This action research study seeks to understand and suggest improvements to current preparation for placement processes which can impact on traineesâ€™ social and emotional well-being both before and during school based placements in primary schools. The research focus was motivated by a growing number of trainee teachers failing or withdrawing from placement due to factors not aligned to subject knowledge or pedagogy. Semi-structured interviews with student teachers produced narrative data that was analysed using a grounded theory approach. The sample group was drawn from undergraduate student teachers in year three of their four year degree programme. Analysis of transcript data highlighted three main aspects that were identified by trainees as impacting on emotional preparation - an organisational aspect, a support aspect and an anticipatory and anxious emotional aspect. Findings indicate that trainees consider current placement procedures as both inadequate in developing their emotional intelligence often impacting negatively on their physical and emotional preparations.