Julia offers Theraplay informed techniques to enhance attachment between children and their caregivers.
Theraplay builds and enhances attachment through joyful engagement and playful moments created naturally. While enhancing attachment, Theraplay has shown to build trust in others, enhance self esteem, and help children in naturally regulating their emotions. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: structure, nurture, challenge and engagement. Through these active positive sessions, children begin to feel secure in their expectations of relationship, resulting in a changed view of themselves as worthy individuals. Theraplay provides a sense of safety, decreases arousal and leaves the child in a state where they can regulate behaviour, restore cognitive processes and learning becomes more fluent.
Theraplay is an evidence based therapy with research supporting its physical and emotional benefits for many families, particularly with children diagnosed with autism and those who have experienced a separation from a parent.
‘We call this “building relationship from the inside out” ’ www.theraplay.org
TRAUMA INFORMED INTERVENTIONS
As a practitioner trained through the Institute of Trauma and Loss in Children, Julia uses evidenced based structured interventions for children, adolescents and parents healing from traumatic life events. Trauma intervention is founded on the principle that trauma impacts experience and its memory is being held in the senses, as while these memories were being formed the cognitive brain was offline. Cognitive functions decrease as arousal increases, therefore structured sensory trauma interventions give clients the tools to modulate their arousal through joyful, safe approaches. This may include accessing this part of the brain in a safe environment through breathing, relaxation, drawing, music or movement. The child is then helped to put language to their experience through expressive art therapy and playful safe, evidenced based methods. At the final stage, cognitive interventions play a part in helping to make sense of and give meaning to the trauma, bringing the child from victim to survivor.
PLAY-BASED COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR THERAPY (CBT)
CBT is a structured therapy aimed at solving problems and modifying unhelpful thinking and behaviour. The CBT therapist helps the child to identify and change unhelpful thinking, or target unhelpful behaviour (or avoidance) in response to situations, which in turn leads to positive changes in mood and functioning. With children, this is achieved through a play-based approach with the use of games, metaphors, puppets, art and storytelling.