What does an ELSA Session look like? - Elsa Support

What does an ELSA Session look like?

What does an elsa session look like?

We are often asked the question ‘What does an elsa session look like?

Hello and Welcome

The ELSA will welcome the child and helps them to feel at ease, safe and comfortable.

Feelings Check-In

The ELSA  invites the child to express how they are feeling. This is a crucial starting point, allowing the child to identify and articulate their emotions. They might feel excitement, anxiety, or anything in between.

Warm-Up Activity

Next, a gentle warm-up activity sets the tone for the session. This could involve a playful game, storytelling, or a creative exercise designed to engage the child and establish rapport. It helps create a safe and comfortable atmosphere where the child feels encouraged to participate.

Main Activity – Target and Prior Learning

The heart of the session focuses on addressing the child’s specific SMART target, building on from their previous learning. This activity is tailored to the child’s needs. It might be to improve self-confidence, manage, or develop social skills. The ELSA integrates prior learning to reinforce strategies and concepts, ensuring continuity and progress.

Calming or Mindfulness Activity

To promote emotional regulation and relaxation, the ELSA incorporates a calming or mindfulness activity. This could involve deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, or sensory activities aimed at helping the child ground themselves and manage any heightened emotions.

Review of the Session

The end of the session is where the ELSA and child review what has been discussed and practised. Revisiting key insights and strategies covered during the session. Reinforcing understanding and encouraging the child to apply these learnings in their daily life. This reflection also provides an opportunity for feedback and discussion, ensuring that the child feels supported and empowered.


The ELSA may end the session in a positive way by offering a drink of juice and a biscuit.

An ELSA session is a dedicated space where emotional growth flourishes through empathy, skill-building, and positive reinforcement.

This is a pictorial representation of a typical session. It can be downloaded here 

what does an elsa session look like



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