In Play Therapy sessions there is often a debate on play themes. Questions come up of “was that actually a play theme or were they just playing?”
And this question is an important one!
Being a child and teen therapist is definitely a juggling act. Managing the needs of the child and at the same time attending to the unique strengths and struggles of the caregiving system.
AND keeping all those balls in the air can be complex and stressful!
I wanted to share my top 10 tips, downloads, and resources for troubleshooting some of the biggest difficulties that may come up with parents and caregivers in child and adolescent therapy!
Troubleshooting parenting skills and difficulties are among the top questions and struggles that come up with Play Therapists and therapists that work with kids. Often it’s easier to know what to do in session than how to support parents and parenting outside of session.
If you struggle with this too - you're in the right place. Grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and dive into 16 of my best resources, downloads, handouts, and skills for working with parents and caregiver systems!
When we are working with kids we are working with family systems.
And when we are working with family systems - we are working with emotional regulation and dysregulation. Nearly all the reasons that kids present in the playroom, including anxiety, trauma, anger, and depression are all at their core difficulties with regulation.
You wave goodbye to your client, tidy up your office from all the creativity, mess, and magic that just happened, and you go to write your progress note.
But were you REALLY doing anything? Was what just happened play therapy… or were you just playing?
When it comes to child and adolescent therapy, who should be in charge of the changing? Doing the heavy lifting and the work? The child or the parent?
Well… my answer to this question is usually BOTH!
The Power of Parent Engagement: 8 Reasons Why Parent Involvement is Essential in Play Therapy
How often do you invite parents into the playroom?
Every so often? When parents request it? When the treatment plan is due?
The Sleep Battle: Why Sleep is Different For Teens And 4 Things They Can Do To Sleep Better
Tired. Exhausted. Can’t get out of bed in the morning.
Parents say that teens are impossible to wake up in the morning.
Teens say, well….they just aren’t that tired.
It is SO easy to get stuck in sessions with teens. Especially when maayyybe being in therapy isn’t exactly their first choice of how to spend their time.
Sometimes it seems like you are exhausted and out of ideas of what to do next, which can leave your sessions a bit…flat. And all this isn’t helped when questions and prompts of what to talk about or focus on are often met with silence, shrugs, or “I don’t knows”.
So….I wanted to share with you three games that I use in my work with teens in Play Therapy!
How high is your self esteem on a scale of 1-10?
This is a question that often comes up in my intake sessions with teens. Assessing self esteem and confidence as part of their overall functioning and presentation is essential during the first several sessions. High levels of self esteem and confidence usually coincide with lower levels of depression and anxiety in teens.
I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC,