Image of a girl surrounded by illustrated minds

Helping A Child to Get in Touch with their Feelings

Client D was referred age 8 after their Parents separated and their Mother moved out of the family home. Within the weekly sessions, Client D talked about what was happening with their family but would dismiss or minimise their feelings about it. They described how, if upsetting things happened, they would distract themselves by going online. Client D began to play an imaginative game with miniature figures, repeatedly choosing a character to represent themselves that was brutally attacked or that they would perform operations on. The Therapist wondered if Client D did not feel able to be in touch with their true feelings and so was unconsciously turning their distress in on themselves. Client D also liked art; the Therapist watched and appreciated when they made things, particularly when they persisted despite difficulties with the art making; hoping this would give them a sense of their own abilities and that this would help to counter the helplessness and despair that they expressed in the imaginative play. As time went on, the attacked figure made fewer appearances and Client D developed a playful game where characters interacted in more everyday situations; asking the Therapist to play some of the characters. Client D also began to explore their wishes for the future. Things were getting better at home and Client D was eating better and spending less time online at home. Towards the end of the year, Client D and Therapist discussed whether they wished to continue the following year, Client D stated that they felt things had improved and they felt ready to end the sessions.

If when I first came I was on 1, now I’m on 9999…When I grow up I want to have a job as a Space person.