Poppy Transparent


When her mum sent her away, 5-year-old Poppy lost sleep and got angry with classmates. By speaking with a Place2Be counsellor and looking after toys in the Place2Be room, Poppy was able to come to terms with the neglect she experienced and manage her difficult feelings.

Poppy spent nights crying over her mum, who sent her away to live with her uncle when her father left because she was struggling to cope. While Poppy enjoyed school and was a very caring friend, she lost sleep and was often sluggish and tired in class. She became very attached to others and would react in angry outbursts when she felt excluded.

Counselling gave Poppy the chance to do and say what she wanted. Although she was nervous at first and spoke very quickly, she soon developed a warm and trusting relationship with her counsellor. She loved playing in the room and was particularly interested in the baby dolls. Within minutes of ‘meeting’ them, she decided they were extremely unwell and had to be rushed to hospital. Routine checks were completed and the babies had to stay overnight for observation, but their carers were nowhere to be seen.

Poppy quickly became a kind of mum for the babies. She looked after them and struggled to say goodbye to them at the end of sessions. She would cry, refuse to leave the room and demand the babies come with her. This role-play was Poppy’s way of responding to her own neglect in the safety of the Place2Be room.

After time, Poppy settled into a routine at home and school. She was calmer and began to respect her friends’ boundaries more. She showed her counsellor that the babies were becoming healthier and happier and explained how sad they were to be ending counselling for the year.

Poppy suggested she read the babies a bedtime story in the last session. In this story Poppy and her counsellor spoke about how the babies had developed and explored how Poppy felt about the counselling. Before saying goodnight Poppy named the babies for the first time and gave each one a kiss on the cheek. Like the babies, she was now comfortable enough at home to sleep in her own bed every night.


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St Christopher's Primary School

St Christopher's became a Place2Be school because they had large numbers of children with difficult home lives

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