Psychotherapy with Children
Creative therapy offers a non-pressured environment to explore feelings safely. Children, particularly the very young, may find it hard to articulate their feelings. They may be confused about what they are feeling or not yet have the right language.
Traditional approaches to therapy with children are often based on the psychoanalytic model of psychotherapy, with structured, verbal interpretation.
Using art and play often feels very natural for children. I am a Child Psychotherapist and have an enhanced DBS check. My therapeutic approach with children is to look for a symbolic communication contained within the child's images or storytelling. By communicating at a metaphoric level traumatic, frightening or shaming experiences can be explored 'at one remove' - for example, by enacting a story with puppets. In this way, I can gain valuable insights into the child's inner world.
For the child who risks being 'labelled' as a problem at school or amongst peers, therapeutic help is an opportunity to break a potential cycle of negative behaviour and replace this with more positive alternatives. A therapeutic intervention during the early years can have a preventative effect - for example, by helping a child to manage anger and reflect on these feelings instead of lashing out. By developing effective and appropriate styles of relating with others, children can be helped to channel their energy and feelings creatively rather than destructively (or self-destructively).
What sort of problems can be addressed by using creative therapy with children?
- Behavioural difficulties - angry, defiant or anti-social children
- The withdrawn or socially isolated child
- Issues of sexual or physical abuse
- The bullied and the bullies
- Children who live in a 'toxic' atmosphere e.g. witnesses to domestic violence
- Attachment difficulties - children who have experienced broken attachments through being taken into care or bereavement
- Post-traumatic stress
If you feel you'd like to talk to me and find out how I can help you, please phone me for a chat on 01276 685275. If you leave a message with a convenient time for me to contact you, I will return your call as soon as possible.