Working with Young Children:
I utilise many different approaches working with children depending on the age and stage of the child.
Play Therapy is one of the main ways I use with primary age Children. It is a method of helping children with behaviour and emotional problems to help themselves. Play is the child's natural way of expressing themselves and is essential for emotional and social development. Play therapy is an opportunity for the child to 'play out' their thoughts, feelings and problems. Through specialist techniques the child will gain insight into their personal problems. I utilise the non-directive approach, which is person-centred and allows the child to choose the method they feel is most appropriate to them personally.
Play therapy has many 'toolkit' elements to it. This includes Art, Sand, Puppets, Music and Lego.
I love creative art techniques within the play room. Allowing the child to 'make mess' and draw out their feelings can be so powerful.
Sand is another amazing approach. Utilising minature figures within a sandtray your child will be able to explore their world and go to a deep unconscious level in helping them to find out their solutions.
I am Lego Therapy trained so if your child loves Lego we could purely focus each session on lego. The Lego Therapy has a specific set to work from each week and is amazing to help children work out their problems.
Play therapy has emerged as a mainstream mental health profession alongside counselling and psychotherapy with its own professional organisation Play Therapy UK - The United Kingdom Society for Play and Creative Arts Therapies. You can get more detailed information from PTUK's site. www.playtherapy.org.uk
Working with Adolescents:
I utilise many different approaches working with young people depending on the age and stage of the child.
With secondary age children, I utilise different approaches depending on the child. As well as the techniques described above I also consider using CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Solution Focused and Goal setting person centred approaches. Your child brings to session what they wish to explore and I can help them to unpick and find their own solutions.
If they have been through significant life events they may need some EMDR therapy (see section on trauma).
Working with Parents:
Sometimes when working with the child it becomes evident that the parent needs some support too. I create a bespoke package of support where I offer parents some sessions too. This could be to discuss particular parenting techniques, offer advice and guidance around how to support the child, be a space to offload about the difficulties at home, or often dips into my working with adult section (see other section). Quite often children and young people pick up on our behaviours so if we are anxious, they will display the same emotion, if we are feeling positive, calm and focused they do too.
This could also include working with two parents who have different approaches to parenting to help them find a middle ground.
Sometimes there is an issue with the attachment bond between parent and child: maybe child was born premature or has been in and out of hospital or away from parents care for periods of time. These sessions would involve both parent and child working together to work through issues and work towards achievable goals. It could be either through talking or creative approaches.
Sometimes its a whole family session required with grandparents, aunties, uncles you name it! I literally work with what is needed to make changes in the best way for the child.
One to One Support
I am often asked how many sessions someone might need. The truth is it is impossible to say. It depends on how easy things are to shift and what hthe focus of the work is. On the whole for working with children to improve self esteem and confidence would involve less sessions than for a child who has experienced significant trauma.
I offer a block of 6 sessions, for 40 minutes each as initial package. This allows us to build a relationship and get to know each other and gives us time to have a full assessment of current situation and work out your specific goal focus. Then it depends on the evidence based treatment package required as to the next steps but we will discuss and ensure that you are happy every step of the way.