Kara was an 8-year-old girl who had been referred to Clear Sky for Play & Creative Arts Therapy as she was having explosive outbursts of anger at home, and her Mother, Christine, was finding these outbursts overwhelming and difficult to cope with. After Kara had a period of therapy, Christine was invited along to the Playful Parents workshop to learn some of the Play Therapy skills which can be utilised in the home environment to support with some of Kara’s emotions and behaviours.
Christine initially found it difficult to engage her daughter in play times, as Kara often wanted to test Christine’s commitment to her and her ability to cope with difficult feelings would manifest as boundary testing. During the course of workshops, Christine learned to be a ‘thermostat and not a thermometer’ – to maintain an emotional level and not rise with Kara’s escalating feelings. Over time, this enabled Kara to feel much safer with her mother, because she knew that her Mum was emotionally stable, and would respond to her in a consistent and predictable manner.
Kara continued to test her Mum as the course went on, and even though Christine felt it hard at times, she persevered with the techniques she had learned.
At the end of the course Christine said that her daughter had told her “I wasn’t able to trust that you could deal with my feelings, and you’ve earned my trust again.” People remarked that Christine even looked different by the end of the course, she was smiling more, seemed much happier and far less stressed. Christine told us that she had gained this ‘inner stillness’ that enabled her to be constant for her daughter. Kara’s behaviour has changed dramatically as a result of the Playful Parents workshops in a way that was transformative and will hold her in good stead for the rest of her life. The repair work that took place within the relationship has given Kara the ‘secure base’ that she needed from her mother to help ease her anxieties and feel like a happy 8-year-old again.
“The course gave me real understanding, confidence and strategies to deal with difficult behaviour which have helped me calm my daughter down before things have escalated.” – Mum