Being Aware of What We Are Feeling, When We Are Feeling it, is Important
High emotional arousal without self-awareness can overwhelm a child, leading them to either block out the feeling and so miss out on learning what it could mean – or developing unhealthy responses and becoming stuck in unhelpful patterns. Self-awareness is paying continual attention to one’s internal states in the present moment, and is sometimes called “mindfulness” (Goleman 1995, Latieri 2008, Brantly 2007, Goleman 2003).
Self-awareness is the precursor to empathy, which creates the capacity to care. (Zinker 1977, Sunderland 2006).
Social and emotional learning is the ability to integrate thinking, feeling and behaving to achieve crucial life tasks. Such self-reflective capacities and empathic ability are the foundations of emotional intelligence. Children with these skills can ‘put themselves in someone else’s shoes’ and can imagine different points of view to their own. Children with these skills can understand themselves and those around them better.
During their Play Therapy sessions our goal is for children to develop an understanding of their own feelings and where they come from, to practice healthy and appropriate actions to take in response to them.
The therapeutic space and therapeutic relationship in Play Therapy aims to create the environment for self-discovery and growth for children who attend.