, (the fact that all had done their follow up work from the previous week was impressive enough), particularly as several admitted that before commencing the course, they were cynical about anything to do with psychology, citing the bevy of ‘mental health’ professional development courses they had attended that had promised much, but delivered little other than “fluff’.  The course didn’t disappoint and the impact was summed up by one convert who admitted ‘I was sceptical about SEPPT. Now I am completely inspired to put this into practice.’

My first hours were spent observing a coaching session in which a teacher shared his response to the bereavement of a close family member: to build a wall around him which he now saw was worthless. But through the coaching he realised he could now rebuild the wall with proper values and safety valves. He was not alone. Others shared issues to do with the juggling of work and home and the myriad pressures teachers face in the workplace through the demands of the job, a lack of funding and the effects of the waning influence of family and community.

Over the next twelve months the Academy will continue working with Inner Armour. Natalie Christie, Co-Principal confirmed that “The School is committed to the principles of positive psychology” and sees the journey they have begun as ‘life transforming’ and that the investment being made in staff would cascade down to the children. As one of the first state schools in the UK to embrace positive psychology in education, they take their role seriously in wanting to include Positive Psychology in every teacher’s training course and for every teacher in schools.  

Much of what we now understand by positive psychology stems from the work of Professor Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania who designed a whole-school programme with Geelong Grammar School in Australia. This involved applying positive psychology to education which led to the creation of the Positive Education programme, with its dual purpose of ‘feeling good and doing good’.

Since adopting positive education as the bedrock of their pastoral programme ten years ago, Geelong Grammar School has appied positive education across all aspects of school life: academic, pastoral and co-curricular as well as explicit instruction in years 7 and 10. The Headmaster during the time of the programme’s implementation, Stephen Meek, is an unashamed advocate for positive education and says, ‘I have no doubt at all that at the basic level, the school has raised the profile of wellbeing for all its students. They now have a greater understanding of the significance of wellbeing – and how it can determine so much about the quality of their lives.

One other significant moment during the training was a tweet from Professor Lea Waters, (Founding Director of Positive Psychology Centre at the University of Melbourne) suggesting ‘It would be wonderful to have a presentation on Positive Education in United Kingdom state schools’ The staff at Passmores is fired with a missionary zeal and is intending to take up the challenge with two staff members set to attend the 6th World Conference on Positive Psychology in Melbourne next July to present papers on improving staff and student mental health and becoming psychologically empowered as teachers. They mean business.

What I do know from spending time in the SEPPT and with the staff at Passmores is that the course profoundly touched all of those who attended. Yes, there are challenges, foremost of those being to win over all staff members and then to impart the lessons to the children to grow their resilience.  But what I heard over the two days made me realise how much we carry about in our heads that stops us doing what we need to do and being who we want to be. Even if the benefits went no further than better equipping teachers to cope, it had huge merit, but it offers so much more. Yes, it is only the beginning of a journey as summed up by one teacher at the end of the penultimate day : ‘I know what I need to do, but not sure how to do it’. That is what the school is now working on, to realise the skills and knowledge they have acquired in building up a programme of intervention and school-wide training.  

Some observations at the end of the course were profound: One commented “They made me realise things I didn’t realise”; another talked about how they left the SEPPT feeling uplifted and empowered with the tools to counter the epidemic of mental health issues.

My over riding impression was of the sense of purpose and the trust and openness the participants showed each other. Like several of the group, Vic Goddard described himself at the outset as a cynic about ‘the happy-clappy bandwagon of courses on happiness and well-being’, but soon saw that instead of  just ‘fixing broken things’, there was an opportunity for the School to make a significant change in the way it treats mental health through early interventions.

The programme at the School is in good hands. Led by Nat Christie and Steph Hill, Associate Assistant Principal, various initiatives have already been identified including assessing character strengths, trialling the use of coaching and random acts of kindness. Watch this space.

I came to Harlow needing to be convinced. I was. And when one teacher commented to the whole group “From the bottom of my heart, this will change my life and if it changes my life, it will change the lives of kids” – who would not be excited and want to try it?