Child and young person
Child therapy

How does therapy for young people or children work?

I deliver one-to-one child and young people’s counselling, play therapy, Children's Accelerated Trauma Treatment (CAAT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This is facilitated in our dedicated play therapy room. Children use art and play as a way to communicate and as a method of expression that gives their lives a narrative. Children sometimes lack the words with which to describe their thoughts and feelings. This means .play and art. can help them process difficult life events, helping children explore and discuss difficult life experiences more openly. For answers to common child therapy queries I receive, please read the .Frequently Asked Questions. people ask.
Shelf of equipment

Who are we?

Zoe Hawton (Team Leader) is a fully qualified humanistic counsellor with extensive training in the fields of sexual abuse, art, play and child therapy. She has worked with two major charities in the last five years, engaged in specialist work with children manifesting issues following sexual abuse; private one-to-one work with sufferers of mental health issues and school-based work.

Ms. Hawton is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, The British Association of Art Therapists (Associate) and the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation. Ms. Hawton is one of very few therapists that work with children. She has experience of working specifically with primary school age children as well as adolescents. Our other therapists are also experienced in working with this age group. We are able to adopt any school’s Child Protection Policy, following Area Child Protection Committee guidelines and are equipped to attend CORE meetings and Child protection Plan meetings if deemed appropriate. Ms. Hawton is fully insured and in possession of a full enhanced CRB check and trained in child protection procedure.
Depicting bereavement

What common topics do young people bring?

-- Divorce or family breakdown.
-- Bereavement including that of parents, siblings or grandparents.
-- Living with a relative who is not the parent.
-- Being a looked after child.
-- Anxiety.
-- Self-esteem issues.
-- Anger.
-- A parent in prison.
-- Witnessing or living with Domestic violence.
-- Coping with and understanding historical recorded sexual abuse.
-- Coping with parental substance or alcohol misuse or mental health problems.
-- Peer problems and/or bullying.
Child depicting feelings

How does it help?

This form of therapy can help children better communicate themselves and their needs. It can help them in:
-- Processing difficult life events.
-- Improving focus on academic work.
-- Enhancing their ability to make and develop peer and family relationships.
-- Improved emotional literacy, helping children or young people feel more able to identify and name their feelings and moods.
-- Improving and raising self-esteem.
-- Improved resilience: Better understanding can help make children more resilient to future emotional bumps.
Box of toys
Multi racial dolls

How does it work?

Children who have been through difficult life experiences may re-enact their trauma in the present time in an attempt to reach a different outcome to the historical events which upset them. Allowing children to process their inner thoughts and feelings through play and art can help them develop some form of story/narrative for their life. Creating a narrative like this can help them understand what happened to them, which can positively impact their learned behavior and interactions.

Art can be a non-threatening way to visually communicate anything that is too painful to put into words. Often victims of sexual abuse or other trauma have been lied to, threatened, or misled with words by their abusers or other trusted adults. A victim’s perception then changes so words become seen as misleading and mistrusted. This means strictly verbal attempts at therapy may encounter increased resistance. We often work metaphorically: For example, we might explore a feeling the child may have by talking about the same feeling shown by a character in a story. To do this we may write or read stories; we may draw or paint; play with sand or doll’s houses. Play and Art are important mediums which children are comfortable using to express themselves.
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