A Different Kind of Playroom

Here at the Playroom Lubbock we have 2 Play Therapy rooms for using in child counseling or child play therapy. These playrooms, at first glance, may seem like a kid friendly room with toys, however, the play therapist's selection and placement of toys is deliberate and based upon sound rationale.

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Children are more likely to feel comfortable in places where a sense of openness exists that says to the child, ‘You are free to use what is here. Be yourself. Explore.’
— Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship by Garry Landreth

We have thoughtfully selected the toys of our playrooms so that children will feel a sense of openness and interest rather than caution or hesitancy. The toys and play materials facilitate a wide range of creative, exploratory, and emotional expressions without the expectation of children talking or verbalizing. Mechanical and electronic toys do not allow for children's expressions and therefore are not included in our playrooms.

We want toys to support these essentials of play therapy as cited in Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship by Garry Landreth.

Establishing a positive relationship between child and counselor

Expressing a wide range of feelings

Exploring real-life experiences

Reality testing of limits and boundaries

Developing a positive self-image

Developing positive self-understanding

Developing self-control

The three main categories of toys in our playrooms include real life toys, aggressive-release toys, and toys for creative expression and emotional release. Below are pictures of our play therapy playroom for children ages 3-10. Soon we will give you a peak into our playroom for older kids and teenagers.


Just Be

Be Happy. Dream Big. Seize the Day. Smile. Dance Your Heart Out. Love Laugh Learn. We see these messages everywhere from art prints to pillows to advertisements. These messages are wonderful; they really are. Perhaps they are something to aim at, to shoot for, to attain. But here at The Playroom Lubbock, we want you to

Just Be.

Come as you are.

 

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Why Just Be?

When you walk through our doors, the question is not "How can the counselor or therapist treat, cure, or change my child?" The question is: How can the counselor provide a relationship which my child and I may use for our own personal growth? That personal growth (whether it is developmental, emotional, or behavioral) starts with acceptance. We accept you where you presently stand with both your gifts and your baggage. We will see, hear, and value you and your child just as you are and with the potential of becoming all that you were created to be. So, parent and child: just be you. "Being you" creates a pathway to vulnerability.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.
— Brene Brown

Through the acceptance and safety of the therapeutic relationship, you and your child will hopefully walk out of our doors for the last time ready to: Be Happy. Dream Big. Seize the Day. Smile. Dance Your Heart Out. Love Laugh Learn.

Expressive Arts in Counseling

At the Playroom Lubbock we offer individual and group counseling to kids and teens. You've probably heard us talk about play therapy (using toys as a safe medium for expression) and sandtray (using toys/figures in the sand), but what is "expressive arts" that we talk about?  Quite simply, expressive arts is an opportunity to use the arts to safely express oneself and through the process, learn by doing. It uses the arts as a basis for discovery and change. The arts can include art materials, dramatic play, acting, music, dancing, or other artful movements. The emphasis is on the process rather than the product. No previous art background is needed.

 

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When will expressive arts be used at The Playroom Lubbock?

Kids in individual counseling have the opportunity to spontaneously engage in expressive arts because of the assortment of expressive arts materials and toys available to them in the therapy playrooms. The counselor may also incorporate expressive art activities into group counseling or kids groups.

How does the creative process produce change?

Carl Rogers explains that under certain conditions, a person (child) is free to be creative, to be himself, and be open to a new experience of self awareness and change. 

If offered in a safe, empathic, non-judgmental environment, it is a transformative process for constructive change.
— Natalie Rogers in "Giving Life to Carl Rogers Theory of Creativity"

The counselor 1. accepts the child as having unconditional worth 2. listens with empathy and shows understanding of the child through nonverbals and reflective statements 3. provides a non judgmental climate by not making evaluative or critical statements regarding the child or what the child is doing.

The counselor trusts the process that the child (with the help of a safe therapeutic relationship) will take his/her experiences, perceptions, and potential where and when the child needs. *However, there are boundaries and limit setting which can be explained in an entirely other blog post.

A child's expressive art is an image or metaphor representing a child's perspectives, experiences, desires, fears, and goals. Once a child feels emotionally safe and psychologically free, he is able to blossom.  It is through the process of creativity that a child gains awareness, resolve, and ideas to move forward. It is not through a counselor's interpretation or analysis of a child's creative product that brings change.

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What is the ultimate goal for counseling?

You may have very specific goals for your child. For example, control his temper, obey the rules, not be so impulsive, not be anxious, play better with others, learn social skills, etc...Play therapy, expressive arts, and sandtray therapy will address all of those. However, the ultimate life goals for kids (and adults) is to 1. adjust, change, and seek new experiences 2. be yourself in the present moment 3. trust yourself to make the right choices and take responsibility for your choices and 4. treat others with positive regard, respect, and love.

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