I had a lovely chat about child-led play with Carla from ‘MyBump2Baby’ as part of their Expert Podcast series. Click to listen to my reflections on the importance of play throughout childhood, as a Play Therapist and as a parent.
A couple of weeks ago, we took ourselves away from the centre for a Business Development Day. This was enormously productive and felt like a real celebration of our centre and everything we have worked to establish, as well as an opportunity to review our services and plan for the future.
Out of this discussion we have produced our first Annual Report, which summarises the feedback we have received from children and families as well as our plans for the coming year. You can read it here:
The last year has been an increasingly busy one at the Apple Tree Centre. As we expand our range of work, our team of therapists, and our client caseload, we are learning all the time about what parents need from us as an organisation, and what our therapists need to feel comfortable and confident in the work that they do.
As Non-Directive Play Therapists, we have always emphasised the role of parents in the therapeutic process, and the importance of a trusting relationship – a ‘therapeutic alliance’ – between therapist and parents. We endeavour to make parents and carers feel comfortable and welcome in the waiting room, and sometimes inside the therapy room itself; and we encourage them to attend regular progress reviews, where they can discuss the progress their child is making, the questions they have about the process of therapy or about managing their child’s behaviour, and make sure that the therapist and parents still have the same hopes, are working towards the same goals.
It has been a year since we launched The Apple Tree Centre. Last week we opened our doors (& bottles of Prosecco) to fellow therapists, health practitioners and interested professionals to show them round our therapy centre, share our work from the past twelve months and invite them to be part of our plans and hopes for the future.
In this video we talk to those guests about the children and young people we have supported, the parents we have helped and trained to have better relationships with their children and the professionals and students we have taught in our varied and creative CPD workshops. We explain our plans to evaluate our services, including research into the effectiveness of Child Parent Relationship Therapy. We present our plans for CPD workshops over the next year and encourage our guests to share ideas with us for collaborative working and to help us spread the word about The Apple Tree Centre.
We, The Apple Tree Centre, have launched ourselves excitedly into the arena of providing Continuing Professional Development! We have a programme of interesting and creative workshops for practitioners to come and learn and experience and play. My workshop: ‘Introduction to Play Therapy Skills and Principles’ took place in our training room with fifteen professionals a few weeks ago. It was a big step across my comfort boundary and I felt exposed. I had however, chosen this, I was in the lead, I had the clicker for the presentation and I was in control (of the clicker, at least).
We were interviewed yesterday by Rony Robinson of BBC Sheffield, talking about Play Therapy and about our CPRT groups for parents.
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.
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.