Children’s Counselling is a process through which a child and counsellor work together in a therapeutic relationship with the purpose of helping the child to manage the social-emotional struggles that are impacting their life. Within a safe and supportive environment, the child can learn emotional regulation skills, as well as new and healthy problem-solving and coping abilities.
The use of play as an intervention tool has proven to be very effective as play is children’s language. Children often do not yet have the skills in oral communication or the attention span required for traditional talk therapy. Play is a medium through which a child can act out and process their internal conflicts, try out new roles and behaviours to transfer into the real world, and develop a sense of mastery to overcome barriers.
Whenever possible, it is very important to work with a child’s caregiver(s) as well as the child. The child’s caregiver is their base from which they navigate the world and therefore caregiver involvement can help the child to feel safe and supported in attending sessions. It can also be helpful for the transfer of learning from session to home, and to ensure that caregivers are feeling supported in their very important role in their child’s life. Caregiver involvement may look differently for each child, and may involve parent-child sessions and/or individual sessions for both parent and child.
Here are some of the reasons why a child may benefit from Children’s Counselling:
- Struggling to manage feelings such as anxiety, depression, anger, etc.
- School stress
- Learning disabilities
- Experiences of bullying
- Difficulties with socialization
- Self-esteem issues
- Divorce or separation in the family
- Experiences of foster care or adoption
- Self-harm or suicidal ideation
- Experiences of loss and grief
- Behavioural issues
- Traumatic experiences
- Attachment disruptions
- Developmental concerns