Play Therapy and Child Counselling

Caring Support for Children and Families

Play therapy is a developmentally appropriate intervention that meets young people where they’re at. In a counselling session, children are able to use toys and non-verbal expression to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Through play therapy, children are supported to:

Play-based approaches are recommended for children ages 4-10. Older children and teens can benefit from counselling sessions that incorporate creativity, art and play alongside talk-based therapies.

A Professional Child Psychologist Doing Sand Therapy With Little Boy
Play Therapy and Child Counselling 1

What We Can Help With

Counselling and play-based therapy can help children with a wide range of difficulties, including:

Play therapy is a strengths-based support for children with autism and ADHD. Children are encouraged to incorporate their passions and interests into counselling sessions, so that they can bring their full selves to the process. Being free to move, explore and express during sessions helps children to learn and integrate new skills more effectively.

FAQs Related to Child Counselling

Knowing what to expect can help us all feel more prepared and reduce anxiety. You may like to show your child photos of their therapist & the practice space prior to their first appointment.

Use simple, age-appropriate language to talk to your child about what counselling is and why they are going. This may sound something like “On Friday we’re going to see Britt, she helps kids with how they’re feeling. You’ll get to play together, this is what the room looks like where we’ll be going…”.

Caregivers are an important part of a child’s world. With this in mind, Bright Space Therapy strongly believes that collaboration with families is a key part of working towards the goals you have for your child.

For children aged 4 -10, it will generally be recommended that parents attend the first appointment individually (without their child). This allows you and your therapist to talk in detail and gather information about current concerns, hopes and background information.

Parent’s ongoing participation in appointments will depend on the unique needs of the child and family. We’ll work with you to determine the right mix of just-child sessions and child-parent sessions.
For older children and teenagers, caregivers will normally be invited to join in at the start of the first session. This provides an opportunity to talk about goals and worries together, and to help your child feel comfortable to continue attending sessions individually.

For adults and children, confidentiality is an important part of building trust and maintaining safety within the therapeutic relationship. This means that the therapist will not disclose exactly what is said or done during a child’s session.

Instead, the focus will be on what your child is working on in therapy (for example, coping skills for anxiety or emotion regulation) and progress towards treatment goals. Your therapist will also share information and ideas that can be used to support your child at home and school. Your feedback about how your child is doing outside of session will be a valuable part of the process.

It can be helpful to have caregivers join in at the beginning or end of session, to talk about progress and what’s being worked on together. For younger children, caregivers may wish to periodically access individual parent sessions, to discuss specific parenting strategies and supports.

Your child’s therapist will share information about safety concerns/risk of harm.

Separation anxiety is a common reason parents seek support for their child, so this question makes sense! To help your child feel safe and begin to increase their confidence, we will:

  • Take things at your child’s pace
  • Spend time interacting with you and your child together, to help them feel comfortable
  • Engage in low pressure activities to start with, to provide opportunity for shared enjoyment and relationship building– no endless questioning!
  • Allow for natural exploration, and honour that all children and adults have different ways of warming up to new people and experiences

If your child has a particular game, toy or object that helps them feel comfortable, they are welcome to bring this along with them.

Get in touch today and let us help you get started.

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