The life of a play therapist can be pretty hectic sometimes, especially if you throw in a family, social life, and managing your own problems. These are 5 things that I do that help me to be a better play therapist.
Create a Set Work Schedule
I wake up and each day my schedule is different. I work many after school hours, mainly afternoons and evenings. I set regular hours that I schedule clients to help stay organized and balance between work and family life.
Have Go-to Creative Activities for My Clients
Before my clients arrive, I review notes, and plan the session. However, children can often be unpredictable. I remain flexible about what a child needs that day, so I have go-to activities always prepared to meet their changing needs. I use www.angriesout.com, www.creativecounseling101.com, www.lianalowenstein.com, www.pinterest.com for ideas.
Create a Trusting Relationship with Caregivers
If it’s my first session with a family, I meet with caregivers to identify the main reasons for seeking therapy. I involve parents weekly in sessions to discuss behavior issues, family stressors, child’s progress in therapy, and how to implement changes at home.
Consult with Other Counselors
Sometimes I have been working with a client for a long time, or a child has a particularly complex case. If I am stuck on a case, I seek out another therapist’s perspective to learn new ideas for a case. I have relationships with colleagues and mentors that I trust when I seek out another opinion.
Practice Self Care
I hear troubling stories, from sexual abuse, to neglect, to loss of a loved one. It can sometimes feel exhausting. In order to prevent burnout I participate in activities to relieve stress. I find journaling, being social, reading a novel, watching movies with my husband, going to church on a regular basis, and also writing to help.
I love that I witness children heal everyday, and families change. I use these techniques to remain balanced, focused, and keep the child’s needs first.
How do you survive as a play therapist or in your chosen career? Leave a comment below.