Play therapy in schools can be a vital part of increasing healthy emotional well-being for pupils. If your pupils are happy in their mental and emotional state, they will increase their chances of successful achievement and academic potential. This in turn means targets are more likely to be met, there will be less disruption in the classroom, and attendance will increase. As a play therapist in a school I can offer complete confidence, and work alongside the teachers, SENCO, parents and other professionals in ensuring we all strive for the best outcome.
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.
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.
Please resist the urge to ask your pupil (once they are back in the classroom) 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 pupil to 'be good' with me, or check they have been. Therapy is not about being 'good' or 'bad' and your pupil must feel free to express 'bad' feelings in an uncensored way.
Intervention may be between 6 weeks or up to a year, or on a previously agreed contract basis
- Sessions last between 40 and 50 minutes
- Starting and finishing on time is vital
- A contract will be drawn up and agreed with each parent / carer
I work within the BACP Ethical Framework and adhere to the policies as outlined by the BACP.
During any therapeutic intervention behaviour may appear to get worse before it gets better - please tell me if you have any concerns. Please also feel free to ask me any questions throughout the process, whilst understanding that I will maintain confidentiality unless have cause for concern.
I am also very happy to discuss working with children in groups. For example I have run successful group work, time limited sessions on subjects such as:
- Social Skills
- Building self esteem
- Working together
- Loss / Attachment
Do contact me for further details. I would be happy to discuss any tailor made plans with you. I am also willing to run training workshops / seminars for your staff – see Training and Workshops