What is Creative Therapy?
Creative Therapy is a type of creative arts therapy based on the theory that playing is a child’s natural way of learning, communicating and making sense of the world around them. Play is widely recognised for its importance in cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural development and helps children cope with their experiences by providing a safe and accepting atmosphere to explore their feelings. The child chooses which creative media they feel comfortable exploring.
What are the benefits for the child?
The aim is to help the child to understand their emotions, feel better about themselves and cope better in the future. This often also helps to improve a child’s classroom learning. The sessions provide a confidential environment to explore issues affecting their lives, whether they are aware of what is affecting their psychological development or not.
How can my child access creative therapy?
First of all the child is assessed to see whether the therapy would be appropriate. To do this there is a meeting with the parent/carer and the therapist to talk about the child to get a picture of what they may be struggling with. A questionnaire will be completed and a consent form signed. Once the offer of therapy has been agreed the therapist will introduce the therapy to the child and ask them if they’d like to participate.
There will be one session per week, at the same time and place, lasting around 45 minutes. The average number of sessions held for each child is 15 (based on PTUK research) and usually begins by holding a block of 12 sessions which is reviewed after session 6.
How is creative therapy delivered?
The ‘toolkit’ includes toys, sand trays, dressing-up clothes, puppets, instruments, clay, masks and art materials.
A mostly non-directive approach is used, where a child is free to play however they choose so long as they don’t hurt themselves, they don’t hurt the therapist, and they don’t damage the room.
The role of the Therapist is to keep the child safe and to establish a trusting and reliable environment in which they can freely express thoughts and feelings without judgement. In this environment, the child can develop their emotional literacy, resilience, discover things about themselves, their current modes of behaviour and eventually how they can resolve or change these in order to live a more fulfilling life.
Confidentiality and Supervision
Everything said or done relating to a child and their family is kept confidential at all times (including their art work). Permission is gained from parents and the child whenever it is necessary to pass information on. In the case of a disclosure the Child Protection policies of this school are followed, in which case information is on a need-to-know basis.
Creative Therapy at the Link Secondary School is delivered by Emily Satheesh. Emily is a Certified Play Therapist.
Emily trained through APAC/Canterbury Christchurch University and is a full member of Play Therapy UK and adheres to their Ethical Framework and Professional Conduct Procedure. She is on the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists that has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. Emily attends regular clinical supervision with a PTUK-approved supervisor to monitor the quality of her service, to support her, and add to her skills. Emily has conducted over 200 sessions with children aged between 4 and 15.