Frequently Asked Questions
How many sessions of therapy would a child normally have?
Sessions are normally conducted 1-1, weekly, at the same time on the the same day and last for approximately 40 minutes, depending on the child’s age. It is important sessions are not interrupted as a consistent ‘secure’ space enables children to feel safe enough to express themselves. Following the initial interview and assessment I will be able to give an indication of whether short-term (12 sessions) or long-term (duration depends on severity of difficulties) therapy is recommended.
How do you assess whether a child is suitable for Play Therapy?
I use the Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) pre, post and at the review stage. It takes around 5 minutes for the referrer and parent/ carer to complete. This enables me to make a judgement on how many sessions I may need to provide, allows me to see progress when it comes to reviewing sessions and to notice changes at the end of the therapy. I may also ask the child to complete one, depending on their age.
What can parents/ carers do to help or prepare their child…and themselves?
Parents and carers have the most important role in their child’s life and the therapeutic process is no different. Making the commitment to addressing their child’s difficulties is often such a hard decision as they can often feel judged. Giving a detailed account of the child’s and family history is very helpful. I have a child friendly booklet on Play Therapy for you to read with your child. Naturally parents/ carers will want to know how their child is after sessions but please refrain from asking them what they did, as often they can’t find words to explain. If they want to share then that’s ok. Similarly please don’t ask if they had “fun” or tell them to “be good” as they may feel an array of emotions, none of which are good or bad in therapy and some may hurt also. As a child processes their muddled feelings it may appear that their behaviour gets worse before it gets better. You can voice concerns or ask me questions throughout the process.
What do you do with the information that you gather within Play Therapy?
All information is kept strictly confidential, unless there is a child protection concern or a disclosure made during a session. I will be able to give updates on progress made in sessions, but will not divulge the content of sessions as it is very important to respect the confidentiality of the child.
What will the Therapist do in the case of a Child Protection issue or disclosure?
If the child makes a disclosure during sessions the Play Therapy will stop immediately. I will always follow child protection procedures. Play therapy can only resume once all investigations and proceedings are over.
Is therapy offered to groups of children?
I can offer individual and group sessions. Groups are carefully chosen considering the therapeutic aim, suitability of each child and composition. They last for 6 weeks minimum.
What should my child bring and wear to sessions?
They do not need to bring anything. All toys are carefully chosen for a therapeutic purpose. I ask that children wear old clothes to lessen anxiety around mess, so they are free to express themselves.