Because children experience the world and express themselves differently than adults, counselling with younger populations takes a different form than traditional forms of talk therapy used with adults. Children often communicate in ways that are not purely verbal, such as play, art, and story. Counsellors are trained to understand the important emotions and themes that children convey through various mediums. In this way, therapy is able to meet children at their own level and help them use their imagination as a vehicle for processing difficult experiences and healing.
Therapists focus on building relationships with their young clients that are characterized by trust and safety so that they feel comfortable expressing themselves. The relationship with the therapist can also be a way to learn and practice setting boundaries and expressing their needs and wants in healthy ways.
Landreth, G. (2012). Play therapy: the art of the relationship [3rd ed.]. New York: Routledge.
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