This page provides detailed information about my approach to working with your child, questions you may have and what you can expect from our therapy sessions. If a child is able to verbalise their concerns, then I also use talk therapy approaches with them, as appropriate. This is my area of specialisation and I am committed to help your child achieve a lasting change.
Counselling supports good emotionally healthy development of children that underpins their academic achievement and facilitates the building and management of helpful relationships in the home and school environment.
Sometimes, for many children, it is difficult to put into words the difficult feelings or experiences but easier to express them through creative play. I use therapeutic play with the younger children as well as talking therapy according to the child’s needs – this is always child-led.
Therapeutic play is a tried and tested way to help children to express themselves without using verbal explanations through creative materials and toys such as sand, small figures and animals, musical instruments, puppets and books.
Play is vital to every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. It helps make learning concrete for all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult. Counselling and therapeutic play helps children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways.
The outcomes of therapy may be general e.g. a reduction in anxiety and raised self-esteem, or more specific such as a change in behaviour and improved relations with family and friends. Children can develop confidence to explore things that are worrying them or affecting their day to day life. By supporting the emotional health of pupils, counselling helps to make it easier for children to access the curriculum and build healthy relationships within the school environment.
You are very important in supporting your child through the process.
- Please, be consistent and encouraging to your child about attending sessions regularly.
- 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. Remember that some children are unable to verbalise their feelings.
- Please don’t ask your child to ‘be good’ 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.
- Please refrain from insisting that your child tell certain things: it is their time and they must feel free to express themselves at their own pace.
- Play can be messy and it is helpful if your child can wear old clothes, as appropriate, to minimise their anxiety about this.
- During any therapeutic intervention behaviour may appear to get worse before it gets better – please tell Usha if you have any concerns. Please also feel free to ask her any questions throughout the process, at a pre-arranged time.
If you do not find all the answers to your questions here, please contact me and I would be happy to answer them.