WHAT TO EXPECT - FOR KIDS:
Hi, This is your first time to counseling and you may wonder what counseling is.
Counseling is a place where kids, like you, can come to play with toys in a lot of the ways you might like. Play in counseling can help you feel happy and safe. Sometimes kids come to counseling and talk. When you arrive you may talk as little or as much as you like. This special time is designed especially for you. Kids that come may also choose to paint, color, play with puppets, or even play in a small sand box. There are a lot of things to do when you come to counseling.
Kids come to counseling for lots of reasons. Maybe you know why you are coming to counseling and maybe you are unsure. Sometimes visiting a new place may make you nervous or maybe you like new experiences and are excited about playing with the toys here. All these feelings are very normal. When you come for your first visit you can ask your counselor any questions you might have. This is your special time and the counselor is very happy to answer any of your questions.
I look forward to meeting you soon.
Noah Shields, counselor
Foundations utilizes Play Therapy with children. Play Therapy recognizes the normal communicative and learning processes of children. Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings. In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language. Filial Therapy is also integrated to help parents connect with their children in order to form closer and happier relationships.
About Play therapy
"Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to the therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006, Landreth, 2002, O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983). The curative powers inherent in play are used in many ways. Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings (Gil, 1991). In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language (Landreth, 2002). Through play, therapists may help children learn more adaptive behaviors when there are emotional or social skills deficits (Pedro-Carroll & Reddy, 2005). The positive relationship that develops between therapist and child during play therapy sessions provides a corrective emotional experience necessary for healing (Moustakas, 1997)."
"Play therapy has shown to be effective within a wide range of areas. Play therapy may be utilized to work with children with mental health conditions and concerns such, anger management, grief and loss, divorce and family dissolution, and crisis and trauma. It also has shown to be beneficial in modification of behavioral concerns, e.g. anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism or pervasive developmental, academic and social developmental, physical and learning disabilities, and conduct disorders (Bratton, Ray & Rhine, 2005)."
PLAY THERAPY HELPS CHILDREN:
Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies
Develop new and creative solutions to problems
Develop respect and acceptance of self and others
Learn to experience and express emotion.
Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others
Learn new social skills and relational skills with family
Develop self-efficacy and better assuredness about their abilities."
*Information retrieved from a4pt.org website brochure on play therapy.