Child Play Based Counselling

When I start seeing a child in therapy, the most important aspect is to build a therapeutic relationship. Usually during the building of a relationship, assessment also starts and after 3-4 sessions I will be able to give feedback to parents. When I do play based counselling with children between the age of 3 – 12 years, I use various forms of play methods in order to assist children to express their troubles non-verbally as they often do not have the verbal capabilities to express it in words.

Play based counselling / play therapy helps children to:

  • Express a wide range of feelings
  • Express real life experiences
  • Express fears / thoughts / wishes
  • Assist with reality testing of limits
  • Develop a positive self-image
  • Develop self-understanding
  • Improve low self-esteem
  • Give them the opportunity to develop self-control
  • Work on problem solving and decision making skills

Family Counselling

Family therapy work on relationships as the family as a unit is such an important part of a child’s life. During family counselling, intensely personal and sensitive issues can be addressed (Geldard, Geldard & Foo, 2015). It can also be helpful for attachment relationships. During these sessions alternative play methods can also be used and combined with talk therapy depending on the age of the child.

Parent Guidance

One of my main goals is to build a relationship between parent and child. Feedback, guidance and discussions will take place throughout the therapeutic process. I see interaction with parents as a crucial part of therapy. Although confidentiality between the child and therapist is of utmost importance, I will provide the parent with general descriptions of goals, progress made, and potential areas that may require intervention in the future. Occasional homework can also be given which include aspects that should be worked on between therapy sessions. Becoming a parent is an life-changing event with no written guidance book to follow and can be difficult and challenging. For this reason I will also focus on general feedback sessions to improve your knowledge of your child’s development phase and the influence that it can have on different aspects of his / her life. I also include discipline styles and especially focus on improving the loving and nurturing relationship between you and your child. In order to complete the counselling process, the child needs to learn new ways of thinking and behaving so that they can function adaptively. Parents will be guided and advised to support the learned behavior and test it at home. With the help of the parent we will reinforce the positive behavior.

The following aspects can be addressed during parent guidance:

  • Guidance for divorce – how to assist your child
  • Discipline
  • Family dynamics
  • Understand your child better:
  • Developmental phases
  • Discusses emotional, sexual and social development specific related to different developmental phases.
  • Improve your attachment with your child

Adolescent Therapy

During these sessions alternative creative play counselling methods such as music, poetry, collages, art, clay work etc. are used. It can also be used and combined with talk therapy, depending on the age of the child. Play therapy helps adolescents to express thoughts, feelings and wishes that are otherwise a difficult and “stormy” time to talk about issues and events. Adolescence is a time of experimentation and of trying out new behaviours in response to new situations. It is therefore better to render them a non-threatening, safe environment where they can use creative, alternative ways to express their emotions, feelings and thoughts. Adolescents deals with all kinds of environmental stresses, which does have an impact on them. Geldard, Geldard & Foo (2016) explains that during childhood young people live in an environment which is protected and structured and where parents or other adult carers are in control. During adolescence young people tend to want to have less dependence on the protection of the family, because of the new development stage that they move into. For this reason they experience more challenges and need to learn to respond to challenges in a positive way.

I can help adolescents with the following difficulties:

  • Peer pressure
  • Bullying, including cyber bullying
  • Risk-taking and anti-social behaviour
  • Depression
  • Anxiousness
  • Young adolescents struggling to cope with the transition to high school
  • Low self-esteem
  • Relationship problems with parents
  • The experiencing of any kind of trauma

HeartRoots

Programmes:

  • Teacher training
  • How do handle tantrums
  • How to handle anxiety
  • How to improve self-regulation
  • How to handle anger
  • How to handle sexual inappropriate behaviour
  • Help your child feel safe in an unsafe world
  • Relationship problems with parents
  • Understanding your child’s developmental phases – Emotional, social and sexual development

Workshops:

  • Anger management workshops parents
  • The anger management program for parents is an intensive workshop where parents are teached to understand their child’s anger and equip them to deal with their child’s anger.
  • Week programs: This program is an 5 week program with every session being 2 hours and 30 minutes in the evening or morning.
  • Weekend workshops: This workshop is a 4 week program with every session being 3 hours in the morning.
  • For the full outline of the program click here
  • Social workers – Play therapy techniques – the use of different techniques for assessment and counselling

Group Therapy

The goal of the group sessions is to help children master a variety of social behaviours in order for them to maintain positive interactions with others. The below topics will be covered using different play- and creative methods in order for your child to learn the above social skills in a playful and fun way. This will enable them to understand, enjoy and practice the various skills that they learn.

The following topics are covered during the 8 week group sessions (60 minute sessions):

  • Forming and maintaining healthy friendships
  • Communicating effectively
  • Cooperating with others
  • Maintaining appropriate boundaries
  • Being assertive
  • Conflict resolution
  • Identifying and dealing with emotions and the ability to show empathy