When Kids Want Out: Strategies For Play Therapists When Kids Try To Leave The Session Early
In this episode of the podcast, I answer an email from Nell in Maryland. Nell asks what to do when a child wants to leave the play therapy session early. When it rains, it pours… not only have I had a client do this to me this week, several therapists in my training cohort experienced the same scenario, so this is perfect timing to answer this email.
For starters, I outline the reasons behind a child’s wish to leave early. These often include resistance, insecure attachment, or feeling overwhelmed.
I discuss how to validate the child’s feelings and present neutral expectations with a specific timeframe remaining. By offering choices and giving them a sense of control over the remaining time, we empower the child while gently reinforcing the therapeutic boundaries.
Additionally, I share insights to help manage such situations, emphasizing the importance of understanding the child’s reasons, validating their emotions, and setting clear, concrete limits.
I hope this episode aids fellow practitioners in navigating similar scenarios. Keep exploring and cherishing the joy of positively impacting a child’s world. Email me at [email protected] with your question for discussion.
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