The Art of Building Trust with Students and Parents as an Educational Psychologist

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • The importance of building trust with students and parents as an Educational Psychologist.
  • How Educational Psychologists can build a trustworthy relationship with students and parents.
  • Where the latest Educational Psychologists jobs are and how to apply for them.

When it comes to working with children or young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), it is imperative that Educational Psychologists have a trusting relationship with students and parents.

However, it can be difficult to create and maintain a relationship that is based on trust and mutual understanding. Parents especially need to be able to recognise and accept that Educational Psychologists can help them to best support the needs of children with SEND. 

Throughout this blog, we’ll uncover the benefits of creating and maintaining a trusting partnership and strategies to establish trustful relationships with students and parents, ultimately facilitating positive academic, social, and emotional outcomes.

From showing empathy to encouraging collaboration, here are key 5 strategies to build trust with students and parents as an Educational Psychologist to ensure their needs are met.

The importance of building trust with students and parents as an Educational Psychologist

Many Educational Psychologists work for local authorities providing their analysis of children’s needs and how these can be met in particular environments. They offer support and advice to parents on managing aspects of their children’s behaviour and are therefore expected to build trust with not only the children with SEND but also their parents.

A trusting relationship between students, parents and Educational Psychologists can foster effective communication, collaboration and promise positive outcomes.

Principal Educational Psychologist Alun Flynn agreed, saying, “Relationships are very important – with schools, parents, and colleagues. I always try to be polite and listen well.”

How can Educational Psychologists build a trustworthy relationship with students and parents?

5 strategies to build trust with students and parents as an Educational Psychologist:

  • Be honest and reliable.
  • Collaborate and include.
  • Be patient and communicate.
  • Listen to their concerns without judgement.
  • Show empathy and understanding.

Be honest and reliable

This might be obvious, but in order to build trust with students and parents as an Educational Psychologist, it is important to be honest, reliable and transparent, especially when it comes to communication.

Educational Psychologists should clearly communicate their role, goals and any assessments to demonstrate to parents what they can expect throughout the process. Being consistent and reliable in their actions and commitments such as meeting deadlines and following through on appointments, can help parents and Educational Psychologists build trust and credibility. 

Treating students with the same respect and honesty can also help them to develop a strong and reliable relationship with their Educational Psychologist, and make them more likely to communicate, express their emotions and develop their skills. 

Honesty can help all parties involved communicate effectively and collaborate on goals and strategies.

Collaborate and include

In order for Educational Psychologists to successfully do their job and support children with SEND, they must understand that every child is different and has different ways of learning and communicating to achieve their goals.

Educational Psychologists are required to talk to a variety of individuals including parents and teachers in order to assess the child with SEND. Educational Psychologist’s benefit and learn from parents through collaboration, as their involvement can ensure the best outcome for the child with SEND.

Involving parents in the decision-making process and regularly sharing students' successes and achievements with their parents strengthens the bond between home and school, as well as Educational Psychologists and parents. As active collaborators, they can also maintain a relationship with their child’s Educational Psychologist based on trust.

Be patient and communicate

Patience is key to maintaining a healthy and balanced relationship with parents and forging a connection with students. Children and young people with SEND can experience difficulty communicating and often will use methods including the use of body language, facial expression, signing and eye-pointing. 

This makes it important for Educational Psychologists to be patient in order to develop a good level of communication and improve the focus of the child with SEND. The same can be applied to the relationship between parents and Educational Psychologists, as parents can often expect results or updates about their child. 

Being patient can in turn encourage parents to be patient and improve communication as well as the overall outcomes of the educational psychology services.

Listen to their concerns without judgement

Demonstrate genuine interest in the concerns and perspectives of both students and parents by actively listening to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without judgement. Educational Psychologists can learn a lot about the needs of a child with SEND by listening to parents and actively taking on board their suggestions or advice.

Educational Psychologists need to respect the expertise and insights of both students and parents and should encourage open dialogue to address concerns and find solutions together. 

By giving parents a chance to explore their current feelings but also think realistically about the future, Educational Psychologists can ensure that both parents and the child with SEND are valued.

Parents may find it helpful to talk about their child’s behaviours and preferred methods of communication, to allow Educational Psychologists to have the greatest chance of connecting, understanding and successfully communicating with the child. 

The best way to learn more about how to support a child with SEND, is to listen to them so they can express their interests and preferences. Educational Psychologists can use this information to inform further learning opportunities that students with SEND will be more likely to engage with and enjoy.

Show empathy and understanding

Raising a child with SEND can be challenging, especially the mental and emotional stress and physical exhaustion that parents can experience. As an Educational Psychologist, you have to be able to deal with difficult emotions from students and parents, and being empathetic can make a difference.

Show empathy and understand the challenges faced by students and parents and validare their emotions and experiences to create a non-judgemental environment. Being empathetic can change the dynamic and will help you as an Educational Psychologist to find the best methods, while maintaining high standards.

As social interactions can be challenging for children with SEND, it is important for Educational Psychologists to show understanding and acknowledging the child's feelings in a positive and honest way. 

Educational Psychologist jobs

If you’re searching for your next Educational Psychologist job, why not take a look at the latest vacancies, or simply upload your CV to be notified when a relevant position becomes available.

Struggling to recruit Educational Psychologists?

As specialist local authority SEND recruiters, we support local authorities nationwide with their temporary, interim and permanent staffing needs. 

If you’re struggling to recruit, we have exclusive access to some of the most experienced interim Educational Psychologists in the UK.

Simply contact Natalie Boaler on 01772 954200 to discover how we can help.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Established in 2017, we’re a vibrant and progressive recruitment agency based in the heart of the North West. 

We continually reimagine the recruitment process to challenge convention and defy expectations; from creating a better recruitment experience to remodelling employee engagement, we thrive off doing things differently and turning heads along the way. 

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