Preparing your child for therapy?

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'Look at the world through my eyes ....please'.

I often wonder how a child feels when he first comes to counselling. Does he feel frightened or scared or angry? He might think that he has to come to counselling because he's the problem in the family. No one else has to go.

Does he think he's done something wrong and he's being punished? Or is it that he needs help in working out how to be behave properly? It's just that his Mum and his Dad and his teacher and his Granddad and his Grandma and his Mums' friends and his Dads' friends have offered suggestions......and his behaviour hasn't improved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He might be brave and 'just grin and bear it'. Or he might think he may as well go as he's a failure at everything anyway. Nothing lost!

'Through the therapists' eyes'

I hope he is aware that the therapist is there to provide a safe and trusting environment for him. A place where he feels he can express and explore feelings and thoughts that might or might not worry him. He has the choice.

I hope he knows that he can choose what he wants to do. He can paint; or play in the sand; or drive the toy trucks; or dress up as a hero. The therapist wont be asking him lots of questions. She won't tell him what to do. She knows that he will communicate with her in his own unique way.

She will be with him; listening with her eyes and her ears; supporting him when he's feeling sad or upset. You see she knows that he won't be able to tell her what he's feeling and why his behaviour is what it is. He's not old enough yet.

That's why she offers him 'the toys', not any old toys, but special toys. She knows how expert he will be in using these tools to tell a story; or play out a worry; or communicate with her. Just as adults use words to communicate their ideas, feelings and thoughts, so he will use his natural play skill to do the same.