At Be Centre, everything we do is focused on the children we support. With this in mind, we also provide therapeutic programs for parents and carers as well as professionals working with children who play a valuable role in a child’s journey.
Programs for Children
At Be Centre, the core service we provide is one-on-one Play Therapy, which is available to children aged 3-13 years. The children we work with have typically experienced a trauma that is affecting their happiness, behaviour and ability to learn.
The traumas we see range from things like divorce, low self-esteem, bullying and grief, to domestic violence and sexual abuse. Each child is different, and this is reflected in our approach to treatment – rather than recommending a ‘standard’ number of therapy sessions, we work with each child until we achieve the outcomes we’re aiming for.
Techniques we use during sessions include clay and sandplay therapy, role play, puppets, creative visualisation and art therapy. Whatever the case, we make sure sessions are on the child’s terms, and at a pace they’re comfortable with.
One-on-one Play Therapy
Sessions are generally held in our custom-built Play Rooms at our Warriewood centre. We start with a 1.5-hour consultation with a parent or carer, to discuss the child’s background, current situation, and needs. From there, our therapists develop a personalised plan, usually consisting of weekly 30-40 minute sessions. Consistency is key, so these are held at the same time each week, with the same therapist. We also conduct a weekly check-in with each child’s home, school or both. We measure outcomes by evaluating children before, during and after therapy with a range of tools including Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ), parent surveys and feedback forms. This helps us ensure our programs are effective, and allows us to continually improve them over time. Each Play Room is equipped with a range of stimulus, from dolls and trucks to costumes. This gives children plenty of scope in how they choose to play, interact and communicate.
Intensive Play Therapy Program
Held at Royal Far West in Manly, this intensive program makes Play Therapy accessible to children who live in rural and regional areas of NSW. Typically, children have a daily Play Therapy session in our custom-built Play Therapy room at Royal Far West, for up to 12 consecutive days. Play Therapy generally forms one part of a more holistic support plan for these children, which may also include things like psychology, speech and occupational therapy. All of this is coordinated by Royal Far West, who also provide accommodation for families for the duration.
Play Therapy for Aboriginal Children
Together with our partners at Glebe Public School, Tree House Community Centre & Weave, we are proud to deliver Play Therapy programs for children from Sydney’s indigenous Aboriginal communities.
Run on a weekly basis, this program sees us run one-on-one Play Therapy sessions that have been tailored to meet these kids’ cultural needs. Sessions are run in a caravan that’s been fully equipped as a mobile Play Therapy room, which we keep at Glebe Public School. In each session, an Aboriginal Community liaison worker is also present to work alongside our therapist in a supportive capacity. Through this initiative, we aim to support the community’s goals of helping Aboriginal kids improve their school attendance, academic results and behaviour, and build greater resilience and self-confidence.
Creative Holiday Workshops
The Be Centre team provides a range of school holiday activities aimed at promoting creative expression in a fun and safe environment. Past workshops have included dance, drama, art, creative construction and kite making – and all are facilitated by qualified facilitators and volunteers. All children are welcome to attend. You don’t have to already be a ‘Be Centre kid’! As well as taking home something they’ve made, children gain valuable creative and social skills that will stay with them for life.
Weekly Art Club
Run every Wednesday afternoon during the school term, Art Club is facilitated by Karen Atkins, an award-winning Sydney artist who also has a strong background in children’s education. Sessions are two hours long, and held at our Warriewood centre.
For children who have been receiving one-to-one Play Therapy and are ready to progress, Art Club can be the ideal next step. With a maximum of 12 children per session, it’s also great for kids who benefit from a small group setting.As well as encouraging creativity, Art Club is designed to support the therapeutic process, including both sensory and structured activities. Art Club is funded by the generous folks at UnLtd, of whom we are most appreciate!
Programs for Parents & Carers
We’ve recognised that Play Therapy is much more effective when a parent or carer is involved and supported. So, we’ve developed a number of programs with this in mind, each focused on a different topic. All our programs are run by experienced health professionals, and aim to build trust and understanding between adults and the kids they’re supporting.
Tuning into Kids
It’s important for adults to understand the various ways that children communicate – after all, this knowledge enables you to work with your child to build their social skills and resilience.
Through this one-day program, we focus on helping parents and carers to do just that, addressing topics such as:
- Understanding and managing your own emotions.
- Improving communication with your child.
- Gaining a better understanding of your child.
- Helping your child learn to manage their emotions.
- Helping prevent behavioural problems.
- Teaching children to deal with conflict.
Tuning into Teens
After infancy, a child’s most dramatic development happens in adolescence – and through this course, parents and carers can learn skills to help their own teen navigate this tricky time. The main focus is on reducing conflict within the home, and helping make teens more comfortable talking about difficulties they’re facing. As well as helping you create a more harmonious home, this program can even help you reduce your teen’s risk of mental health and substance abuse problems.
Over the course of one day, you’ll learn to help your teen:
- Have greater success in making friends and managing conflict.
- Concentrate better at school.
- Calm themselves when upset or angry.
- Manage change and challenges.
- Be more aware, assertive and strong when facing peer pressure.
- Have more stable and satisfying relationships as adults.
Circle of Security
In addition to the successful Tuning in to Kids / Teens series, Be Centre is now delighted to offer The Circle of Security® Parenting™ program (COS) to supplement the support available to parents and caregivers. In our experience, whilst similar to Tuning in to Kids / Teens in providing emotional support, COS may be more relevant for parents / caregivers of younger children.
Over two 1.5 hr sessions which will be designed to cater for your specific needs you will learn valuable skills and insights:
- Understand your child’s emotional world by learning to read the emotional needs.
- Support your child’s ability to successfully manage emotions.
- Enhance the development of your child's self esteem.
- Honour your innate wisdom and desire for your child to be secure.
Filial Play Coaching
Filial Play Coaching is an intervention which can support parents/carers to strengthen the bond with their child through play. Using a structured and consistent programme of non-directive play sessions, skills development, feedback and support, parents/carers are empowered to build a more enjoyable, harmonious, connected and co-operative relationship with their child which has potential lifelong benefits.
To find out when these programs are happening next, check out our events page or sign up to our newsletter, or if you have a question or want to make a booking, feel free to contact us.
Programs for Professionals
As the leading Play Centre hub in Australia, Be Centre is proud to offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training for Play Therapy professionals, as well as in-service workshops for organisations. The CPD programs that we’re currently offering are detailed below.
Sandplay Therapy training (7 CPD points)
Widely recognised for its therapeutic power, sandplay is a method with wide-ranging applications. As well as being valuable for children (including pre-verbal and non-verbal kids), sandplay can also be a valuable tool when working with adults who are unable to easily tap into or explain their feelings. By using sandplay, therapists can help clients access their unconscious and work through deep-rooted thoughts and feelings.
At Be Centre, we offer Beginner & Advanced Sandplay programs, both of which are held over the course of a single day. Facilitating our courses is the wonderful Doreen Patenall, an experienced psychotherapist and lecturer who has utilised this methodology for many years both in her practice and teaching. For professionals seeking to add a new tool to their kit, this program can be a fantastic option to explore.
It was an amazing day. I really enjoyed working with other professionals and delving into Sand Play on a deeper level. I learnt a lot working together as a group both personally and professionally.-
Be Centre supports Post Graduate Play Therapy students from a range of tertiary institutions and training organisations in gaining their clinical hours and experience to fulfil the requirements to become registered play therapists.
Intern positions are by application and availability is limited. Please contact Fiona Howell Clinical Manager firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
To find out when this training is next happening, check out our program calendar or sign up to our newsletter. To enquire about a workshop tailored to your organisation please get in touch.