Box Therapy

Our innovative Box Therapy programme is designed to support young people aged 8 to 25 in overcoming mental health challenges. Our approach combines non-contact boxing with therapeutic support, delivered by our team of therapists. 

Across twelve one-hour sessions, our qualified therapists use a variety of psychological approaches to create a safe and engaging environment in which to explore feelings and behaviours.

The programme

We are passionate about breaking down the barriers that often prevent young people from accessing the mental health support they need. In many of the communities in which we work, mental health issues are stigmatised and rarely discussed. Traditional clinic-based therapy can be difficult to access and intimidating for young people, leading to reluctance in seeking the necessary help and opening up. Our solution is to bring mental health services out of clinics and into the communities where young people live.

Box Therapy takes place in a boxing gym setting, where our therapists use non-contact boxing as a physical outlet to help young people build trust, manage their emotions, and make positive changes in their lives. Our unique approach provides an enjoyable and empowering therapeutic experience for young people.

How boxing helps

Far from an aggressive activity, non-contact boxing can dramatically enhance our ability to tap into our nervous system when delivered effectively. This enables us to regulate our emotions, to feel calmer and grounded, and to engage with life in more rational way.

At Empire Fighting Chance we also find that boxing has a huge impact on the self-esteem and confidence of the young people we support. By incorporating elements of breath work, structured movement and engagement in a meaningful routine, our boxing programmes not only help with management of mental health conditions, they also provide young people with purpose, meaning and passion in a system where this is often lacking.

acceptance and commitment therapy

Our therapists use the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) during sessions.

ACT is a proven approach that helps young people cope with challenges and stress by building ‘psychological flexibility’. By learning to hold thoughts and feelings more lightly and to focus instead on their own values, young people develop resilience and better mental health.

Our therapists use boxing-inspired exercises to assist young people in applying ACT's six principles in their daily lives:

  1. Acceptance 
  2. Cognitive defusion (unhooking from difficult thoughts and feelings)
  3. Being present
  4. Self as context (knowing yourself)
  5. Values 
  6. Committed action (taking action towards leading a rich and meaningful life)


To refer a young person to Box Therapy, email [email protected]

When you make your referral enquiry, our helpful team will send you a referral form, information about our waiting list and other useful information to inform your decision. 


Box Therapy Impact

In 2023, 338 young people participated in our Box Therapy programme. Of those we worked with...

  • 95%

    felt safe at Empire

  • 97%

    felt heard, understood and respected

  • 81%

    improved their mental wellbeing

  • 74%

    improved their self esteem

  • 79%

    feel calmer

    other programmes

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