Synergetic Play Therapy (SPT), is an exciting new development in the understanding of child play therapy, and how it works as a neuroscience. Before research-informed SPT came about, therapists knew that play therapy was effective, but we didn’t know why. Now we do.
As a play therapist in Metro Vancouver, I’m the first play therapist certified to conduct Synergetic Play Therapy in Canada.
What this means for you is that we now have an opportunity to help your child heal faster from the emotional issues that may have caused you to seek out a therapist in the first place. (In case you’re still wondering if you need my service, I help parents identify possible problem behaviours and symptoms needing play therapy here.)
And, just because my office is in North Vancouver, that doesn’t mean I can’t be a Synergetic Play Therapist for West Vancouver residents, or those from other cities.
Expect results from my Synergetic Play Therapy practice in North Vancouver
While we can’t ever guarantee an outcome in therapy, we can say that we have seen successes with our applied models. In addition to resolving your child’s emotional struggles, you can expect them to gain the following benefits from my Synergetic Play Therapy services, held at my North Vancouver office:
- being empowered to manage emotions on their own
- thinking more clearly and logically
- being better able to learn
- relating with peers and family more effectively
- increasing their belief in their own self and abilities
Understanding the basics of a dysregulated nervous system needing help
For a fuller understanding of the science behind Synergetic Play Therapy, I encourage you to read an extended explanation here.
First thing to know is that, when you read about the symptoms of a child who likely needs therapy, those symptoms are telling you something about a child’s inner state of mind – their nervous system. So, if we can address the source (i.e. the nervous system), and not merely the symptoms, we can not only heal faster, we can find longer-lasting results. Physical healing is the same way, as you know.
When a child’s nervous system is impacted by environmental factors, such as specific traumas or events that happen to them, it becomes dysregulated. A dysregulated nervous system is what we aim to heal with Synergetic Play Therapy.
Understanding how Synergetic Play Therapy helps your child to heal
Here’s a quick step-by-step of the process:
- During therapy, your child will come to face their emotional challenges. They will be supported not to run away from them, which is critical for effective processing.
- They will hear their play therapist verbalize the thoughts, feelings and body sensations they’re experiencing. The impact of having someone else feel them energetically, emotionally, and in the body, as well as being able to name them, is what makes the healing happen faster.
- When we stay in that uncomfortable place emotionally, right there and then, we can work on strategies that can induce long-term healing, and not just short-term healing.
- I will model alternative ways to stay calm and regulated. These will be picked up by your child through observation.
- They then emulate those strategies of coping on their own.
- Their nervous system starts to calm down and regulate itself more and more. Over time, new neural patterns in your child’s brain will be entrained.
- Through this process, your child will also come to know themselves in a deeper way than before therapy. This means that they accept themselves for who they are and not what others think they should be.
Of course, as promising as this all sounds, the work doesn’t stop there. What follows are the critical steps to further empower your child to make long-term behavioural changes. That’s where you come in as the caregiver of your child.
Partake in the process of your child’s healing through Synergetic Play Therapy
At this point, it is important to know that the child’s caregivers play a critical role in the healing process. The model of Synergetic Play Therapy has ‘built-in’ parental support.
To that end, I will meet with you after each therapy session for 15 minutes to inform you of your child’s progress (or we can Skype or talk on the phone, depending on your availability).
Based on what I observe in sessions, I will work with you on other helpful tools and mood regulation activities to support your child at home. Whether it is massaging, dancing, drumming or snuggling together as a family, we aim at targeting what their nervous system needs, in order for it to return to a more regulated state.
Remember, I only get to see your child once a week for 45 minutes, but you are with them 24/7. You get to observe your child’s behaviours outside of therapy sessions, while I only have a picture of your child within sessions. It has been well-researched children heal even faster with parent or caregiver participation and support. And this goes for any type of play therapy.
To get started with this new form of child-directed play therapy, give me a call or send me a message. My phone number is 604 700 4660. I look forward to learning your story and helping your family heal!