Children’s natural language is play. Importantly play can be the bridge between the unconscious and the conscious.
My skills as a child psychotherapist enable me to respond accordingly and help the child process what they might be struggling with. Unlike adults who often rely on words to communicate, children’s main communication is their behaviour. Understanding what the individual behaviours might be communicating is key to the therapy work.
I use a wide range of creative media such as drawing, story, puppetry, drama and sandtray to help my clients feel safe and make sense of their troubles or difficult feelings. Through this children can find new and more helpful ways of being in the world. Confidentiality for the child is very important and this can be talked about during the initial meeting.
For Young People
Adolescence and early adult-hood is a time of many transitions and whilst this can be an adventurous time, it can also bring about a lot of turbulence.
There can be worries around self-image, peer & family relationships, sexual maturity, exam stress or identity. Sometimes alcohol, drugs, cyber bullying or unsafe relationships feature in young people’s lives. Navigating this can bring up conflicting emotions and feelings of isolation that many adolescents struggle to manage.
For many teenagers just talking is preferred and some find using photographic imagery, film or music useful. Central to my work with young people is a non-shaming and respectful space for them to explore whatever they choose to bring. Therapy can support teenagers in deepening their awareness and understanding of their aspirations. Confidentiality is key to this work and this will be discussed and thought about at the first meeting.
At times, parents can feel overwhelmed or a sense of not knowing what to try next. Sometimes there is a recurring conflict or issue that does not seem to get better with time.
Common worries might be difficulties managing children’s behaviours, parenting techniques, concerns about bonding with growing children, divorce or separation, sibling struggles, family conflict or a need for help when supporting a struggling.
Sometimes parents will find that individual work with me can be enough and I do not even need to meet the child or adolescent. Talking through worries and thinking through strategies around parenting with someone who has professional insight can be a huge relief for many parents.
I am able to offer a reflective and confidential space to explore any issues and concerns in order to plan out practical approaches.
I also have a special interest in supporting mothers and fathers with babies or toddlers. Sometimes the early years can be a bumpy ride and parents may become concerned they are not bonding with their child as they hoped. Or perhaps parents are finding their own transition into parenthood holds some unexpected struggles. Sometimes a life event can disturb the parent child relationship or a second sibling can unsettle the whole family.
When a parent can feel safe, non judged and supported many of these issues can be thought about and worked through.