Down the Rabbit Hole - Play Therapy Victoria
Parent Information and Commonly Asked Questions
Learn more about Down the Rabbit Hole - Play Therapy Victoria, what we do, and what you need to do for every session by reading the answers to frequently asked questions.
What should I tell my child about why he/she is coming to play therapy?
You can tell your child that he/she will be coming to a place with a special playroom and he/she will be seeing (Therapist Name) there.
You may like to tell your child that the playroom is a place where he/she can do most of the things he/she wants to do.
If your child asks why he/she is going to go there, you could say something like, when things are hard at school, home, with friends, with things changing at home, etc., it can help to have a special place to play (you can adapt this depending on your child’s situation and circumstances).
With older children I will spend a bit more time at the beginning of the first session with the caregivers present, talking about why he/she is coming for Play Therapy sessions. I am very sensitive with children in relation to talking about this and want to create a positive experience for the child.
How long and how frequent are the Play Therapy sessions?
The Play Therapy sessions are usually scheduled on a regular basis for 45 minutes. Sometimes with very young children or children with particular special needs, the sessions may be shorter, such as 30 minutes.
The sessions are generally weekly and, where possible, I like to have a regular time scheduled for your child. This becomes your child’s special play time and this predictability and consistency is important for the Play Therapy process. This consistency also will help your child to feel secure.
I do try to be on time for Play Therapy sessions and not keep children waiting however occasionally I may be running behind time. If this does happen, I will extend the session to give your child the designated amount of time. If you arrive late for a Play Therapy session, we will still be finishing at scheduled time unless there has been an agreed rescheduling of the session time in advance.
What clothes should my child wear to Play Therapy sessions?
Please dress your child in old clothes so that he/she does not have to be worried about getting paint, sand or water on clothes and shoes. If you are coming straight from school, please bring another set of clothes for your child to get changed into. This helps children feel less anxious in the playroom and can help children feel able to be freer.
Do I need to stay when my child is in the Play Therapy session?
Yes, this is important so that your child knows that you are in the waiting room and can come and check should he/she become anxious.
What should I say to my child when he/she finishes the Play Therapy session?
I recommend that you do not ask your child how it was in the playroom or if he/she had fun today. If your child wants to tell you about what he/she did or what happened then this is fine and I suggest responding to the child in a positive way, not asking questions but showing interest in what your child is telling you.
Sometimes children after a Play Therapy session do not want to talk about what has happened. It is best if you can follow your child’s lead with this.
If your child brings a painting or picture out of the Play Therapy session, rather than praising your child or the picture, please try to respond more generally, for example, “you have used a lot of different colors on your picture” or “it looks like you took a lot of time doing that picture – it seems really special to you”.
If your child does choose to draw or paint, whatever the child does in the Play Therapy session is of great value. It does not matter if it looks like a “beautiful picture” or if it looks like “a mess of black and brown”. It is special because it has come from your child.
My child has difficulty at school. Can you speak with the teacher and other professionals involved with my child/the family about the Play Therapy and about my child?
I am happy to speak with your child’s teacher and to discuss ways that the school can support the Play Therapy process. It can also be very helpful for me to speak to the teacher and any other professionals involved with your child, to get a picture of how your child is doing educationally, emotionally, psychologically and socially in his/her environments.
I will need to get your written consent prior to speaking with teachers and other professionals in contact with the child. I would notify you prior to making contact and also provide any feedback about what was discussed. Depending on the amount of time these consultations take, please refer to my declarations of practices and procedures for rates associated.
What sort of notice is required for cancellation of a Play Therapy session?
If possible, please give 24 hours’ notice of cancellation. Otherwise, charges will apply. Please review the declaration of practices and procedures given at intake for more information.
What will my role as a caregiver be throughout my child’s Play Therapy sessions?
Each child is uniquely different and my work with your child will be focused on his/her experience. There will be stages throughout the Play Therapy process and I will discuss these with you as they relate to your child.
I will also speak with you about themes I am observing during our Play Therapy sessions. We will look at ways you can complement the Play Therapy process in many different ways. In Child-Centered Play Therapy, we do not generally talk about a child’s specific play as this can interfere with the child feeling free to express what is there for him/her.
(Parent Information and Commonly Asked Questions generously shared from Play Therapy Australia).
Please contact us if you have any further questions about Play Therapy, counselling, or our practice.
Please note, this practice is needing to adapt to governmental guidelines regarding COVID-19 restrictions and safest practice guidelines at present. Some sessions may only be offered in Telehealth mode in the short term. Approaches for therapy will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to analyse cost-benefit for face-to-face session for children who may struggle in the online environment. We will do everything we can to support you child/ren in the best manner we can.
“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland