The Benefits of Child Life Therapy
Child Life Therapy is a relatively new form of intervention but we think it is a game changer. Child Life Therapy is a holistic approach to therapy which has been found to be particularly effective for children with disabilities, children who have to undergo invasive medical treatment or those who are in hospital often. Child Life Therapists are medical professionals who specialise in child development and education. They seek to empower children to better understand themselves, their situation and their emotions. Child Life therapy has two main aims, to minimise stress and anxiety for children and to increase positive experiences.
How it Works?
Child Life Therapy is flexible and tailored to each individual child. Child Life Therapists aim to get to know the child, their family, their needs and their worries. They then use this information to provide positive experiences which shape the way a child sees their current situation. Familiarising children with hospital environments and procedures, providing opportunities for play, using therapy techniques to reduce anxiety and encouraging children to express their feelings are some of the strategies used in Child Life Therapy. Children who work with Child Life Therapists benefit from learning coping strategies which serve them all the way through their life. So, what sort of things might a Child Life Therapist do?
- Art Therapy – Creating art and using colour to help children explore and express feelings.
- Music Therapy – Creating and playing music to calm or energise children and encourage communication.
- Dance and movement.
- Imaginative, structured and explorative play.
- Environmental play – hospital play to familiarise children with medical tools, professionals and situations.
- Guided relaxation for children and their families.
- Communication with children’s families to reduce anxiety.
Because Child Life Therapists specialise in tailoring activities to each child’s needs, the benefits of this therapy can be varied – and that’s part of what makes it so great! Child Life Therapy wants children and their families to be calm, resilient and find positive experiences even in the midst of daunting events or environments. Some of the benefits of Child Life Therapy include:
- Distraction during medical procedures or painful periods.
- Coping strategies for use during stressful times or anxious events.
- The creation of positive associations with hospital environments and medical professionals.
- Familiarisation and normalisation of potentially fearful environments.
- Increased understanding of a child’s situation for both the child and family.
- Increased ability to express emotions.
- Provision of support for family and carers.
- Facilitate training of other medical professionals to help them de-crease stress for a child and their family.
Allowah loves our Child Life Therapist and we know you will too. She is an expert in child development and has every child’s holistic well-being as her first priority. Here at Allowah, we want to ensure that fear is replaced by resilience and even joy. Child Life Therapy means that kids at Allowah are cared for in every sense and are given opportunities to have positive experiences every day.