Most children move through developmental milestones easily, however, there are times when things are not so seamless and if that is something that has happened in your child’s life, it may be helpful to see a professional Play or Child Therapist. Stepping into therapy can be an anxious time for parents, however having made the decision, you are not alone as the therapist will work with you towards change in the issues the child is presenting with.
Play Therapy/Child Therapy can help with behavioural and emotional issues, school related problems, anxiety, difficulties with sleep, trauma, bullying, loss, children who can’t play or are withdrawn, children who struggle with anger or aggression, low confidence or self-esteem and children who have difficulty in relationships with others.
What is Play/Child Therapy:
Play/Child Therapy is a theoretical model where a trained Play/Child Therapist uses play as a therapeutic tool to help children resolve difficulties and achieve their optimal development. Play/Child Therapy should only be provided by a specially trained mental health professional and must meet stringent criteria set out by their accrediting bodies.
As play is a vital component in every child’s development and when it is used therapeutically it can offer a child a way to express their mixed up feelings in a non verbal, non threatening way. Adults and adolescents use language to express what’s upsetting them, whereas children use play. Play/Child Therapy is not like regular play which is a natural and essential part of a child’s life, as play when used therapeutically helps children make sense of whatever is upsetting them, helps them deal with their emotions more appropriately and helps them learn how to better manage relationships and conflicts, which are building blocks for their future. It can also result in a reduction in anxiety, a raised sense of confidence and self-esteem, a change in behaviour and improved relations with family, teachers and friends.
Some children respond to short term interventions i.e. (12-20 sessions), however, when problems have persisted for a long time or are more complex, a longer-term may be required which will be discussed with you as the work with the therapist progresses.
How to explain a Therapist to a Child:
It is important to explain as fully as possible to your child why you feel they need to see a Therapist and some of the following may go some way to helping you with that:
- What is a Therapist:
A Therapist is someone who helps children who are hurting on the inside, because they are trained to help children who have some kind of problem in their lives. If you feel scared about going to a therapist, it’s ok to say so, then your therapist can help you understand these worries.
- Why am I going to a Therapist?
People go to therapists because they are feeling sad or angry or upset about something. It can be hard to talk about the things that bother you like grown-ups do, so a therapist can try to help you feel better without having to explain things.
- What will the Therapist do?
The therapist meets with the grown-ups in your life, to find out how you are and how best to help you. Then you will play together and have lots of fun at the same time every week for a little while. This will help you get to know each other better and help the therapist understand what is causing you to be sad or angry or upset.
- Will the Therapist tell other people what we’ve been playing?
The therapist talks to you about what might need to be shared with parents and what is between you and the therapist. If she talks to any grown up about you, it won’t be about your play, it will be about how you are or if the therapist is worried about you, because it is really important that parents know if you are not safe.
- How does it help?
The Therapist helps to make sense of difficult feelings while you play, because making sense of feelings can help you feel better. It might take a little while, but by the time we both feel you are ready to say goodbye, you will feel more able to manage your own feelings and it is great fun.
- Do I have to tell anyone I am coming to Therapy?
You can decide if your therapy is something you want to talk about. You can tell whoever you want to, but you don’t have to tell anyone. Also, if you would prefer your parents not to tell anyone either, it’s important to let them know. If you find that difficult, the therapist can help you with that too.
Contact us now in confidence at Arduna @ (01) 833 2733 to discuss making an appointment with one of our therapists.
THERAPISTS WHO SPECIALISE IN THIS AREA:
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