Here at Lessness Heath, we offer therapeutic play sessions, facilitated by the schools Wellbeing Leader. This is a whole family process where children will be offered up to 24 sessions, that include regular parent meetings
What is Therapeutic Play?
Play therapy helps children understand muddled feelings and upsetting events that they haven’t had the chance to sort our properly. Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, as adult therapy usually expects, children use play and art to communicate at their own level and their own pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened.
Play is vital to every child’s., social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development, it helps make learning concrete for all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult.
Play Therapy helps children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways.
The outcome of play therapy may be general, e.g. a reduction in anxiety and raised self esteem, or more specific, such as a change in behavior and improved relations with family and friends.
How we can help?
Any person in a child’s live can help by responding to the child’s emotional needs with Empathy Active Listening, there are various responses we can give to children whilst they are experiencing emotional issues.
- Be consistent and encourage the child to ask for some time to talk.
- Resist the urge to ask the child what is wrong with them as this will put pressure on them to comment on something they may have difficulty understanding or disclosing, try language like: I can see you’re upset/worried, I wonder what might be going on for you right now. It looks like you have lots on your mind. I imagine you have lots going on right now, I wonder what you might need. I’ve notice you have not seemed happy lately, are you ok? Use open ended question with no, yes or no answers, this will help you engage with the child’s situation more freely.