The Adult's Role

Please see below for detailed information on how parents/carers and teachers can best support the child through the Play Therapy process.

Parents/Carers

As their parent or carer you have a key role. The first step is for you to pass on as much information as possible about your child's past and present circumstances. When your child first comes to play therapy, you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire highlighting the strengths and difficulties you feel your child encounters. I may also ask your child to fill one in too, either with you, with me or by themselves.

Parent and child holding hands

Play therapy is a special time for your child, and for the most part the specific content of the sessions will remain confidential. Should the child speak of anything that may put them or someone else in danger, confidentiality will be broken. In such circumstances your child will be informed that this will happen.

Please resist the urge to ask your child what they did, as this will put pressure on them to comment on something they may have difficulty understanding themselves, which may be an important part of their own process. Please don't ask your child to 'be good' with me, or check they have been. Therapy is not about being 'good' or 'bad' and your child must feel free to express 'bad' feelings in an uncensored way.


Teachers

As their teacher, good communication between all of the adults involved in the child's life is essential to achieve the best results. If you are unsure about anything, have concerns or questions, or would like more information, please do not hesitate to ask. When a child first comes to play therapy you will be asked to fill in a referral form and a questionnaire highlighting the strengths and difficulties you feel the child encounters. This helps to gather appropriate information. You will be asked to complete similar forms when the child finishes therapy.

Smiling teacher with child

Although it is intended that the sessions will be enjoyable for the child, it is likely they will face some important issues and emotions during their sessions, even if they are not entirely aware of it. This may be quite unsettling for the child, and it may take a while for the child to adjust back to the classroom setting. You can help by welcoming the child back into the room and by letting them know you are there without asking too many questions. Children need to feel secure in the knowledge that their 'space' is there for them each week and is not contingent on behaviour. It is important that a play therapy session is not interrupted. Only a consistent 'secure' space enables children to feel safe enough to express themselves.