Ways That A Children's Therapist Creates An Appealing Environment For Patients
When people picture a therapy session, they often think about a patient lying on a couch and a therapist sitting nearby with a notepad, scribbling observations while the patient talks. This may be the case for lots of therapists, but when it comes to therapists whose focus is working with children, you'll generally find that they work hard to make the environment less formal. If you're thinking about having your child see a therapist, you want to find someone who is not only a good fit, but whose environment will be conducive to your child opening up. Here are some ways that lots of children's therapists accomplish this goal.
A lot of children's therapists wear casual attire when they see patients. Children can sometimes be wary around an adult who is dressed up — they may equate such an individual with their teachers or principal, and this may not make them compelled to open up and talk about what's going on in their life. Casual attire, however, can make a therapist seem more like a peer. Different therapists take different approaches to how they dress, but you might see a child's therapist in jeans, a hoodie, and tennis shoes.
Children's therapists also want to ensure that their environment doesn't seem too stuffy. There's little value in dressing casually for a session with a child if the environment is so formal that it makes the child tense. Depending on the age of the children that he or she treats, a therapist may have some toys or other play devices around the room, and it may be decorated brightly in a manner that children will find appealing. The furniture may be comfortable, rather than rigid, too.
The way that a children's therapist engages with his or her patients can also be different than when the therapist works with adults. Often, the therapist will encourage the child to get comfortable in the room — this could mean sitting on the floor and playing with some toy cars while talking. The therapist will often get down at the child's level, perhaps sitting cross-legged next to him or her. Children's therapists will also frequently go by their first names when working with children. Having a child talk to "Emily" may feel a lot easier than "Dr. Wilson." You should plan to meet a few therapists before you choose one for your child, as well as visit their clinics to assess their environments.