It very much depends on the child, as some children come to sessions telling me about the problem they would like to change, where we can look at strategies and learn ways to process the feelings. It massively helps just being able to talk through the problem with a professional that can provide insight and manageable ways to cope or understand the issue differently. Every child is different, so I work with what they bring to sessions and the best method to help them developmentally. Often with children, I will direct some creative ways to work with the issue, for example, ‘paint their feeling’, ‘use playdough to squash the feeling’, ‘to use their imagination to think positively’ etc.
Other children do not know the issue or do not verbalise the problem, where play therapy is used to work through the issue by means of creative material. This is non- directive, but the issue always comes out through the play and creative material.
A parent consultation is required for children under 12 before work begins. At the consultation we can discuss background information and see how therapy can help your child. The process is explained and normally insights occur, into the underlying difficulties that may be causing the problem.
I also sometimes only work with parents, sometimes parents want to learn strategies or to talk through issues within the home.
Play Therapy is a method used for younger children, however, massively effective even if adults want to be creative in therapy too!
Play therapy is a one- to- one work with a child, where the child has access to a range of creative materials, for example, arts and craft, clay, sand and paint. For children, play is not just an activity, but a method of communication, through which they can express themselves, their thoughts and opinions about the world. Play allows children to tell their stories and experiences. Children often struggle to communicate their feelings, where it is far easier to work through the feelings through creative means, where the child feels heard and understood in the therapeutic process.
Play is a child’s natural way of recovering from daily emotional upheavals and the therapy can reshape experiences through metaphor. As a therapist I am trained to help children work through emotional difficulties, where although the work follows the child’s process, I can help when issues arise to allow the child to gain new perspectives, or work through blocks.
Play is essential for children to develop physically, emotionally and socially. It fosters imagination and creativity and encourages confidence and concentration. It helps children to make friends, learn about their world and learn from mistakes safely. Therapy allows children to work through feelings and face them in a safe way through play and learn not to be afraid of feelings and therefore in facing the problems, they can learn coping strategies.
I often write stories for children that help them to understand their problem, but using a character with the same difficulty, where the child can learn coping strategies through the story. Most often people are able to give advice to someone else, but struggle when it is their problem, by seeing it as someone else’s difficulty more solutions are found by the child.
I help children from minor, to severe difficulties; from building confidence, self- esteem, relationship issues, separation anxiety, anger issues, misbehaviour, school exclusion, sleep issues & so much more!
How long does my child come for?
This is yourself and your child's decision. We review the work regularly as we go along to make sure your child is getting the most out of sessions. Parents are often surprised how beneficial just a few sessions are in making big differences.
Do I (the parent) stay in the room?
Therapy sessions are one- to -one with your child. This is so important as the dynamic would change to parent agendas, rather than allowing the child to work through what is necessary to affect change. There is a waiting area close by onsite.