What is a parents role when your child is in Counselling?

A parent has a very active role when their child is in counselling and receiving therapeutic play. During the first meeting with parents, the therapist will complete an intake on the nature of the child's problems. Parents will be asked for information about the child's developmental, medical, social and school history, whether or not previous evaluations and interventions were attempted and the nature of the results. Background information about parents is also important since it provides a larger context from which to understand the child.

As the child continues in counselling, the therapist will have meetings with parents. These are important occasion for the therapist to communicate to the parent about the child's current functioning. The therapist will offer insight and guidance to parents with their child's issue. If needed, the therapist will provide guidance on parenting techniques, new ways to communicate with their child, and will also serve as a resource for information about child development.

Intimate details of child sessions are not routinely discussed with parents. When the child's privacy is maintained, it promotes free expression in session and fosters a strong therapeutic alliance. An agreement on how the parent will respect the child’s confidentiality in therapy will be formed at the beginning of treatment. Therapists will communicate to the parents their understanding of the child's psychological needs or conflicts. More specifically, the therapist will be able to communicate the relational and affective (emotional) markers that are captured in session, the child's ability to self regulate and the child's level of engagement.

For more information on play therapy please go to www.cacpt.com