Brene Brown, renowned researcher of courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy, believes the message we should tell our children is that:
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging."
This message, if delivered and implemented well, can ultimately transform the health and wellness of a child's life by teaching them that, although struggle is part of the human condition, so is connection.
Rather than trying to avoid struggle and negative emotion, we can instead learn to embrace their existence and strive to develop the tools necessary to navigate their presence in our life. This is perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give to a child.
So how do we do this?
For children ages 3 – 12, Child-Centered Play Therapy focuses on developing a therapeutic relationship with a child through their preferred method of communication and connection –play. Through Child-Centered Play Therapy, the child utilizes play and symbols (toys) to express the thoughts and feelings of their internal world. The therapist then processes with the child and reflects what they are observing in both direct and non-direct ways to increase the child’s social, emotional, and behavioral functioning.