by Emma Piers
I’ve always loved working with children, which really started many years ago, when I went and helped as a classroom assistant in my children’s primary school. It was a wonderful education watching and learning the varying ways that the children absorbed information. These children were fortunate in attending a school where the wellbeing of the child was primary, and learning secondary. Very different to the ways in which my peers and I were taught!
During the interim years, I’ve become deeply concerned with the rise of endless league tables and learning models based on ‘achievement by comparison.’ I believe these forms of ‘testing’ start at an inappropriately early age, when children should be allowed to enjoy the playfulness and fun of learning, and simply being in the world. During my later work as Special educational needs coordinator and counsellor, I was becoming aware of the increasing volume of children with various emotional issues, showing up in our little department. This was simply a mirror of a broader malaise sweeping through our country. Children are being placed under increasing pressure as they struggle to fit into one size fits all learning systems. Combine these learning approaches with personal issues, like coping with loss through bereavement, or crippling feelings of anxiety and depression, or confusion and despair through watching their parents separating, and you have a simmering cauldron with a loosely fitting lid. In our work, my partner and I are developing ways of facilitating both adults and children become calm, happy and self confident from inside out.
Our current book, the first in a series, is targeted to help children access their own inner reservoir of contentment and happiness, so that they don’t develop an imbalanced need for approval, control or stability as they develop; allowing harmonious flow instead.
Emma Piers is an author, wellbeing coach and narrator. She lives in rural Dorset in the UK with her life/working partner Mark Turner. Emma was born in a rambling old vicarage in Kent, in 1958. Her father was a vicar, and she had two siblings. During her early years, the family moved five times. During these years, Emma developed a deep love and sense of connectedness with the natural world around her. Walking and writing stories about mythical creatures and people became a big preoccupation, alongside a love of English that was instilled in her by two teachers who were both passionate about their subject. As a counter balance, she managed to fail her Maths ‘O’ level three times. Friendships came and went with five different schools in short succession being attended. A working year exploring the USA and France was followed by another year feeling out of place in a technical college studying pitman script, shorthand typing and profit and loss accounts. Many years and several homes later, after her younger child started grammar school, Emma started studying counselling and creative writing. After a number of years in counselling practice, and travels in Australia, Emma’s more recent studies are encompassing both traditional therapeutic and mythological storytelling. This form of storytelling incorporates understandings of the holistic ways in which human and environment interact.
Her latest book is Night Knight: Therapeutic Bedtime Stories.
You can visit her website at www.emmapiers.com.