Because children internalize and externalize their experiences of events and relationships, art and play therapy provides an opportunity for them to express their thoughts, feelings and memories that are difficult to put into words. It is a gentle, non-intrusive, forward-oriented process that stimulates the mind, increases emotional awareness and social responsiveness. The therapist gently challenges children’s biased perceptions and helps them to gain insight into their experiences of people and events. When children learn to make sense of the world around them they gain confidence and resolve internal and external conflicts better.
In addition to individual therapy, parents are provided with education and tools to support their children. Parents as attachment figures provides safety, security and nurturing to their children. However, even with best intention to do the right thing, mistakes are made and children’s inner experiences are misunderstood. Enhanced connectedness and secure attachment provides the base for healthy emotional and social development for the child.
Adolescent is a turbulent time when the brain goes through a “second wave” of growing. The hallmark of this stage of development is the rapidity of change, identity formation, and the need for independence. As teenagers seek a sense of belongingness with their peers, conflicts with parents increases. Dealing with ambiguity is hard for adolescents. They will often have a pattern of wanting to hurt first before being hurt.
They are searching for inner peace within themselves and sometimes detach from their parents in order to have this. The parent-teen relationship is the primary connection that is essential at this stage for guidance and support. The ability to resolve conflicts plays an important part in the individual’s future development and relationship.
I believe that the rapture that happened in the context of a relationship has to be repaired in the context of relationship as well. The therapeutic relationship provides an opportunity to re-examine and repair the fractures and expand the connectedness and security to the parents
Dr. Ellie Bolgar
306 – 8047 199 Street
Langley, BC V2Y 0E2