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Anyone's child had play therapy? Come and talk to me...

(23 Posts)
Kewcumber Wed 02-Apr-14 13:12:45

School have finally conceded (after 4 years of me telling them) that DS does have additional needs and needs some support and have set up some play therapy for him starting after Easter.

I have said that I think OT might be better for him but frankly I'll take anything and its always possible that play therapy might help. His behaviour in school has deteriorated this year quite dramatically and all school "punishments" revolve around exclusion and separation which is escalating the situation.

I'm kinda hoping that the play therapist (if they are any good) will suggest ways to help him reduce his anxiety levels from which (I suspect) all his other behaviour flows and that this specifically doesn't involve "time out" type punishments so I can have a meeting with school to look at how they manage him going forward (including keeping a might tighter rein on being teased by other kids so they can witness the spectacular explosion... )

Kewcumber Wed 02-Apr-14 13:14:22

And if anyone ever suggests to me again that people adopt from overseas because they get cute little babies with no problems then I am going to punch them (irrelevant but heartfelt this week)

roadwalker Wed 02-Apr-14 19:45:51

Do you know what type of play therapy?
I have done theraplay activities with DD and she has had non-directive play therapy with a therapist.

Mama1980 Wed 02-Apr-14 20:19:17

My eldest (now 16) has both play and art therapy from the ages of about 7-9 during the court/sgo process both with and without me present. She had suffered severe abuse and it was used to both help her process what had happened and explore strategies to move forward. It was more about understanding how she was thinking and why she was feeling/thinking that so that then I could better understand her and help her if that makes sense? Rather than ways to deal with existent behaviour, it was aimed at understanding the behaviour first and foremost.
Do you know what type of play therapy?
My dd found it sort of useful though she lost patience with it quite quickly. I'm personally not sure how much it helped but it didn't harm.

Kewcumber Wed 02-Apr-14 21:08:56

Let me check the bumf I've been given

Kewcumber Wed 02-Apr-14 21:13:13

In 4 pages it doesn't actually talk about anything more specific than "play therapy"

It says that outcomes might be general like reducing anxiety or more specific like a change in behaviour.

ghostinthecanvas Wed 02-Apr-14 21:23:13

BAAF run Theraplay courses. I found it very useful. There must be details on their website.
There are occupational therapists out there that specialise in children who have problems because they were neglected in their first years - no rolling, crawling, even not being bottle fed properly. However the only company I am aware of is in perthshire and private. Might be worth googling/asking around your area. I apologise if this is not relevant but I remember the OT saying that they went into schools to observe the kids and changing the environment can be effective if children are overwhelmed. Things like divider walls to block out the activities and noise. Not as isolating as it sounds apparently. My toot had a 'wardrobe' at one point. From Narnia. Anyone in the class could use it if they needed quiet time. It was made from blankets.
Good luck, I enjoyed Theraplay as do my kids.

drspouse Wed 02-Apr-14 21:28:10

I think Theraplay is different to play therapy. No more help than tha I'm afraid.

ghostinthecanvas Wed 02-Apr-14 21:36:32

I guess Theraplay is more interacting with the child, eye contact and attachment. Kew, you looking for therapeutic, let it all out play? drspouse is right. I was looking at it from coordination, attachment, looking at anger/fear triggers.

Kewcumber Wed 02-Apr-14 21:42:27

I'm not looking for anything! The school have arranged for him to have "play therapy" starts after Easter but although they have given me four pages of info it doesn;t seem to me to say very much except that its therapy that involves playing!!!

I strongly suspect that its aimed at parents who are suspicious of any interventions and who find it hard to accept their child might be struggling with something.

Are there any phrases that might tip me off about what sort of play terapy it might be? I would ask out inclusion manager who organised it but not sure I'll get hold of her before Easter hols now as she works part time.

I'm not worried about it - I think DS will probably enjoy it and my second hand experience of it is that at worst it doesn;t seem to do any harm. Just frustrating not knowing much.

ghostinthecanvas Wed 02-Apr-14 21:54:25

blush in my defence I am watching telly too. Obviously multi tasking is not my strong point.
So. Read the op properly.
Can you call and make an appt for when school goes back? They may not start sessions straight away. It would be useful to the therapist if you knew what was happening. Much less frustrating too. It may be possible for you to see notes on the sessions? There may be a meeting after the final therapy to talk over whats been happening.

crazeekitty Wed 02-Apr-14 22:45:10

Interesting thread, Kew. Dd is on waiting list for play therapy rather than theraplay.

A friend speaks highly of the play therapist we are waiting to be referred to but I can't work out what tangible difference it's made. Seems a bit wafty to me. I'm sure it must be based on research and fact. I'm hoping it will help dd come to terms with some massive, deep seated and unresolved issues.

At worse she will spend an hour here and there having some quiet one to one time with a nice lady who has lots of colouring pencils.

Looking forward to getting a clearer view from someone better informed than me.

tiredandsadmum Wed 02-Apr-14 23:07:15

my ds sees a counsellor at school and that is play therapy. It is meant to be ds goes in, whilst doing what he likes best (junk modelling) he talks to therapist about what is bothering/worrying him. That then gets it out of his system, so he can cope with what is going on in his life.

In fact in reality, DS gets out of a part lesson in school, goes to therapist, makes LARGE things, which causes massive tension at home (as he wont throw any of them away and accuses me of not liking his art work). It does nothing to ease tension at home as all sessions are confidential unless DS chooses to disclose.

I really like his counsellor BUT it is dealing with a child in isolation and not dealing with the child in the family setting.

So I know my child has issues, the whole family does, so I am trying to arrange family counselling, which would mean DS being removed from school service. So I am bad parent again sad

Mama1980 Thu 03-Apr-14 08:03:39

I think the type will depend on the aim of the sessions. Whether it's self expression, behavioural strategies, attachment issues etc. they might not discuss this or document it until
They speak to you. I was asked to see the therapist alone first for these explanations.

drspouse Thu 03-Apr-14 09:13:51

There's an academic article here (pdf).

It might have a bit more on the different types?

roadwalker Thu 03-Apr-14 10:21:23

I am pretty sure you would know if it was theraplay as it is trademarked
Theraplay is adult led with small games/interventions which are grouped and used according to your needs
I have the list of games and have adapted some. I cannot remember all the groups but there is nurture, structure
They are often simple, bubble blowing, rubbing cream on, hitting newspaper, rocking child in a blanket

Play therapy in usually non-directive (my DD had this) with a play therapist or (filial) parent. There is a room full of toys which are grouped in themes. Nurture, fighting, authority, sand tray, family groups of animals, dolls house
The child plays out and (allegedly) resolves some feelings or raises feelings through play
This can be taken further by a skilled therapist. Chrysalis and CAATCH use play therapy but combine EDMR into it
I think it is dependent on the skill of the therapist and the building of rapport between therapist and child
DD's therapist was a CAMHS therapist. She had a massive case load and, IMO, didn't ever build a therapeutic relationship with DD
It was useful to see where DD was emotionally and developmentally and to see what she was playing out but it didn't develop into anything more useful
Her therapist then did the Dan Hughes training, had a bash at DD (her first victim) and made a complete balls of it
If you want to know more of my experience let me know

Kewcumber Thu 03-Apr-14 11:20:20

Thank you.

The fact sheet I have does mention tht some therapists with do filial therapy if trained. I have no idea how good/experienced this therapist is - he's the standard school one.

I assume that he will arragne a meeting with me then and perhaps I'll come back and ask some more questions after that.

PaulaPTC Sat 12-Apr-14 18:17:21

I am a Play Therapist BAPT registered and use non directive play therapy. Most PTs work in similar ways, but I would meet the parent first, then with the child. I see the child for about 6 sessions and then a review with the parent/carer. Obviously I am biased, but as play is the child's natural means of communication and expression, it can be a very helpful way of understanding "where they are at". I work very closely with parents (and teachers) to see what might help a child in the situations he/she find difficult. 'Time out' can work, but is often very difficult to bear if a child is sensitive to separation.
Have confidence that play therapy will help your child, usually children are able to form very positive relationships with the therapist and that in itself can be really helpful when a child is struggling with life at school.
All the very best

KristinaM Sat 12-Apr-14 18:43:00

Generic play therapy can be Very helpful for normally attached children ( like your s Kew) who have some issues. As long as you have a therapist who is open to learning about adoption.

It's no use for children with serious attachment problems for the very reason Paula mentions

" usually children are able to form very positive relationships with the therapist and that in itself can be really helpful when a child is struggling "

tiredandsadmum Sat 12-Apr-14 19:51:20

Sorry, but I don't want my child forming a very positive relationship with the therapist. I would rather it be them helping my child to form a positive relationship with me and the rest of reality in their life. Play therapy should be about helping a child to deal with the issues in their life. I really liked the idea of play therapy for my child - seems a very sound idea - but am very disappointed in the reality.

aria1234 Tue 06-May-14 23:14:42

My daughter had play therapy sessions twice (we went privately). The therapist assured me she could work wonders with my child, but sadly it was useless to be honest. My child made no improvements whatsoever, and in fact ended up hating going for the sessions each time so we had to stop.

slkk Thu 08-May-14 19:22:52

We have an excellent play therapist at the school I work at. The sessions have been very helpful to children with low self esteem or high anxiety. There has been a noticeable improvement in behaviour at home and school. Courses of play therapy have generally been fairly short: 6 or 12 weeks.
tiredandsadmum - might theraplay be better for your child? I don't know much about it but I think it involves the chld and carer together using play to build attachment and bonding.

katypea100 Mon 20-Jul-15 10:28:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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