Children and Young People’s Services
We support children and young people aged 4 to 17 years old who have been affected by rape, sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation. We offer counselling, play therapy and bespoke workshops in a safe and supportive space for children and young people to explore their thoughts and feelings and make sense of their life experiences.
Child-centred play therapy is based on Carl Rogers’ theory of person-centred counselling. This has been adapted to use play instead of, or as well as, talking.
Rogers’ theory is based around the belief that people have the ability to find their own solutions, given the right environment to do so. Rogers believed that through a relationship with a therapist who is non-judgemental and accepting, people can change the way they view themselves and this will lead to changes in how they interact with others.
Play is an essential part of human development. Children’s play is their natural medium of communication. In infancy children play with their own and their carers’ bodies and they use their bodies to explore the world. Their play is a sensory experience. This changes to playing with objects and using the objects to symbolise their experiences. Later, children are able to adopt roles in which to explore themes.
Children are often unable to verbalise their thoughts and feelings, but can express these through their play. In play therapy the therapist plays with the child, offers reflections on the play and draws parallels with the child’s previous experiences. In this way the emotions are explored.
Integrative Counselling for Young People
Integrative counselling comes from the stance that one size does not fit all when it comes to counselling and believes that we are all individuals with varying needs which will require different therapeutic approaches at different times in our lives.
An integrative approach to counselling draws on different schools of thought and ways of working to produce the most effective therapy for each individual client, for example using theories of Person-Centred Counselling to build a relationship based on trust, congruence and mutual respect, theories of attachment to explore relationships past and present, aspects of Cognitive/Behavioural theory to explore how our thought processes can be re-evaluated leading to changes in our behaviour.
Integrative counselling is a fusion of different techniques of psychotherapy. It also refers to the integration of the personality and needs of the clients in the therapeutic work. This brings together the affective, cognitive, behavioural and physiological systems within one person, delivering a tailor-made package to address each individual client’s needs.
Some young people may find it difficult to verbalise their feelings so the opportunity to use other mediums of expression are often utilised, for example, role play, drama, creative arts and singing.