An enormous influence in our life is our emotions. No matter our age, beliefs or lifestyle we can’t help but get confused, lost, hurt and overwhelmed along our unfolding journey. Even your “mini human” (i.e. son or daughter) is no exception to this rule. That’s why psychology doesn’t solely focus on adolescents and adults but broadens to support our small youngsters as well. Bearing this in mind, even though counselling and play therapy are one and the same in concept as well as purpose, their applications are slightly different.
Counselling primarily focuses on conversation and spending time talking about what you’re going through and feeling. However, children are unable to express their thoughts in the same capacity as we can because they haven’t developed their Emotional Language yet. Therefore, Play Therapy produces a safe space for them to explore what they’re experiencing, by creating another world where they feel free in acting out what they don’t know their even thinking. In other words, playing is precisely how small children “talk”.
Through this manner of facilitated play a child is then able to gradually understand their emotions and work through them.
Before we book your precious son or daughter’s first play therapy session, a few little things need to initially happen:
- A consent form is signed by you as either the parent or guardian, providing myself with the required permission to interact and counsel your child as discussed and agreed upon between us.
- Thereafter, relevant information is gathered regarding your child’s current behavioural and emotional challenges. This namely involves a Background History Questionnaire being filled out by you as the parents or guardians and if permitted by you, a Teacher Questionnaire for your child’s class teacher to complete.
- Once both questionnaires are answered, we then pick a day and time to sit down together to talk about the answers provided as well as the concerns present. During this meeting, we will both take the time, in conversational turns, answering each other’s questions and ensuring that when we’re finished, we’re both on the same page regarding what the problem we wish to resolve is and how we would like to resolve it (play therapy goals).
**Please remember this is your time to openly talk about your worries with your child (as much as you feel comfortable doing so) and to be supported as their parent but more so as your own person with what is going on.
- Next, we book your son or daughter’s first play therapy session which is super simple! All it involves is dropping them off for a 60, 45 or 30 minute appointment where the only thing they need to do is play their little hearts out.
- Lastly, after the allocated time we decided upon has passed (4, 6 or 8 play therapy sessions later), I’ll contact you to arrange a feedback meeting for us to sit together again and touch base with what’s going on from both a home, school and therapy stand point. Then to conclude, we’ll finish off with discussing how I can guide and continue to assist you in what way would be best to proceed in planning and implementing, your child’s individual requirements from that point onwards.