Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome, introductions, tip for engaging, slides, and handout pack

    • Welcome, introduction, discussion and overview as to what to expect and what will be covered, and some tips for optimising learning- 9 minutes

    • An introduction into who the module is for and tailored to- 5 mins

    • An introduction to the workbook (the format and where to buy it), the toy, and other available resources- 8 mins

    • Slides in pdf format

    • Handout and resource pack- a small selection of key worksheets from the workbook; as well as some bonus new worksheets

  • 2

    A spotlight to understand further self-esteem- its importance and benefits; how low self-esteem can show itself, what can reinforce and perpetuate low self-esteem, common thinking traps; and ways of being

    • Why is self-esteem important? Reflection. 3 mins

    • What are some of the common signals, "symptoms", or things we might see in those experiencing low self-esteem? part 1- reflective question- 1 minute

    • What are some of the common signals, "symptoms", or things we might see in those experiencing low self-esteem? part 2- 15 minutes

    • Why might children struggle with self-esteem? - 14 mins

    • Explaining self-esteem from an intro CBT perspective- 12 mins

    • Reflecting on our own relationship to, history of, and experience of praise, and self-esteem- 9 mins

    • Reflection exercise- why might it be harder to hear praise?- 1 min

    • Some tools, ideas, and tools for supporting children who find it harder to hear or identify praise?

    • Reflective exercise about ways of beings and tips- 2 mins

    • Ways of being- model the model and language- 13 mins

    • Ways of being- agency, mastery, praise, and much more- 11 mins

    • An introduction to the 7 E model which can offer a way to enrich, expand, and embed conversations about strengths- deepen the conversation- 14 mins

    • Some things to be mindful of and to consider- 20 mins

  • 3

    Gilly the story itself being read by Dr Karen Treisman

    • Gilly the story itself

  • 4

    Creative and expressive games, activities, ideas, and tools

    • Gilly the giraffe arts and crafts and fun activities including making your own Gilly and quizzes etc- 6 mins

    • Name acronym exercises and activities- 5 mins

    • Sentence completion strengths theme- 7 mins

    • Positive mirrors and portraits- 5 mins

    • All about me and getting to know the unique child- 5 mins

    • All about me exercises and activities- collage, graffiti, genogram, and muslin doll- 20 mins

    • All about me exercises and activities- rainbow, sand, puppet, and paper chain- 7 mins

    • Self-esteem and sensory hand exercise- 5 mins

    • More creative and expressive ideas for supporting, expressing, and naming strengths- patchwork, snow flake, tower- 11 mins

    • More strengths based exercises- badges, pillows, jewellery, and more- 12 mins

    • Strengths based activities- chocolate box, jar, magnet and much more- 12 mins

    • Drawing on hope and positivity worksheet- 6 mins

    • life cheerleader, inspirers, supporters- our team of life exercises- 13 mins

  • 5

    Some ideas and tips for when people say mean and hurtful things and for negative self-talk

    • Thinking about some tips and tools to support responding to mean and hurtful words- part 1- 21 mins

    • Different ways of reducing and releasing some of the mean words and negative thoughts- balloons, bottles, ripping and more- 5 mins

    • Imagery re-scripting- 5 mins

    • Overcoming challenges and obstacles- 6 mins

  • 6

    Hope, wishes, and dreams; endings and goodbyes

    • Wishes, hopes, and dreams-6 mins

    • Endings and goodbyes for the children and for you on completing this module- 12 mins


  • What is the focus and what is covered?

    The focus of this introductory module is on strengths, confidence, self-worth, self-belief, self-esteem, and resilience; including magnifying, noticing, celebrating, and strengthening children and their surrounding adults’ strengths, skills, positive qualities, and resources. It also spotlights but is not the primary focus around supporting children who have been bullied/teased and/or who have a negative sense of self and poor self-esteem. This includes explaining why children can struggle with their self-esteem, what this can look like, how this can be reinforced, and the impact this can have. The story centres around Gilly finding different ways to notice and celebrate her uniqueness and special qualities. It is about how each of us is precious and deserves to be appreciated and cherished. The module itself covers a huge range of areas including: • Introduction to the module, to Dr Treisman, and to ways to optimise online learning. • Understanding self-esteem and self-worth. Including the why, and some of the common signals and ways of this showing itself. • Understanding the perpetuating cycle of low self-esteem and discussing some of the cognitive • Trouble shootings and suggestions around “our own relationship, experiences, and history with praise and self-esteem”. • Trouble shootings and suggestions around “those children who find it hard to hear or find or label strengths and positives”. • behavioural ideas around this; including some common thinking traps. • Different ways of being with children and some key therapeutic qualities and skills to underpin and optimise the creative activities. • The 7 E model to support enriching conversations around strengths and skills. • Things to be mindful of and careful about when doing or trying the activities. • The story of Gilly the Giraffe itself read out loud and additional ideas and pieces of information explained by Dr Karen Treisman. • An introduction to some fun activities to bring the story alive like arts and crafts activities, crosswords, quizzes etc. • An array of over 60 creative ideas, tools, and activities to do with children or adults to support their expression and identification of strengths, skills, and resources- including puppets, masks, magnets, dolls, drawing, mirrors, portraits, jewellery, treasure boxes and much more. • An array of creative ideas to support children and adults to soak in, connect with, and anchor on to sparkle and feel good moments. • Talking about our life and team cheerleaders, inspirers, and supporters in a creative way. • A spotlight on some things we can do when people say mean things or tease us. As well as some tools that can be done around our own negative self-talk. • A discussing and some activities on reflecting on what skills and strengths we have used to overcome past challenges, obstacles, and experiences. • A spotlight on connecting and expressing wishes, hopes, and dreams. • Endings, goodbyes, and summary. This module also covers many of the tools from Gilly the Giraffe and also from and expanded on in the forthcoming “The Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Strengths, Skills, and Self-Esteem Cards”.

  • What do I get for my money? Who is the trainer?

    • You get over 360 minutes/ 6 hours of video footage presented by award winning Clinical Psychologist and best-selling Author, Dr Karen Treisman. The idea is that attendees’ practice, try out the tools, and reflect on them as they go along, so in terms of time there are hours more which could be done if chosen. This material is available for 6 months after purchase so you can re-visit it numerous times. • You get a 13-page resource pack; including 3 new bonus worksheets which are not in Gilly the Giraffe. • A copy of the slides in pdf form (for the attendee’s use only). Dr Karen Treisman is a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the National Health System and children’s services for several years. Karen has also worked cross-culturally in both Africa and Asia with groups ranging from former child soldiers to survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. She also is the author of 8 books/ workbooks, including the bestselling book, “The therapeutic treasure box”, and of 3 sets of therapeutic card decks. Karen has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, adversity (ACE’s) and attachment, and works clinically using a range of therapeutic approaches with families, systems, and children in or on the edge of care, unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people, and adopted children. Karen also specialises in supporting organisations and systems to move towards becoming, and to sustain adversity, culturally and, trauma-informed, infused, and responsive practice. This work focuses on creating meaningful and multi-layered cultural and paradigm shift across whole systems. This was the focus of Dr Treisman’s Winston Churchill Fellowship Karen was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship Travel Award which involved visited several places in the USA to further study whole system and organisational approaches to trauma-informed and trauma-responsive care and this topic is the focus of Dr Treisman’s next book entitled “A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organizations: A Ready-to-Use Resource For Trauma, Adversity, and Culturally Informed, Infused and Responsive Systems” due to be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. In addition to holding a doctorate in Clinical psychology, Karen has undergone a range of specialist training courses including in EMDR, Narrative Therapy, Narrative Exposure Therapy, Trauma-focused CBT, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Systemic Psychotherapy, Video Interaction Guidance, Sensory Approaches, and Theraplay. Karen has previously worked in both Milton Keynes’s and Kensington and Chelsea’s Looked after Children (LAC) and fostering services, and within the National Implementation Service for evidence-based interventions for Looked after children, children on the edge of care, and children in custody at the Michael Rutter Centre in the Maudsley Hospital; and as Clinical Lead for a court assessment and intensive intervention team for children on the edge of care and in proceedings in Islington. Karen is an external consultant, trainer, speaker, and assessor to a variety of local authorities and organisations including Barnardos, PAC-UK, AdoptionPlus, BAAT, Pause, Action Trauma, Grandparents Plus, Three Steps Ireland, MedicaCPD, and the Fostering Network. Karen is also an expert witness and regularly undergoes a variety of assessments for court. Additionally, Karen is also a reviewer for the Journal of Adoption and Fostering. Karen was also awarded the 2018 Psychology Professional of the Year Award for Excellence in Attachment and Trauma; and Youth Psychology Professional of the Year 2020. Karen regularly attends and presents at local, national, and international trauma, parenting, and attachment conferences (See the events tab on this website). Karen is also a TEDx speaker on the power of relationships and viewing behaviour as communication. Karen is the author of “Working with children and adolescents who have experienced relational and developmental trauma” (Routledge, 2016); and the best-selling book- “A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working with Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma: Creative techniques and activities”). Karen is also the designer of “A Therapeutic Treasure Deck: Sentence-completion and Feelings Cards”, and “A Therapeutic Treasure Deck: Grounding, Regulating, Coping, and Soothing Cards” and the Parenting Patchwork cards. Karen is also the designer of Neon the Ninja toy and workbook; Gilly the Giraffe (Self-esteem & confidence), Cleo the Croc (Children who have been hurt and learned to be afraid to let people close, Presley the Pug (Emotional regulation, relaxation, calm, mindfulness, and finding an emotional safe place), and Binnie the Baboon (Anxiety, fear, stress, and worry). Karen is also the author of the forthcoming books– “A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organizations: A Ready-to-Use Resource For Trauma, Adversity, and Culturally Informed, Infused and Responsive Systems” and Ollie the Octopus (grief, bereavement, death, and loss for children).

  • Who is this course suitable for?

    This course is suitable for anyone living with, parenting, working with or supporting children. This includes parents, carers, relatives, teachers, social workers, therapists, and so forth. This is an introductory course so offers the basics as well as enriching and offering numerous more advanced ideas and options. The book is geared for 5-10-year olds (mainly due to the story), however many of the tools have been used very successfully with people of all ages, including early years, teens, and adults. Of course, with some adaptation and tailoring. The tools and techniques also can be wonderful for adults and oneself around strengths, self-esteem, and confidence; as well as being able to tailor the tools and skills to organisational and team strengths. Gilly the Giraffe, unlike some of my more specialist resources is suitable for the majority of children as most children benefit from increasing their confidence, self-worth, and self-belief. This said, this is not an alternative or replacement for therapy or other specialist interventions.

  • Can these be used with individuals and groups?

    The activities and ideas in the module and in the book can be used with individuals, with families, or with groups. There are several schools, nurturing groups, fostering agencies, and residentials running Gilly the Giraffe groups around the globe; as well as numerous parents, carers, and practitioners using them individually. The tools are versatile, and the skill set is applicable to a range of contexts.

  • What is the learning method and how accessible is it? Do I need to watch it all in one go? Do I need to do all the activities and work through the order it is presented?

    Nope absolutely not. It is presented in bite size segments ranging from 2 minutes to 25 minutes. This is purposely done to allow for people to dip in and dip out and to watch it in whichever way suits their learning style and the situation in which they are in. It is also intended that people pause, practice the exercises, reflect on them, discuss, and so forth. People may want to revisit and repeat them as well. This is also done in smaller sections to optimise people’s engagement, concentration, and attention; and to encourage people to move around, take brain breaks, practice the regulating activities etc. There is also a video clip near the beginning of the module about different ways of optimising and absorbing the material. Also, there is no need to do all the activities- there is simply a range offered so that there is room for flexibility, choice, and adapting it to the individual. We want you to have options and a treasure box of tools. Also, there is no prescriptive order to work things through as the module acknowledges that everyone is unique and that it also will depend on the relationship with the child, the skillset and the knowledge of the person supporting the child, the context, the timing etc. So, it is advised to go through the modules and pick and choose what might work and to review and reflect on these.

  • Do I get the Gilly the Giraffe book included with the module? Can I bulk order the book for my team?

    You do not get the book included with this module. This is because it is acknowledged that many people purchasing this module will already have the book and so we did not want to charge you twice. Also, some people may not want the book and so we didn’t want to force you to purchase it. And some people will want the hard copy and others will want the eBook. There is also an acknowledgment that people all around the globe can purchase this module and so retailers and pricing for the book will range. As well as knowing that people have different preferences as to whom they like to purchase books from. This is also about trying to keep costs as low and affordable as possible. We do strongly recommend having the book as you are going through this module, but it is not essential. If you do not have it already and want to purchase it, it is available from amazon on prime, from Jessica Kingsley Publishers, and from most other book stockists. It is also available as an e-book from under its name. Our recommendation is to have it beside you when doing the module so if you are going to order it, you might like to order it before purchasing the module or towards the beginning. The book is photocopiable so that resources can be used with multiple children. If you are thinking of bulk ordering the book, Jessica Kingsley Publishers can support you with this option and with a discount, for both e-book access and paperback copies.

  • Do I need the book? Where can I get the toy from?

    As stated above, the book is strongly recommended and will optimise your experience, but it is not essential and of course it is a choice. In the book you get the story of Gilly, coloured worksheets and photo ideas. As well as numerous more worksheets than in the resource pack. We will also refer to the book and different pages quite a few times throughout the module. This said, there are lots of ideas and strategies presented which you can absolutely apply without the book, and some key worksheets have been added to your resource pack which comes with the module. So, you will still be able to get a lot out of it. The Gilly the Giraffe toy is a fab addition to the book. She is by no means essential but a lovely touch. She can be purchased from or from ebay using her name. Due to her being so popular, we are close to the end of the stock, so, please order asap if you would like to purchase her. After the stock ends there will be a few months delay whilst he gets re-ordered. You can be added to a waiting list. Bulk discounts are available through the above website- this is for orders of 5 or more.

  • What if I already have the book, is this module worth it for me?

    The idea of this module is to introduce the story and the ideas and to bring them alive. There are also several worksheets and parts which are in addition to what is in the book. You get a lot more explanation and richness of information in the module than in the book. The feedback from people who have attended the face-to-face training who also have the book is that it is still really beneficial, and they gain a huge amount from hearing more about the ideas; and having them said out loud rather than reading about them. This said, of course there will be a lot of overlap and repetition, so we want people to have realistic expectations, so it is for you to consider.

  • How long can I access the material for? Is this material copyrighted? Is this a train the trainer module? Can I do this as face-to-face training instead?Can we book our own Q and A session for our team/ organisation?

    From when you purchase the module it is accessible for you for 6 months. You can dip in and out and watch it as many times as you like in that 6-month period. This material is legally copyrighted. This is not a train the trainer module. Whilst we hope you spread good practice and your learning with others and encourage this. This material is the property of Dr Karen Treisman. Therefore, this is for the attendees learning and development. Any material shared in any form must be fully cited and referenced to Dr Karen Treisman. We hope you appreciate the time, money, energy, and care that goes into creating these materials and making them as accessible as possible. Absolutely, this ordinarily is a 2-day face to face training. Dr Treisman offers over 40 training packages, however as a result of the pandemic and being committed and passionate to still spreading good practice these online modules have been created. It is also hoped this can make the training accessible to many more who are not able to attend trainings. Face to face training can be booked through safe hands and thinking minds. Presley the pug is usually commissioned by organisations for their staff and is very rarely offered as a public event. Yes, depending on availability, Karen is available to book 1-3 hour interactive QA sessions where teams can discuss the progress or the module and questions about the resources etc. This is charged at £150ph.