What is counselling for children?

Most of us are familiar with the idea of counselling - talking to a professional with the aim of enhancing your wellbeing - but how does it apply to children, particularly those who might be too young to be able to easily put their feelings into words?

Here is a brief insight into our approach to counselling for children aged 4-14.

 

     Using play

  • Counselling for children involves encouraging them to express themselves, just as with adult "talking therapies". This is often through play, as it helps the child feels at home with sharing their feelings.
  • Using art and play allows children to explore their thoughts and feelings in a way that is most comfortable for them.

 

Materials

  • We offer a range of materials including sand, water, paints and toy figures. Counsellors invite children to engage with these without asking them to provide any explanations unless they choose to do so.
  • Over time in a comfortable and safe space, the child is able to open up, for instance through their art or role play, and as a result can better understand and cope with their feelings. This has a huge impact on both their school and home life - 84% of parents said they felt their child's problems were better after Place2Be counselling.

 

Building a relationship

  • The relationship that a child develops with their counsellor is very different to those they share with other adults in their life. The counsellor is a neutral party and not a part of their family life, allowing them the space to open up and be heard in a safe environment.

 

Working alongside parents

  • Place2Be always obtains parental consent before we support a child through one-to-one counselling. In this way, we're able to make sure the parent or carer is involved from the very start. We take children's safety extremely seriously, and will therefore always share any concerns with the school and parents if we're worried that a child is in danger.

 

One boy in year five summed it up beautifully when he told his counsellor - "You are a teacher of happiness - you teach children how to be happy".

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Grace's story

Grace put a slip through the Place2Be letter box because she was worried about home