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Emotion Coaching

What is emotion coaching?

  • The steps
  • Emotional self-awareness- the chimp paradox
  • How emotion coaching is used in school

What is emotion coaching?

Emotion coaching is all about:

  • Teaching the child ‘in the moment’ about the world of emotion
  • Supporting the development of strategies to deal with emotional ups and downs
  • Accepting all emotions as normal and valid
  • Using moments of both negative and positive behaviour as opportunities for teaching and reflecting
  • Building trusting and respectful relationships


Many children are unaware of their emotions, they just react with no thought. Emotion coaching aims to support children to become reflective; to notice when they are beginning to feel an emotion and to access the best response for them in that moment. In order to do this we need to train the children (coach them) to recognise how different emotions present physically in the body and through thought, action and behaviour.

Emotion coaching isn’t something that is ‘saved’ for dealing with moments of extreme negative behaviour or crisis. Infact, it is likely to be at it’s least effective at these points. Emotion coaching should be an ongoing process in order to support children to become independently mindful of their emotions and reactions. Emotion coaching can be effective when used before a child goes into crisis as a method of defusing the situation, it can also be effective as a reflective tool to use after the child has calmed down. Emotion coaching won’t work while children are in crisis mode, however, using it regularly should reduce the frequency of meltdowns and increase the child’s capability to manage any crisis moments independently. 

The Steps are

  1. Name it to tame it 
  2. Set the limit
  3.  Problem Solving 

Please read the leaflet for more information 

Emotion Coaching Handout - Dishforth Airfield Primary School