Firstly, when you arrive in the counselling room with your child, you will notice that the environment caters suitably for young people, incorporating vibrant colours and children’s furniture. Our aim is to help children feel comfortable as quickly as possible, in order to maximise their counselling experience.
Secondly, as we know, children may find it difficult to put into words, exactly how they are feeling, or describe exactly what has been happening in their current situation. Asking children directly about what they are feeling is likely to create unnecessary pressure or anxiety for them, which will not be helpful in the counselling process. This is why we employ additional techniques in the counselling process, that don’t rely solely on ‘talking therapy’. The children and young people are likely to engage in a more ‘active’ counselling process, where they will be exposed to techniques such as sand tray playing, drawing, painting, clay modelling, and music. It is the use of these therapy methods that help children to relax into the counselling process, in addition to helping them put their thoughts into words. Children feel much more at ease when describing their feelings and worries during their play activity to the psychologist. Additionally, by expressing their problem through the use of play, your child will feel a great sense of relief from their problem. Play Therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns (Kaugars & Russ, 2001).
The results of play therapy can sometimes be seen very quickly, or alternatively, may take a little longer to recognise. It is important to ‘trust the process’ of your child’s counselling. Your child is likely to benefit greatly from the opportunity that has been given to them, but it is important to remember that every child’s experience is different and your expectations of counselling ‘results’ and timeframes, need to be discussed with your child’s psychologist.
When a child receives individual therapy, confidentiality and privacy is highly respected. Our psychologists are required to honour the young person’s wishes about whether or not they would like their parents to be involved in receiving specific feedback about their counselling session. It is important to remember, that our intention is to keep parents informed as much as possible throughout the counselling process. Your child’s psychologist will always endeavour to provide you with useful information that may help you and your family in improving problematic situations or behaviours.
Our organisation does not offer reports for legal or insurance purposes. This is because we don’t have specialist knowledge, expertise, or training in this area. Therefore, we could not guarantee that a report would provide the desired outcome. Also, our focus is on providing affordable treatment for children and families. An important part of this is building strong relationships of trust and safety. Children may not feel comfortable sharing information with our psychologists if they know the information would be shared with a third party. We prefer to focus our sessions (and resources) on the needs of the individuals who seek our support rather than other stakeholders.