Navigating an unfamiliar school environment can be daunting for children, and some may require additional support to work through their daily challenges. Wondering how support services in Singapore, like child counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and play therapy can make a difference to your child? Read on to find out.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & Child Counselling: Nurturing A Child’s Emotional Well-being
Child Counselling & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: What's The Difference?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps children to modify their thinking patterns and habits in the present. It involves identifying and examining how negative thoughts influence their actions and then replacing them with positive ones. On the other hand, Child Counselling is more focused on the child's past experiences. The effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling varies depending on the child's needs. While cognitive behavioural therapy may work better for some children, counselling may be more effective for others.
Conditions Addressed through Child Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy include:
- Anger management
- Anxiety/Panic Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Behavioural Issues
- Bipolar Disorders
- Chronic Stress
- Communication Challenges
- Disruptive behaviour disorders
- Eating disorders
- Lack of Emotional Regulation
- Low Self-Esteem
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Managing and nurturing the emotional well-being of children is extremely important, but it can be challenging to approach the topic and get a child to open up. Having identified this issue, child counselling services are provided at the Integrated International School to provide a safe and nurturing environment where children can express themselves freely with a trained in-house counsellor.
Through individual or group counselling, children will discuss their thoughts and emotions and are equipped with tools for stress management, self-awareness, mindfulness, and problem-solving. Our professional support staff will encourage students to discuss anything that’s on their mind. These counselling sessions help children identify their emotions and provide them with the tools to handle stress, grow self-awareness, utilise mindfulness techniques, and develop problem-solving skills.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of talk therapy that aims to help children identify and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. The method is useful in tackling personal challenges that the child may be facing, fostering resilience, and equipping children with valuable life skills.
For example, a child might say “Reading is so boring and difficult for me. I give up, I am never going to read books again!”. Cognitive behavioural therapy approaches the situation from a more positive and objective standpoint, such as “Reading may be a challenge for me, but I am not going to give up. I am just as smart as the other kids and I will overcome this challenge.”
Cognitive behavioural therapy also focuses on the present and future, which helps children understand that they have little control over what has happened in the past. Children are instead encouraged to reflect on how they can better regulate their emotions and behaviour. Empirical methods used in cognitive behavioural therapy have proven effective in treating various conditions.
At the Integrated International School, our team of experienced teachers work closely alongside our in-house psychologists and therapists to tweak each child's cognitive behavioural therapy approach, in environments where the children feel most at ease. This level of detail ensures that positive relationships are fostered, children are more receptive to therapy sessions, and ultimately leads to more effective intervention outcomes.
Play Therapy: Helping Children Express Themselves Through Play
Play therapy helps children to express their thoughts and feelings in a safe and non-judgmental environment. It is based on the idea that children naturally use play as a way of communicating, and that by using play in therapy, children can express themselves more easily than through traditional talk therapy. This therapy is generally used with children who are between the ages of 3 and 12.
How can Play Therapy help my child?
Play therapy is a helpful approach for children dealing with emotional or behavioural issues. It provides them with a safe and natural outlet to express themselves through play, allowing them to develop a sense of control and work through difficult situations. Play therapy also helps children to learn important social skills, such as communication, cooperation, and negotiation. By engaging in play, children can acquire new coping mechanisms and learn how to redirect inappropriate behaviours.
Play therapy can be either directive or nondirective. In the directive approach, the therapist specifies the toys or games to be used and guides the play with a specific goal in mind. In the nondirective approach, the child is free to choose their own toys and games and play in their way with minimal instructions or interruptions. The therapist observes closely and participates as appropriate.
Sessions must take place in an environment where the child feels safe and where there are few limitations. The therapist may use techniques that involve creative visualisation, storytelling, role-playing puppets, stuffed animals, dance and creative movement, arts and crafts and more. Through playtime, the therapist can observe and gain insights into a child’s problems. The therapist can then help the child explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma.
Play Therapy may help in a variety of conditions:
- Aggressive or angry behaviour
- Anxiety, depression, grief
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Developmental delay or learning disabilities
- Domestic violence, abuse, or neglect
- Eating and toileting disorders
- Facing medical procedures, chronic illness, or palliative care
- Family issues, like divorce, separation, or death of a close family member
- Natural disasters or traumatic events
- Problem behaviours in school
However, it's important to note that play therapy should not be considered a substitute for medication or any other necessary treatments in case your child has a diagnosed mental or physical illness. Play therapy can be used alone or in combination with other therapies to help your child manage their condition more effectively.
Why Does the Integrated International School Singapore Provide In-House Child Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Play Therapy?
Child counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and play therapy will be pivotal in supporting your child's emotional well-being, fostering resilience, and equipping them with essential life skills. At the Integrated International School, we offer an integrated approach to therapy, combining the expertise of teachers, psychologists, and therapists in a safe and nurturing learning environment.
This collaborative effort ensures that each child receives a tailored intervention plan to address their unique needs. This approach fosters positive relationships between students and support school specialists, leading to effective intervention outcomes, and ensuring every child receives the personalised support they need to thrive academically and emotionally.
Want to find out more on how the Integrated International School can help your child? Contact us today for a school tour. See you soon!