By: Kayli Beaty, LMFT Associate
As adults discuss the contents of their heart through conversation from one side of the room to the other, children tend to have greater difficulty expressing their needs in the same way. Play is the native language of children, so why are we attempting to speak to them in a way that is more difficult for them to conceptualize? Incorporating play into the therapy room alleviates the pressure children might feel when sharing their difficulties, as it is something familiar and a way to connect that feels organic to them.
Similar to an adult in therapy, the therapeutic process is collaborative and functions as a team to identify ineffective thought patterns and find new ways of thinking, and that sets the kiddo up for success. Mirroring the rhythm of school, including a plan for the day and interactive activities in the therapy room, is another critical factor in ensuring the child feels comfortable and safe in sharing their struggles.
Unique to child psychotherapy is parental or primary caregiver involvement in the therapeutic process. As described by Lin (2003), it is critical for us as therapists to help facilitate a secure base of attachment and safety for children “within the context of their family” (p. 22). Empowering children and parents alike throughout the process and encouraging kiddos to be independent yet connected plays a large role in finding a solution to the presenting problem.
Whether anxiety, depression, grief and loss or other behavioral concerns, I am prepared to navigate the waters with you and your child to set you both up for success. If there is a kiddo in your life experiencing difficulties, schedule an appointment with me, Kayli Beaty, through our portal at dwatherapy.com, or call our office at 806-780-0003.
Be blessed and be a blessing,
Lin Shi. (2003). Facilitating constructive parent-child play: Family therapy with young children. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 14(3), 19-31. https://doi-org.acu.idm.oclc.org/10.1300.J085v14n03_02