Is Play Therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
In the case of child therapy or play therapy the child is awarded the same confidentiality as an adult client would have. I however do provide feedback to parents with permission from the child.
Who can benefit from play therapy?
Play Therapy can be useful for any child of 4 years and above. It can help your child to become aware of feelings and how these feelings manifest in behaviour. Play therapy can address issues related to:
Self concept & self esteem
Adapting to new situations
Symptomatic behavior (stomach or headaches, etc.)
Fear and anxiety
Aggressive behaviour or rage
ADD & ADHD
Separation and Divorce
How can play therapy help my child?
Play therapy will help your child:
deal with painful emotional issues,
achieve some congruence with regard to thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
feel good about themselves.
accept their limitations and strengths and to feel okay about them.
change behaviours that have negative consequences.
function comfortably and adaptively within his/her environment.
maximize the opportunity to pursue developmental milestones.
Frequently asked questions.
How do I know when my child needs play therapy?
Play therapy could benefit your child’s moods, behaviour, and relationships when:
1. There has been a change in your child’s environment such as:
· separation or divorce
· a change in custody arrangement
· a death or loss
· a new addition to the family
· change in school
· move to a new home, city or country
· financial changes
· witness or experience a traumatic event
2. Your child is showing a lack of functioning such as:
· Eating (Eating more or less, sneaking food, binging or purging)
· Physical (Higher or lower energy level, change in sleeping)
· Academic (Change in grades)
· Social (Avoiding usual friends, change of friends, wanting to be alone)
· Family (Withdrawal from close family members, aggressive towards family)
· Communication (Not talking to close family or friends, isolation)
· Affect (The child’s overall temperament, behaviour, attitude has changed)
3. As a parent you don’t know what else to do:
When you as the parent have tried everything you know to help your child but it hasn’t changed your child’s mood or behaviour, it is time to call a counsellor.
A counsellor can provide you with support and guidance as well as therapy for your child.
4. When counselling has been suggested:
If adults who know your child well (Family members, school parents, teachers, school counsellors, Doctors) have mentioned to you that your child seems different than usual and they are concerned, consider speaking to a counsellor.
What do I tell my child before taking him/her to play therapy?
Before taking a child for play therapy, tell the child that he/she is going to a play therapist that is going to help him/her understand his/her feelings while he/she paints, draws, tells stories, listens to music, plays with a ball or makes something out of clay. Explain that it helps to talk about his/her feelings, because if he/she keeps it all inside and ignore what he/she is feeling, he might begin to feel that he/she wants to explode! Or he/she might become confused or unhappy. He/she does not have to be scared; the play therapist will not make him/her do anything that he/she does not want to do. There will be no tests and he/she will be able to choose what he/she wants to do and what and when he/she wants to say something.
How can parents participate in play therapy?
The parents or caregivers play a very important role in therapy as they are such an important part of the child’s world. They are able to support the child in his process of becoming a stronger person. The therapist works closely with the parents or caregivers and empowers them by means of guidelines to understand and deal with the child. It is important for the parent to understand that the child’s symptoms may get worse before they get better, as therapy can be like opening a can of worms. Your child will need your support during this time. Please do not pressure your child into telling you what happened in the therapy session. The child may tell you if he or she wishes, but if your child does not want to share the experience, please respect your child’s wishes.