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.
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. I consider using CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Solution Focused and Goal setting person centred approaches. I also utilise a lot of creative elements if the child prefers not to talk. The young person 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 EMDR).
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.