Our practice specialises in play techniques as we believe the inner child of every human being has his own story, and through the life of the story we can help them to heal.
Creativity begins in childhood, and it is through the creative process of play that children bring objects to life, recreate their environment, and develop a sense of self. In play, children often communicate their experiences through the use of metaphors.
With the help of a frilly dress, tiara, and magic wand, your 3-year-old is transformed into the queen of a magical universe where her hobby horse is a winged unicorn. When you’re asked to taste the pink clouds, you agree that they’re a lot like bubblegum.
Your son pulls a sheet over his shoulders and runs as fast as he can across the lawn. The air lifts the fabric; your boy’s legs leap into the air. “I’m flying, mommy!” the 4-year-old says. He’s a superhero, out to save the backyard from dragons hiding behind the bushes and find treasure buried in the sandbox.
Imagination is so important and there is a great need to foster these in the magic years.
There’s a lot that very young children aren’t yet able to grasp about the world around them. As a result, they “fill in the blanks” and often make up their own sometimes magical explanations for how things work.
Babies use their senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound) to explore their world. As they develop, they begin to understand the basic function of things (“If I push this button, the pony will pop out of the barn!”).
Now, as preschoolers, they take this knowledge and combine it with a growing imagination to come up with fantastical ideas about why and how things happen.
Pretend play lets kids try out new roles for themselves (like superheroes, princesses, wild animals, or even parents) and allows for creative problem-solving. But it also helps them deal with another hurdle of the preschool years: intense emotions. Baby dolls might be put in “time out” and scolded for actions suspiciously similar to your little one’s latest offense. An imaginary friend (who’s a bigger troublemaker than your child ever could be) might be dreamed up to help your child deal with feelings of guilt and remorse following a moment of lost control, such as hitting a playmate.
By age 6 or so, kids are becoming aware that fears like being swallowed up by a vacuum are irrational – there’s no way your entire body can be sucked up that little tube! – and instead might want to take control and do the vacuuming on their own. This scenario will be repeated again and again as a child’s brain learns to tell the difference between the possible and the impossible.
The critical thinking that inspires kids to dig deeper for information and grasp more complex ideas is their next key skill. And it’s the tool that will turn them into decision-makers and problem-solvers who will make you proud as they mature into their teen years.
Counseling children using play therapy enables the counselor to experience the many metaphorical expressions demonstrated in play themes. Through metaphorical communication, children can reveal their concerns, demonstrate their desires, express their emotions, gain a clearer understanding of their experiences, and create solutions to problems. In many cases, children communicate with the counselor using only the figurative language of metaphors. Yet, children are able to make exceptional changes in their lives and to demonstrate resilience in their coping abilities.