Do you feel your child needs support? Suspect they are having troubles adjusting? Are they not handling some social-emotional challenges, at home or at school, in an age-appropriate manner? Displaying troublesome behavior? Have you noticed a sudden drop in grades, or changes in eating and sleeping patterns? All these could be signs of distress, a silent call for help.
Sometimes problems seem hard to overcome on your own, and professional help may be required. Individual sessions can help children with a diverse range of struggles, challenges, problems or situations: dealing with anxiety and mood problems; adjusting and adapting to new situations (school, country, dealing with loss); low self-esteem; learning specific skills; increasing personal independence, etc. Techniques used stem from cognitive-behavior therapy, solution focused therapy as well as play therapy, and are characterized by a positive and warm atmosphere, created to allow your child to experiment with new thoughts and behavior, and to master new skills.
When your child needs to master a specific skill a behavior training schedule might be set up. Prior to starting treatment goals are set, which are then broken down into smaller steps: milestones. During the training a child will be challenged to reach each milestone and eventually, attain the goal. Sometimes, children can practice the new skill within the individual sessions with a therapist. Other times, we will set up a training scheme for you to work on at home. An initial intake allows us to find out which of the skills require focus (e.g. motor skills, language use and comprehension, eating, sleeping, toilet training, increasing focus and attention, but also smaller tasks such as naming of colors, learning numbers, tying shoelaces, packing schoolbag, putting on your coat, or any other personal-independence skills) and work on them specifically.
Play Therapy is working with children in their language – that of playing. But, it is much more than playing; as a therapy it is guided by the need to solve something, about working through an issue and reaching a goal. It is, in fact, hard work disguised as play. Play with a purpose, one could say. We would recommend such therapy for issues which are emotionally loaded, or when there are signs that children are unable to cope with certain experiences. Play therapy can be used for example: to help children cope with traumatic experiences; to help them process challenging experiences; and to explore new solutions and find acceptance in case of difficult relationships within the family such as sibling rivalry or parent-child interaction problems. Parenting sessions are an integral part of play therapy for two reasons: firstly, they help us translate what the child may be ‘saying’ through their play so we can provide more targeted interventions and secondly, they help you reflect on your parenting and answer questions about how your parenting styles may affect the situation and what you can do to support your child to reach the desired outcome or the therapy.
Any type of child therapy is effectively reinforced when parents also participate in support sessions. In this way, you can help us understand your child better and you can receive feedback on the progress of your child and discover how you can best support a positive evolution of their progress in the home.
Prior to starting individual sessions, an initial assessment is required to find out more about your concerns. This will be an opportunity to discuss the situation, and map a way forward. Should it become apparent, during the assessment, that there is suspicion of a psychiatric disorder or learning disorder, more extensive assessments as provided by in collaboration with our colleagues at the Child Assessment Group can be recommended first. Should this not be the case, individual sessions can be discussed and provided for your child.
Next to individual sessions, children can also participate in our Social Skills 4 Kids group courses. During these 8-week courses children are able to practice a variety of social and emotional skills that will help them approach social situations with more confidence.
Take a moment to contact us about your concerns, and find out if your child may need support.