Teachers are well placed to notice when a child they know is in need of extra support in school for educational, social, emotional reasons. Many children will at some point experience a difficult time in some way, and this can often be helped within the school staff team using existing resources and experienced staff. However, if more time and support and specialist knowledge is needed than the teacher is able to offer in the classroom, then referring them to a Play Therapist can help.
Teachers Care a Great Deal for the Students Who They Teach
1 in 7 children are experiencing mental health difficulties (ref), and it may be that you recognise children in your school who would benefit from 1:1 or Group Play Therapy sessions to help them understand and manage their thoughts and feelings.
Play therapists can work with children both individual and in groups. Parent and child can also be worked with together, in Filial Coaching.
Individual Play Therapy consists of weekly sessions held in/at a consistent place and time. During the sessions the art and play materials provide the child with a medium for self-expression. By playing, making and doing the child can understand themselves and their circumstances better. The clearly kept boundaries of the session facilitate the freedom for expression and creative process. Integral to the work is the relationship between the therapist and the child, which underpins the therapeutic work.
Unlike talking therapies, play creates a three-way process between the child, the therapist and the piece of play, music or art. The play offers the opportunity for symbolic expression and communication through metaphor, which can make all the difference to a child who finds it hard to put their thoughts and feelings into words, or may be worried about doing so.
Group Play Therapy benefits from the same consistency and boundaries as working with individual children. Similarly, the play provides metaphorical opportunities to explore and express complicated and deeply felt experiences. Group Play Therapy provides an opportunity to share ideas and experiences as they arise. Groups can be created and structured around particular referral issues such as children who have suffered experiences of: loss, divorce, bullying, find it difficult to form and sustain friendships, have low self-esteem or have been the victim of bullying or have bullied others.
Filial Coaching provides the opportunity for the Therapist to help the family unit to listen to and better understand each other. Over the course of the sessions, and with set tasks to practice at home, the parent-child relationship is supported with the aim to strengthening it, and helping alleviate difficulties that have arisen within it.
To make a referral or to find a Play Therapist near you, click the button below: