By Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S

We hold true to the idea that every child deserves a play therapy experience; the benefits aren’t limited to children inwardly or outwardly struggling. Yet caregivers don’t usually put play therapy on their list of after school activities to sign their child up for — few plan on finding themselves in a play therapist’s office. Even caregivers who believe in the power of therapy and, perhaps, themselves see a therapist don’t typically plan for this moment.

It’s natural for us to pass off resistant parents/caregivers as difficult (…I know, it’s hard sometimes)

But here’s the thing …  no matter how a caregiver makes their way to your office, they’re in some stage of the grief process 💔 … (yep!)

They may be in denial or mad at the world … They may be accepting or sad … They may try to bargain their way out of going … Or they may be experiencing a range of emotions as they come to terms with the loss of their ideal – the fantasy of what parenthood was supposed to be like and some of the dreams they held for their child shattered.

But regardless of how they show up, we must remember …. therapy was never part of their parenting plan, leaving it up to us to help them through their grieving process.

If you’re a parent/caregiver, you may relate: we often have this idea of how we think parenthood will go before we ever have children. Then our children come along and everything changes! Seriously! We make a plan, but life shows us something different.

Still, as unpredictable as parenthood may be, caregivers with children in therapy battle more than we may think: they battle their grief as well. 

So here’s the thing … Play therapy isn’t only about the child! Find a way to tell the parents/caregivers you work with that they are seen, they are heard, and they are understood. ❤️

Because actually, these are the three things we all, parents/caregivers or not, want to experience.

Much love on the journey!

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