“your time, your space”
These are the words I use when my child client enters the room.
They hear it at the start of every session.
It is a reminder.
This place is different.
Has different rules.
The basics are about not hurting : yourself, me, the toys – although accidents do happen (sometimes need to happen…)
It is an invitation.
To those not used to having their own time, their own space- where they can be, where they can decide, where they can lead the way. Their way. At their pace.
No expectations. No targets to set – or achieve.
No stickers to collect.
In here it is not just the smiley face that is accepted.
In here all colours are ok. Midnight – scary as hell- black
Raving mad as hell red.
Deep as secrets blue
laugh out loud yellow
screeching bouncing orange
Slow and wet as mud brown.
In here we can speak of death. And hate.
And being chewed up by envy.
Being spat out.
Being overwhelmed like sloppy sand banks and rivers of water.
Of play dough poo.
Being accepted for who you are.
In that moment in time.
the walls in here hold as fast as the therapist’s attention.
the sand tray holds the sand.
the bucket holds the water.
even as it is poured out
Being contained, weeks after week
within the same forty five minutes
creates other walls
this place is like no other.
it is a therapeutic space.
it is a therapeutic relationship
with a beginning, chaos and lots of different meanderings in the middle
a good enough ending
which is counted down
which is spoken
and made manifest
three more sessions
this is the last time we will meet
the bridge has been built.
the trust internalised.
and a new way of relating to the world, to others, and to self
has been made possible.