Different Types of Play
Is it Sensory? Behavioral? Emotional? How can you tell it your child's play is normal or therapeutic? Find out here!
Therapy for Children and Teens
Depending on the developmental age and needs of your child, we are trained to utilize play, sand, art and talk therapy whenever needed. We see many children/teens with anxiety, adjustment type struggles as well as many gifted/talented kids. Our therapeutic play room is fantastic! Toys, art, crafts and sand tray make the room a special place for your child to feel safe and to heal.
If you are the parent of a young child, you will be invited to participate as part of the "treatment team". Your insights and reports of progress at home make therapy more deeply grounded and help the therapeutic process to be more efficient. Sand tray, art projects, puppets, dollhouse and rescue vehicles are some examples of play therapy tools that can be used during directive and non-directive play therapy sessions.
Flexibility. Does my Child Need Play Therapy, Art Therapy, Sand Tray or Talk Therapy?
To play or not to play! The latency years is a term used to describe a child between the years of 9 and 12. During this time, a child often feels in limbo between his life as a child and as a pre-teen. A child in this developmental stage of life requires flexibility and understanding during therapy sessions. Therapy becomes a balance of therapeutic activities and traditional talk therapy, depending on the child's immediate needs during each session. As trained children's therapists, we understand the need to treat each child as an individual with individual needs and desires. Our goal is to make your child feel welcomed and comfortable no matter which tool he or she choices to use to progress through the pain/circumstances.
Talk Therapy for the Mature/Older Child or Teen
Teens tend to gravitate more towards talk therapy. However, at times we will utilize art therapy and/or sand tray therapy with a teenager if they desire a more expressive route in therapy. It is not unusual to mix these treatment mediums
while in sessions with teens and pre-teens. Sometimes therapeutic activity books are used to help guide the discussions. These are only used if they are a good fit for the client and if they seem to be facilitating efficient and grounded therapy.
Journal Therapy for Teens
For those teens who do not feel comfortable sharing their feelings aloud or via an art medium, journaling can often do the trick. During a journal session, the therapist and client pass a journal back and forth to one another all the while sharing thoughts and ideas. This method has proven to be effective with populations wherein verbal communication was either not possible (deaf, mutism, selective mutism) or when the emotional value of a communicative relationship was not possible at the time.
Confidentiality: Doing Therapy with Children & Teens
When treating children, we use a collaborative approach with you, the parent. Before each session, we like to be quickly informed on how the week went, and what you feel is significant to be shared. After the quick 2-5 minute (private) update, your child will then be taken to the therapeutic playroom. After the session, you will be given a synopsis of the session either via email or in person. Sometimes older children request sessions of a more private nature. Should this be the case, we will all talk about the pros and cons of collaberating vs privacy and develop a plan that works the best.
Though teens may experience the same type of emotional shift in therapy, we like to give them more privacy. In our experience, a teenager will be more open and honest in therapy when they know they are sharing their
concerns in confidence. This usually makes the therapy more effective and efficient. An update from us to you, the parent may be more vague like, "She's really working hard in therapy. Today's session was particularly hard on
her...you may notice her to be a little sleepy today and even edgy". If more details are needed to be shared, the therapist will talk with the teen about it so everyone knows what is being shared. Should safety issues arise that require
either medical or immediate attention, parents will be informed right away. Teens are made aware of these policies in terms of their confidentiality.
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