Imagine a situation where your supervisor comes to you and communicates that you are to be ready to leave for Bangladesh in two hours.
What? You have a thousand questions: Why me? Why? What am I going to do there? How long will I stay there? Who will take care of me in this place that is foreign to me?
Doubts such as: I don't know the language; strange people and a completely different culture; the time change? - These are just some of the questions and doubts you may experience in such a situation.
The child feels the same way when he goes to see a Play Therapy therapist or psychologist for the first time. However, the child's feelings are not as clear to the child. Instead of confusion, uncertainty and fear of the unknown, the parent may see anger, resentment or even aggression from the child. This is why the Play Therapy clinic is the first place to go? parent. He or she has the opportunity to get to know the office, the materials, the therapist who will conduct the interview and then the observation or therapy of the child. The therapist, in turn, has the opportunity to get to know the parent, to experience the feelings that arise in the relationship with the parent whose child comes to the practice.
What happens when a child enters Play Therapy for the first time? 99% of children feel excited and start to play, sometimes all at once and sometimes they get straight into the process. What does the Play Therapy therapist do during this time? First of all, he or she BELIEVES in the child's potential to develop, the child's potential to solve problems.
The therapist's attitude is best described by the 3W rule: watch, wait & wonder. Under these conditions, a child's very first visit to Play Therapy creates a sense of uniqueness and importance. The therapist does not need to smile at the child, nod or praise to make the child feel valuable or special. The child feels this through the attitude of the therapist, who at all times actively applies all 8 principles of Virginia Axline's non-directive therapy.
If the practice is in a school or nursery, the children will quickly recognise it and the person of the Play Therapy therapist will be familiar to the children. From my experience in Play Therapy therapy in several kindergartens, I know that for children the Play Therapy room in the kindergarten is a magical place where they want to be invited, where they want to stay and discover themselves. Then a visit to the Play Therapy room becomes a journey to the country we have always wanted to visit. A Play Therapy session is called a "Special Hour". - not without reason ;-)