Counselling and Integrative Psychotherapy can be beneficial in assisting the child / young person to express and gain a deeper awareness and understanding of their worries and concerns in a safe and confidential environment. This happens through the relationship with the therapist and the use of creative mediums such as art, drawing, painting, puppetry, sand play and music to assist the child in the exploration of their inner and outer worlds in relation to the self and others in order to facilitate psychological healing, growth and transformation.
As a child’s main mode of communication is through behaviour and play, the use of the arts can be a supportive medium to apply with children and young people particularly those who may have been traumatised, suffer with anxiety and depression or struggle to articulate their thoughts and feelings verbally. The arts can assist the child with exploration and identifying with an issue through the creation of an art image or puppet etc whilst also providing a degree of psychological safety and distance. However, the therapist also understands this approach may not be suitable for everyone and older children may feel just as comfortable simply talking through their worries and anxieties.
Sessions are therefore tailored to suit the child’s individual needs. However, in some cases it may be more supportive to offer parent/child work where the therapist works with both the parent and the child in the room.
Counselling and Child psychotherapy can be particularly helpful in treating a range of emotional and behavioural issues (although not conclusive) ; such as:
- Low self-esteem / confidence
- Learning and concentration/attention problems
- Regulatory and communication difficulties
- Developmental delay
- Neuro developmental disorders
- Attachment/relationship difficulties
For assessment the child / young person is initially seen with their parent / family members in order for the therapist to gather as much understanding of the issue or difficulty as they can. Sometimes, the child may also be seen individually, particularly older children and adolescents who may feel more comfortable talking independently from their parent. In some situations, parents may wish to be seen separately as part of the assessment process to explore any worries or concerns they might have.
Individual work with parents can also be undertaken. This can often help parents talk about their everyday struggles more openly and provide an opportunity to reflect on their parenting styles and own experiences of being parented in a confidential setting. It may involve identifying triggers or patterns of behaviour and ways of relating to each other that might be negatively impacting on the bond with their child and developing new and healthier ways of communicating. As a result, parents often find the process of thinking about the child and talking things through enables them to gain a deeper awareness of the child’s perspective, thus enabling them to adopt a more empathic, nurturing and reflective approach towards parenting as opposed to a more reactive one.
If you wish to discuss whether counselling and psychotherapy may be helpful for your child please do not hesitate to contact the clinic.