Play serves as an important developmental process that helps children make sense of their inner world. With the support of Julie, children can express and organize their thoughts and feelings, gain confidence in themselves, problem solve, regulate big emotions, improve distress tolerance, and master skills.
Play therapy sessions are 60 minutes in length at $175/hr. Parents or caregivers are an essential part of the child's life and therefore must be part of the initial session. During play therapy you can expect your child to get messy with art materials, express themselves vocally, and be emotional. Julie will connect with you during your initial visit, before and after each therapy session. Play therapy helps children overcome fears, process trauma, gain self-confidence, regulate emotions, repair the parent-child attachment, reduce sibling rivalry and heal from within.
What is "Sand Therapy"?
For children it may look like this:Sand tray therapy uses sand, and a variety of miniature toys to create stories that represent a child's inner world. This helps the child work through challenges and resolve conflict, gain emotional awareness and begin healing. For adults it may look like this:Through creative expression, a person in therapy is able to manifest in sand the things they would otherwise not be able to vocalize or address in traditional therapy. The therapist treats the person as whole and healed, knowing that the process of sand tray therapy allows the person to find the answers that are already within them. The scene created acts as a reflection of the person’s own life and allows them the opportunity to resolve conflicts, remove obstacles, and gain acceptance of self.
What should I do when I arrive at the clinic with my child? It is important to wait quietly in the waiting room for your play therapist to retrieve your child. Please have your child wash their hands and use the washroom before their session. Communicate any important updates with your play therapist prior to the session that may influence therapy, this can be through email 24 hours prior to their session, or a quick conversation in the waiting room before your child goes into the play therapy space.
How to explain play therapy to your child? “Julie has a great playroom with lots of activities, play materials and art supplies. Her job is to play with kids and help them work through feelings.”
What should I say to my child before their session? Parents should give their child reassurance when they come to therapy, such as “I’ll be waiting here until you're done, I’ll come pick you up at the end of your session, or I’m here if you need me.” Please refrain from saying “have fun!” because play therapy may bring up big emotions and may not be fun.
What to expect at the end of my child’s play therapy session? 1# Your child may have worked through some big emotions and feel sad or be a little off at the end of their session. It is important to respect their feelings and give them space if they need it. Please refrain from asking them if they had fun or how the session went. Instead, reassure them that you are here if they want to talk about it anytime or if they need a hug.
2# We can get a little messy in our session with paint, sand, glue etc., please have your child wash their hands before leaving.
What happens if you see your play therapist in the community? If you see your child’s therapist in the community, it is ok not to interact. For confidentiality reasons, your play therapist will pretend she doesn't know you or your child. This prevents your child from feeling uncomfortable, having to explain who they are or how you know them to family, and friends. Also, your child may not recognize their play therapist in a different context. If you decide to say hello, she will say hello back but please do not consider no interaction as rudeness.