Please take a look at these suggestions for how you can facilitate your child having successful therapeutic play sessions:
- Before the first session, tell your child he/she is going to visit “Norma” to “talk about whatever you want to talk about”. You might say, “I have noticed you have some problems with ____, and Norma is someone who can help.”
- Prepare your child for each session by ensuring they have had enough to eat before hand, are not sleepy, have used the restroom facilities, etc.
- Your child should leave personal toys,games,videos at home as they won’t need them in the playroom.
- We use a number of “messy” media in the playroom(sand,paint,watercolors, etc.), so please dress your child in clothes that would be hardy enough for these play tasks and any stains they may produce.
- If your child has allergies to any items in the playroom or in the counseling facility, it is your responsibility to inform me so I can make appropriate accommodations.
- We don’t want your child having that “grown-ups are talking about me” feeling. We will have parent consults at least every three to four sessions to talk about our concerns. I would ask you consider completing a “Weekly Parent Report” form I will hand to you privately or that you can print from the “Forms” section.
- After each session, please do not ask your child questions such as,“So did you have fun?” or “What did you do?” This would be like asking an adult client, “So what did you talk about?” or “Did you enjoy your session?” Your child may share on his/her own time what the session was like. They also may actually not have particularly enjoyed an emotionally stressful session. Often children say, “we just played” which is true! It would be the same as an adult replying, “We just talked”.
- Children are not asked to clean up the playroom after their play. This would be as if I were asking your child to make his/her emotional world tidy.
- Please remain in the waiting room until your child’s session is completed. There could possibly be a time when the session might end early (e.g., your child becomes ill, your child makes a choice to leave, your child breaks toys, etc.)
I hope this helps and I look forward to working with you and your child. This is an opportunity to help a young person feel more inner calm, healthy control, self-direction, self-monitoring, and release of tension and emotion related to his/her concerns.