We know. Getting here can be difficult, but you are bravely taking the steps to allow for deep healing for your child, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
Despite how you may be feeling, you have not broken your child. It can be a challenge to understand our children sometimes when they respond in ways we don’t find logical. And yet, we have to remember that they don’t have the same processing capacity that we do.
That’s where we come in. We speak your child’s language.
Think of us as translators who can understand and speak to your child in a way that you have simply not yet learned. Together, we’ll teach you various tools so that you begin to speak directly to your child’s unique needs—bringing about more connection and harmony for your family.
At Ensemble Therapy, we believe in using person-centered therapy, solution-focused therapy, and cognitive behavioral play therapies to achieve a healthy, functioning family.
What does all of that mean?
Person-centered play therapy
You and your family’s therapist might embrace person-centered therapy to help your child learn to trust in their own abilities & strengths to understand themselves, gain mastery over their problems, and direct their own lives in productive and emotionally healthy ways. In person-centered play therapy, we give permission to the child to be their authentic self, providing unconditional acceptance that precludes judgment or evaluation. This allows children to truly learn who they are, explore their unique selves, accept themselves, and take full responsibility for their behavior, attitudes, and emotional growth.
solution-focused play therapy
This is another modality we use often, so it’s possible that you and your family’s therapist might also consider solution-focused play therapy to help your child experience positive behaviors or solutions that establish the groundwork for new thinking. In solution-focused play therapy we’ll create hypothetical goals that include desired behaviors as a way to help children see what is possible for them. These goals are concrete and focused on the positive expression of a behavior rather than the absence of a negative behavior and on some specific behavior that the child has a desire to experience.
Cognitive behavioral play therapy
Lastly, you and your family’s therapist might choose cognitive behavioral play therapy to help your child make the connection that what they think affects how they feel and what they do. Cognitive behavioral play therapy aims to make a shift in at least one of these three components: a child’s thoughts, a child’s behaviors, a child’s feelings. We may target a shift in feelings, leading to different thoughts and behavior. Alternatively, we may target a shift in behavior, leading to different thoughts and feelings. For children, the abstract skills required for targeting a shift in thinking are still developing — thinking about thinking is hard for even us adults! Asking a child to identify a thought, consider whether it is accurate or helpful, and then shift to a new thought relies in part on a client’s meta-cognitive abilities, so we often start with a focus on feelings or behaviors in an effort to change thinking in a developmentally appropriate way.
Healing occurs within the relationship.
As play therapists, we see a child through their world. We learn how they are experiencing it, and we believe that they are fully capable of enacting change in themselves in relation to their environment. Parenting may not be what you thought it would be like. Anyone can parent a well-behaved child, but some of us need additional support to help with recurring misbehavior.
In our eyes, no child or person is broken or deficient or unworthy. We’re committed to treating the whole child, and restoring resilience, confidence, and happiness for you, your child and your family.
Jaclyn, Kate, Natalie, Sheila, Lisa & Colleen