Helping Children Grow...
"Play is a child’s work and it is not trivial pursuit” - Alfred Adler
There is no greater joy than to see a smile on a child’s face and no deeper heartache than to witness a child in distress. By their very nature, children wear their emotions on their sleeves (even when they are trying to hide them). And often their expressions are sensitive and raw, which can leave us feeling confused, frustrated, helpless, and afraid. It’s as if they are speaking a different language from us! And the truth is… they are! Children are not “little adults.” So often the adult way to do things simply doesn’t work with children. Play and metaphor are basic to a child's expression and a vital component to child-centered therapy.
I know… You’re thinking, “Play Therapy? What is that? How can play be therapy? Is this just about my kiddo having fun?” Actually, play therapy is hard work. And it’s a necessary work for many children. Through play, children safely express the events that have occurred in their life in order to make sense of those life events. It’s also the way children express emotions or learn to cope with their emotions, communicate their concerns and joys, and manage stressors. Through play, children also experience an understanding that they are significant, empowered and known. In many ways, what happens in childhood shapes the entire course of a life. And thus, play therapy is an instrumental tool in reshaping a child’s experience to something more true and healthy.
We see children as people in process. As a result, we seek to walk alongside children of all ages, to guide and direct them, creating a safe and expressive space, helping them and learning from them. We uphold that a child’s work is located in the larger realm of family and other social figures of authority. What we are saying here is that parents can expect to be actively involved in the process of play therapy, including joining in play therapy sessions with their kids as well as participating in parent coaching sessions with their therapist. This is simply the best way to do child-centered therapy.
What does child-centered therapy look like?
Arts and crafts, music, toys, sand-play, imaginative and expressive play, reading, creating, sports and activities, tactile activities, developmental interventions, talk therapy, animal assisted therapy, and whatever else the child and therapist might co-create in their therapeutic space!