Childhood is an important landmark in every person’s life. Anything that happens in that stage has a direct impact on how they behave later in adulthood. The quality of the child’s relationship with their significant adults, the environment in which they are growing; greatly affect their cognitive, emotional and social development.

There is a rise in the awareness of mental health issues affecting children and adolescents, yet it is underestimated and unknown the impact that some adverse conditions and experiences have in children’s everyday life and future.

Children can be exposed to many issues from academic and social pressure, family breakdown; to more severe adverse life experiences, such as bullying, dysfunctional families, poverty, violence, inappropriate care. Which in the long run is very likely to cause emotional, physical and mental health problems.

All children will sometimes display challenging and defiant behaviours. However, some children present abnormal and extreme challenging behaviour which are not age-appropriate.

Some children can understand their own feelings, verbalise how they feel and find way to manage them. They develop the ability to understand the emotional state of others. However, others fail or find more difficult to learn this; as such for these children it is more difficult to self-regulate their emotions and behaviours. They might present themselves, more anxious and aggressive than their peers. This further cause the inability to develop social skills which are important in building friendships and meaningful relationship. A limitation that often is protracted into adulthood.

Child therapy is important because is an opportunity for the child to learn to regulate their emotions and understand the connection between their feelings and behaviour in order to have more control over the them. Child therapy promotes:

  • Increase in self-esteem and confidence
  • Decrease of anxiety and depression.
  • Development of a healthy sense of self.
  • Increase of social competencies

In Child therapy, the therapist builds a relationship of trust with the child, which is essential. Allowing the child to freely express themselves and gain awareness and understanding of the inner-self. In the therapeutic space the child or adolescent can feel safe, comfortable and understood, making it easier for them to use therapy in a helpful way.

The therapist is usually very creative in delivering the intervention, as creativity is the medium children use the most to communicate. As such playing, drawing, colouring, building are ways to explore feelings and solve problems with the therapist.



  • Play Therapy
  • Talk Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Parent-Child Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy
  • EMDR (eye movement desensitization & reprocessing)

By Stell Taiwo

Play therapist at wearehumancounselling

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