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Nathan* is a sensitive 7 year old boy who has found his own identity, confidence and most importantly his voice. It wasn't always like this.
Experiencing high levels of anxiety and social difficulties at school, Nathan's mother turned to Be Centre for help. Nathan showed some signs of low self-esteem and a lack of confidence when he first started Play Therapy. Often unable to express himself and decide what to do in the Play Therapy room. He found it difficult to engage in spontaneous play and his movements were inhibited.
During the Play Therapy process, Nathan was able to relax and grow in confidence. He was able to express himself more freely and readily. As he continued to become more assured, his body movements became less constricted until during one of his sessions he began to play for the first time in a spontaneous way, expressing pure joy. These changes continued throughout the Play Therapy process as Nathan explored his sense of self.
Nathan’s mother reports these changes are reflected in his demeanor at home, where he is better able to regulate his emotions and behaviour. Nathan's teacher now describes him as a happy and engaged boy at school.
“Nathan has truly benefitted from the Be Centre. It has helped him to find his own identity, confidence and most importantly his voice”, says Nathan’s mother.
Macey* is now a bright, confident and beneficially different 5 year old girl. She enjoys playing happily with others and freely expresses her emotions.
Macey began attending Be Centre for more than twelve months. Her father had been diagnosed with cancer with a life expectation of six months. He has a history of perpetrating domestic violence on Macey’s mother while the children are present and was verbally abusive and unkind to Macey and her siblings. At home they were not allowed to play or make noises for fear of upsetting their father. His illness and his escalating aggression caused many mixed emotions.
When Macey first came to Be Centre she was extremely regressed in her behaviours and speech, aggressive in her play and interactions with the therapist. Initially Macey found it hard to play, often not knowing what to do in the play room., Gradually she regained a sense of her childhood and learned how to use her imagination to play creatively. She especially loved painting and working with clay.
Through Play Therapy Macey was able to process the trauma she and her family had experienced living in an extremely controlling and, at times, violent home situation. She was able to express herself freely and feel safe enough to explore and develop a new version of herself.
Macey is a totally different child now. Play Therapy has given her a sense of self-worth and she has learned how to be herself. She can now play happily with others and express emotions freely. Macey’s mother
Thanks to St George Foundation for supporting Macey with a Play Therapy Scholarship.
Sam* has developed confidence and self-worth that is reflective in coping with stressful family issues and school.
Sam's parents separated two years ago due to domestic violence. Sam as an 8 year old had witnessed this ongoing, and often extreme, violence. Due to this trauma Sam developed a severe level of anxiety and became quite hypersensitive. He internalised his feelings and was very worried, teary and clingy. He had trouble coping at school, was falling behind and carried a lot of fear about getting into trouble. Sam also felt the need to protect his mother. He experienced night terrors several times a week.
Since coming to Be Centre, Sam has begun to work with the conflict and violence he witnessed. Sam loves Be Centre as it is a place where he can be heard and feel secure. In most of his sessions Sam expands on a puppet show he began in his first session – a story in which people are fighting and hitting and someone needs to intervene to protect the mother and child. The conflict he experienced was too traumatic and difficult for Sam to express in words, so the puppets created a safe emotional distance to enable him to process the trauma and begin to heal.
To observe my child grow and develop the confidence and self-worth that he is so deserving of has been wonderful and has brought us both some peace of mind. I can see how far he has progressed. The positive changes have not only affected my son but also the rest of our family. Sam’s mother
Thanks to UN Ltd for supporting Sam with a Play Therapy Scholarship.
Evie* is a sensitive 9 year old girl who, with support and space is able to process her grief. She is doing really well and recently had a sleep over with friends.
Evie came to Be Centre following the suicide of her father. In addition to coping with the death of her father, Lara's mother was recently diagnosed with a life threatening illness.
Evie has always enjoyed a close bond with her mother and has been co-sleeping with her mother since her father's death which has helped with her grief. She was unable to participate in sleepovers or school camps due to severe separation anxiety. Compounding all this was her worry and the possibility of losing her mother too. Evie’s mother is unable to work due to her cancer treatment and financially things are difficult as well.
At Be Centre Evie was given the support and space she needed to be able to process her grief.
Evie found she loved using clay and drawing as a way to express her feelings and manage her anxiety and fears.
“A safe, confidential, and caring environment is created which allows the child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary (for physical and emotional safety),” PlayTherapy.org
* Names and identifying details have been changed.