No child misbehaves or struggles on purpose. Is your child sad, lonely, withdrawn, having frequent meltdowns, or always inflexible? Children constantly experience life transitions and have to learn to navigate our constantly changing world. A child’s ability to cope with stress and change can manifest as childhood anxiety and show up in their behavior, in a variety of different ways. This is where play therapy counselling comes in. Our registered clinical counsellors can help your child learn life-long coping skills to navigate stress and change.
Strawberries and Sunshine has been providing play therapy—a therapeutic counselling approach used mostly with children ages 3 to 12 to help them process their feelings, thoughts and emotions through play—in Port Coquitlam area for the past 6 years. Play is the language of children.
When a child engages in play, they are better able to explore the experience of the world in a safe and comfortable manner. The sessions are child led and incorporate different, clinically proven techniques based on the needs of the child that help create positive outcomes.
We create a safe, comfortable environment where children are able to explore their experience of the world. We meet children where they are at and connect in a way that feels authentic and meaningful for them.
We support children to develop emotional regulation, learn skills to better manage the challenges they face, build resiliency, and enhance their strengths and resources.
In the playroom, your child will be encouraged to play with specific types of toys that encourage self-expression and facilitate the learning of positive behaviors. Arts and crafts, music, dancing, storytelling, and other tools may be incorporated into play therapy. Our registered clinical counsellors establish a space where your child can feel comfortable to be at play, and provide toys, art materials, and an environment that allows them to express what’s going on in their life. The session is directed by the child, which helps form the connection between kids and the counsellor.
One of the main principles behind play therapy is that children naturally gravitate towards toys and materials that represent their actual lives. Play therapists will take note of these choices, and structure conversation around them. By having so much of the session focused on the child and their individual choices, it helps them to feel comfortable and to explore their challenges at an appropriate level for their maturity and development.
Our registered clinical counsellors will do an initial intake interview with you, without your child present, to collect information about your child and what you would like to work on. This assessment helps us decide the treatment approach best suited to your child’s needs and your goals for therapy. Once we’ve got all the information we need, we can start the fun stuff, and get your child playing—and communicating.
As our therapists work with your child, learning more about their needs and what strategies will work for them, we’ll regularly keep in touch with you. At Strawberries and Sunshine, we always keep you in the loop and suggest strategies to use at home, in order to reinforce and encourage what your child has learned so far.
Our counsellors can also help you as the parent and continue to encourage therapeutic methods and strategies at home. The ultimate goal of play therapy is to help children adjust to their situations and support them in getting back to enjoying being a kid again. Play therapy is most effective when it is a collaborative effort between parents and therapists—sharing the common goal of your child’s well-being.
Play therapy can be used to work through specific issues and challenges or ongoing as a part of your foundation of health, to help process things as they come up. If your child is struggling with a specific issue, sometimes just a handful of sessions can be enough to help them work through it and develop strategies for the future.
At Strawberries and Sunshine, we believe in the power of play to help children realize their full potential. Our world is more stressful than it has ever been. We have more traumas, anxiety provoking thoughts, and technology than ever before. Our kids need more tools to build self-esteem and resilience to explore our changing world. When our children are playing, they are expressing themselves the best—it’s simply up to us to learn to speak their language.