Petro-Nelise Sollé – for Play Therapy, counselling, parent/guardian-and-child-relationships, supervision for Play Therapists
Children’s first language is Play. It is through spontaneous play that they learn and make meaning of life experiences and of growing up. However, when children experience traumatic life events, or face developmental challenges, Play Therapy can provide a therapeutic context in which to process their challenges. In child-centred Play Therapy, this happens at the child’s pace, where the child takes the lead.
Why Play Therapy? Evidence suggests that Play Therapy is indicated for a range of developmental challenges and transitions as well as traumatic life events. My personal belief is that young people living in the 21 century all have stressors that can easily accumulate and lead to overwhelm. Having a safe space in which to bring their worries, fears or fantasies can go a long way to support them to find and build their inner resilience.
My approach: I believe that behaviour is a message, not a symptom. Being respectfully curious about the message enables me, the Play Therapist, to facilitate the story that unfolds within the therapeutic relationship. My approach is Child Centred Play Therapy (CCPT). I agree with Gary Landreth, the ‘grandfather’ of Play Therapy, who likes to say about his clients, “I see a young person to be understood, not a problem to be solved”.
My training: I hold an MA in Play Therapy (Roehampton); as a member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) I adhere to their Ethical Code of Conduct (www.bapt.info). Regular supervision informs my practice. I have also trained in Attachment Theory and Animal-assisted Play Therapy.
How does it work: The first consultation – by phone or face to face – is free. Once informed consent is given by the parent/guardian, Play Therapy starts at £52 per session. I offer 12 sessions to begin with: to give it the time and space for trust to be established and for themes to emerge. For sessions held elsewhere (e.g. schools) please contact me for more details.
Important details: Consistency is key and sessions will always be at the same time, on the same day each week. I work during term time only; sessions during half term or holidays are by prior arrangement only. Parents-guardians are given feedback about how the therapy is progressing during scheduled review meetings, usually at 4 to 6 week intervals. The ending is an important part of the process and needs to be prepared for — with the young person as well as with the parent/guardian. I have found that once we reach this phase of the work, four weeks usually give enough time to count down and to process feelings around endings, separation and loss.
Parenting and relationship: If you are reading this as a parent-guardian who want to build and enhance the relationship with your child – be they your biological, adopted, foster or step-child, you might want to consider Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT), a 10-week programme where you attend weekly for 2.5 hours with other parents in a small group (max 8 people) to learn skills and techniques such as therapeutic limit-setting, tracking and reflective listening. (CPRT has proven effective with other populations like young carers, too.) From week 3 or 4 you have short 1:1 weekly play sessions at home with the child of focus, which you record in an audiovisual format. In every group session we share an excerpt from a group member’s practice for us all to learn from – always in a trusting, non-judgmental atmosphere.
Where to find me: I am based in Chalford, on the bus route (A419), a few miles outside Stroud, where I have an office and a well-stocked playroom through two beautiful wooden doors. Victoria Works are full of makers and artists and makes for a relaxed, permissive atmosphere. My therapy dog Taylor works with me – and young people can choose whether she comes into the playroom or whether she stays on her mat in the office.
I look forward to hearing from you.
blueboxandtail, Victoria Works Studios, Chalford, GL6 8HN
M: 07904 009909