What Role do Parents/Caretakers Provide in Play Therapy?

What Role do Parents/Caretakers Provide in Play Therapy?

If your child is in therapy, it’s important to understand the role that you play in supporting their treatment. When they’re enrolled in play therapy, there are certain things that are helpful to know as a parent.

Below, we’ll cover what role you can expect to take on when your child is enrolled in play therapy. 

Participating in consultations with the play therapist 

While your child may be the client in the therapy relationship, you still have a critical role to play as a parent! One of the most important tasks you can take on is collaboration with your child’s play therapist. 

Ideally, the play therapist will consult with you at the beginning of your child’s time in play therapy. They’ll discuss your concerns, as well as what you’d like to see change as a result of play therapy.

The play therapist will also take the time to explain the process to you and address any questions or concerns you might have. It’s important that you fully engage in the consultation, prepared to learn about play therapy and cooperate in your child’s treatment. 

As your child progresses through play therapy, their therapist will likely consult with you from time-to-time to discuss your child’s progress and evaluate how their behaviors are changing at home. The play therapist will probably meet with you after every few sessions as part of their ongoing consultation. 

Making changes at home

As the play therapist interacts with your child and observes their behaviors in the play therapy setting, they will likely have recommendations related to changes you can make at home.

These recommendations do not suggest that you are doing the wrong thing as a parent, or that you are to blame for your child’ struggles. Instead, these recommendations relate to ways you can interact with your child to meet their needs more fully. 

For example, the play therapist may make recommendations for how you can interact with your child to alleviate anxiety. Or, they may suggest that you model certain behaviors for your child at home.

The therapist will share their expertise, guiding you toward making changes that support whatever your child’s needs are, whether they relate to social skills, anxiety, or behavioral problems. 

Ongoing communication with the therapist 

Throughout your child’s time in play therapy, you’ll have ongoing communication with the therapist. You’ll update the therapist about changes you’re seeing at home, and they’ll provide ongoing feedback about progress.

That being said, part of your role may be to step back and allow your child some space to work one-on-one with their therapist. This doesn’t mean that you’re never given any information about your child, but rather that you’re trusting the process. 

When it comes to communication, it’s important to understand the concept of confidentiality. This concept has a basis in legal protections and means that information shared during therapy sessions cannot be shared with others without the client’s permission. 

As the parent, you hold confidentiality rights. However, there is value in your child having a confidential relationship with their therapist, to a certain extent.

So, as you engage in ongoing communication, you may take the role of stepping back a bit, and letting the therapeutic process unfold. Your child’s play therapist will communicate with you and seek feedback as clinically warranted. 

At the start of treatment, the play therapist will probably reach an agreement with you related to confidentiality and how often you’ll be given information about your child’s treatment. As you engage in ongoing communication, it’s important to be mindful of this agreement. 

Play Therapy in New Jersey 

If you’re ready to walk alongside your child as they journey through play therapy, Bridge to Balance is here to help. We offer New Jersey play therapy services, with offices in Hamilton, Voorhees, and Piscataway. 

Visit our webpage today to get started. 





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