Counselling can seem like a bit of mysterious process at times- and perhaps sometimes more so when counselling children and young people.
When you enter the Child and Youth Counselling room, you may be intrigued by the paint pots and musical instruments and other colourful items on display.
“Is this a playroom or a counselling room?” a parent may wonder.
“Am I little too young for this?” a teenager thinking about having counselling may think.
But most of all the biggest question parents or carers , children and young people alike often wonder is:
“Will this actually help?”
We hope that this blog will be an engaging way to help shed light on how counselling children and young people works. We also hope that we can help bridge greater understanding of the kinds of difficulties that affect young people’s and children’s emotional and mental well being and explore what we can all do to support them.
Play serves many functions and is an important part of a child’s development.
A simple board game or game of catch can teach children how to wait and take turns and be cooperative.
Role plays can allow them to experiment with how the world works, they can also work through problems in the safety of their imagination.
Playing with others can help deepen and develop children’s relationships and social interaction, be that with friends or parents, whilst playing on their own can allow a child to develop their own autonomy, independence.
When we use play in therapy at Child and Youth Counselling, we find that play is often a way that a child or young person may choose to communicate what is going on for them- for that reason we often allow children the chance to lead the play- they usually know what they need. It is not about doing it right or getting it wrong- play can be used to communicate, release emotion and even to experiment with how they might try something different.
For some, play is very difficult and learning how to play helps them to trust and engage better with others.
Whether it’s a game of noughts and crosses or a magical role play that takes you to on a flying carpet to fight trolls in the Amazon Jungle, play comes in all types and they all have their place.
Through out the course of this blog we will come back to idea of play to look at different themes around play, from different types of play, to how you might support the child through play.