I spent much of last Sunday preparing to make gluten-free cakes for our first CPD training event. My kitchen has never been so clean before.
I made a joke to my partner about focusing all my anxiety on this detail, but when he agreed too whole-heartedly, I realised how important this was to me. The cake, and the accompanying cleaning of the kitchen, are more than just an irrelevant detail, a magic spell to make the training a success. They represent important qualities in my work as a therapist, and in the Apple Tree Centre.
We had a big project on our hands. We needed to transform an adult psychotherapy centre, painted in dark rich, (and at times womb-like) tones into a therapy and wellbeing centre for children and young people. We felt ourselves lighten emotionally as we painstakingly covered the dark walls with pale paint, took down the heavy curtains, let the light in…
While we prepare and polish the next in our series explaining what Play Therapy is and how it works, we’re thrilled to be featured on the “Women to Work” website in our roles as local business women. Look here for an insight into how the Apple Tree Centre developed.
The process of play therapy can be very hard to explain in a way which has any meaning for people who haven’t experienced it. Often, though, those people ask great questions which go to the roots of what play therapy is about and how it works. I’d like to use this blog, among other things, to answer some of those questions.
So, today’s question (from a medical student): “Do you ever worry that you don’t know what a child’s play is about?”
Imagine that a child is using their therapy session to make a story about an elephant. Making a story can happen in lots of ways: they might be drawing a picture (and describing it, or not), or moving figures around in the sand tray, or putting on a puppet show, or pretending to be the elephant, or telling me to play the elephant, or just talking: “my friend Elliot, the Elephant, he said…”.
We had our official launch this week, which feels like a huge milestone. It was a lovely evening, and I was particularly struck by the enthusiasm of the many therapists who came to share their experiences and our vision.