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How Should I Prepare My Child for the 1st Play Therapy Session?

Here are some friendly reminders for parents in terms of how to prepare a child for the 1st play therapy session.


Please Do:

  • Have your child wear clothes that are free to get dirty.

  • Talk to your child about going to the play therapy appointment in advance. Parents may not know how to talk to children about why they need to go for counseling. Parents may simply say, “You are going to a special playroom, where there are lots of toys for you to play with. You will have a special play time with Eunah.” If your child asks why he/she is going to the playroom, you may say that “You seem to have a hard time these days, and sometimes it helps to have a special play time just for you.”

  • Arrive 10 minutes earlier than the appointment time and show your child the book, 'My special playtime,' that is in the waiting room.

  • Ask your child to use the bathroom before the session.


Please Don’t:

  • Don’t leave the waiting room while your child is in therapy. It is important for you to be there when your child needs you.

  • Don’t ask any questions about what he/she did in a session. When you see your child coming out of a session, just simply say, “Hi, (your child’s name), we can go home now”. Please don’t get nervous about “not knowing what is going on in therapy” You will be informed about your child’s play themes and progress in therapy when you meet with Eunah later. She will meet with you periodically to talk about progress and/or concerns about your child. You can either briefly see Eunah at the beginning of therapy or schedule a parent consultation session.

  • Don’t judge or guide your child’s play. For example, children may say that they played with a gun or killed a bad guy. Parents may reply, “We don’t play with a gun and we do not kill people.” When parents try to coach what their children can play and what they can’t play, it will affect children’s play: The freedom of play will be limited and children will not be able to play things out fully as they needed. If you have any questions on your child’s play, you may talk to Eunah about it.

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