The initial assessment is free of charge. In the case of a younger child, I prefer to discuss the details of the child's difficulties prior to the assessment, over the phone, (without them being present) to avoid any unnecessary distress. Then the purpose of the initial assessment is to agree we can work together and complete paperwork. This session normally takes between 20 minutes and 1 hour.
The sessions last 1 hour (unless the child becomes distressed or tired). and first few sessions are usually about getting to know my client and developing the therapeutic relationship. Some of this early work might be helping to overcome any immediate issues (such as sleeplessness or panic attacks for example), as this can help so much with improving well-being and better coping before we start to look at any trauma and past experiences to increase understanding of present difficulties.
I would not expect to be told everything in the first session, as it can take a little while for a client of any age to feel safe. I work at the child/young person's pace and some days the experience might energising, but other times it can be exhausting. This is normal. It is also normal to experience setbacks at times, before they begin to feel better.
During the sessions the child/young person and I will work together, exploring the difficulties presented in ways that make them feel most comfortable, This can be talking therapies, using sand tray therapy, creative arts, role play, using puppets or non-directive play. But, there's no set format, as each child/young person is different. .
Because the work can involve paint and sand I recommend wearing old clothes that won't matter if they get mucky.
Support between sessions is automatically included for older children via WhatsApp and for parents of younger children via telephone or email.
I am happy to provide additional support and help with parenting skills (particularly with behavioural issues). This doesn't mean your current parenting practices are in any way wrong, but a different approach can be helpful to some children. It may also be appropriate for parents/carers to be included in the therapy sessions. Sometimes it's in the child's best interests for therapy to be part of a 'team' approach - including parents, school and other involved agencies.
Most sessions will take place during the school day, so normally a letter explaining the therapy process and a form to assess how your child copes with the educational environment will be sent to their normal teacher and or SENCO. I am also more than happy to help with your child's school/college and on any support plans, so that everyone involved can work with pupil in a way that is best suited to them.
TA9 4HJ, Highbridge, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Copyright © 2019 Amanda Budden Counselling, Psychotherapy & Play Therapy - All Rights Reserved.