Helping Families Thrive!
We’re Not Just Talk Therapy!
Children are unable to understand and talk about their feelings the way adults do and this makes adult therapies inappropriate in meeting children’s needs. Play becomes therapeutic to children as they give expression to their experiences and emotions. Children recreate, in play, the experiences that are part of their anger, fears, sadness or frustrations currently influencing their behavior. The relationship with the therapist allows children a sense of security when recreating emotionally stressful experiences.
During play therapy, children create play that resembles the difficult or traumatic experiences they are struggling with internally. When facilitated by a trained play therapist, the play becomes focused on the purposes of emotional healing. Through the play therapy process children create play that resembles the emotional experiences they are struggling with internally. These experiences usually cannot be expressed
The Play Room is viewed as the child’s “kingdom” where they are free to explore and express themselves through various mediums such as fantasy play, sandplay, puppets and miniatures. Children use toys to recreate issues that represent emotional conflicts that are important to the child. Beginning with this expression, the child’s play evolves until the child gains a sense of understanding and comfort over this situation. This leads to a reduction of symptoms (i.e. acting out and aggressive behaviors, somatic complaints,withdrawal or regression, etc.) and the reestablishment of balance in the child’s sense of well-being.
Play therapists are trained to assess and understand the metaphorical content of a child’s play. Play therapists use their understanding of play to increase a child’s coping skills and to translate their understanding of the play to the adults involved in the child’s life. In the playroom, children can safely confront their problems in a protected environment and also learn to confine, define and master their problems.
Play Therapy Can Help Children:
- Take responsibility for their behavior
- Come to understand the impact (cause & effect) of their
- Replace inappropriate behaviors with more effective and
- Develop creative and lasting solutions to problems
- Gain greater acceptance of self and others
- Improve social skills
Preadolescents experience massive developmental changes in puberty with higher cognitive development that facilitates strong emotions and social vulnerability. Suddenly your sweet, snuggly little kid turn into a moody middle schooler seemingly overnight, and sometimes you’re left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.
Play is still very important to preteens, although it starts to look a little different and activities move away from fantasy play to more structured games. During the tween years, children often feel trapped between childhood and the teen years, which is why Kaleidoscope has a special room for preteens called our Activity Room.
In the Activity Room, Kaleidoscope uses games and interactive activities to take the pressure off. Preteens enjoy both regular board and card games and also specialized therapeutic games. Games can be used to deal with anxiety, power and control issues, self-esteem, relationships, and difficult behaviors. Specialized therapeutic games address topic areas such as depression, anger, anxiety, aggression, life changes, coping skills and much more. Kaleidoscope’s therapists can use almost any game to address difficult issues with preteens.
Expressive Arts Table
During preadolescence, preteens are also developing creative skills. They are moving into using abstract thought as life opens up to endless possibilities.
Our Expressive Arts Table allows plenty of room to address new thoughts and feelings. Using specific art materials, preteens build, sculpt or draw to represent their struggles and find alternative solutions.
Preteens also enjoy using the sand tray and an array of miniatures to represent their “worlds.” Using miniatures provides a feeling that is similar to setting up toys. At the same time, the child is using these miniatures with a few guidelines that make the activity feel challenging. Sand tray therapy is a great way to allow kids in early adolescence to work through their issues without feeling pressured or judged.
Proprioceptive and Vestibular Input (aka jumping and shooting hoops)
The mini-trampoline in Kaleidoscope’s Activity Room is a big hit.
And the best part is preteens experience it as “FUN.”
Little do they know that jumping provides great vestibular and proprioceptive input, supports attention to tasks, and promotes calmness, organization, and self-regulation.
“You mean I can come in here each week and shoot hoops?! You’re way cooler than other counselors.”
Shooting hoops in our Activity Room allows preteens to talk to their counselor while engaging in a fun activity. During fun activities more regions of their brain are active than any other time—especially the prefrontal cortex, meaning we can create new neural pathways through fun activities better than any other activity—especially impacting impulse control, regulation and goal setting and goal achievement. During fun activities, tweens are emotionally vulnerable and will reveal themselves and be more open.
Jumping gives both proprioceptive and vestibular input, helping sensory seekers in those areas fulfill their sensory diet. It also helps wake up the system of children whose system are under-reactive.
(Proprioception helps us understand where our body is in relationship to itself, and the vestibular system play an important role in our balance and coordination.)
REACHING TEENS THROUGH EXPRESSIVE THERAPY
Teens experience and communicate emotional distress differently. They may struggle socially, have difficulty learning, act aggressively towards others, use alcohol or drugs, cling to caregivers, self-harm, or have negative beliefs and feelings about themselves. Such behaviors and feelings often interfere with their sense of well-being and capacity for emotional, social, and intellectual development. Therapy can be effective when problems do not resolve with time and support from parents, teachers, or friends.
Teens, unlike adults, often need more innovative ways to express themselves than through “talk therapy.” That is why Kaleidoscope offers multiple approaches to counseling teens to best suit the needs of the individual. Approaches may include traditional talk therapy, group therapy, and expressive therapy. Expressive Therapy is a perfect way to allow teens to communicate difficult thoughts and feelings through various creative process. Expressive Therapy combines psychology and the creative process to promote emotional growth and healing.
Through therapy, the teens are helped to understand the causes of their distress and to learn coping skills to deal in healthy ways in the future. The goal is to show lasting changes in emotional states and behaviors.
Sports Performance Counseling
Overcoming Performance Fears and Blocks
Mental toughness…Resilience…Grit…These are the key factors that determine success for athletes of all ages and skill levels. Yes, physical skill and preparation are necessary. But most of the time, the factors that distinguish the difference between success and failure are psychological. Work with a sports psychologist to develop individual athlete and teams performance profiles, set specific and tangible goals, learn psychological skills (visualization, pre-performance routines, concentration techniques) and optimize success in all areas of life.
It seems that no matter what the athlete, parents or coaches try, the block, fear or slump will not release its’ nasty grip. Of course, the athlete’s futile efforts to extricate him/herself only leads them deeper and deeper into the maze of increasing frustration, decreasing self-confidence and increasing performance anxiety that always seems to make the whole situation that much worse.
Delivering Peak Performance
Sport and performance psychologists focus on identifying and applying psychological principles that facilitate peak sport performance, enhance people’s participation in physical activities and help athletes achieve optimal human performance. This subfield of psychology focuses on identifying and applying psychological principles that facilitate peak sport performance, enhance physical ability and achieve optimal human performance.
Be A Champion
Helping athletes and teams overcome problems that impede performance. Teaching strategies that maximize physical prowess; working with them to overcome anxiety or a traumatic experience, such as a concussion or tear, that is affecting their confidence. Other clients might need help communicating with colleagues or teammates or accepting a coach’s critiques.
Our Sports Performance Counseling
Kaleidoscope offers sports performance therapy programs for professional, collegiate, high school and youth athletes. Our therapy is customized for your specific sport.
Benefits From Sport Psychology Services:
- Improve performance
- Develop strategies to embrace the pressures and challenges of competition
- Help athletes develop confidence and have a satisfying sport experience
- Psychological assistance with injury rehabilitation