Become a psychotherapist for your child

Each of us can become a teacher, mentor, friend for our child. How about being a psychotherapist for him? This is quite real and extremely necessary, Lyubov Moshinskaya, a child psychologist and play therapist, is sure.

Parents may well be therapists for their children — those people who will help them cope with difficulties. Do you disagree? Why not?

I can already hear the parents’ objections: “we don’t know how,” “we don’t know how,” “we tried it this way and that, nothing helps,” “it’s psychologists who can help — but how can we know what to do.”

Outraged psychologists join them: “You are vulgarizing the profession! We have been studying for so many years, and you say that everyone can do it. Yes, parents have one way of education — shouting! The whole problem is that adults spoil children too much.

Professor Harry Landreth of Texas and I argue that parents are the best therapists for their children. First of all, because the therapist meets with the child once a week, and the parent is nearby 24 hours a day. Isn’t that a convincing argument?

Becoming a psychotherapist for your own child is not so difficult. How is a therapist different from a parent? What happens in the playroom that doesn’t happen at home? That’s right — the therapist knows how to use certain techniques: acceptance, setting boundaries, empathy, complicity. And most importantly, he follows the child, gives him freedom, does not teach the child what he should do. And these techniques can be mastered by any parent.

Professor Landreth works in a direction that he himself called filial therapy. We are talking about parent groups, where moms and dads are taught the techniques that a psychotherapist uses. The group meets ten times. At the first three meetings, parents are told the theory, explain the principles of selecting toys. The therapist demonstrates his work — with a child or a parent, and then the participants train with each other.

After the third meeting, the most interesting comes. Once a week, the parent should play with the child. Only once a week. Only half an hour. According to the instructions given by the therapist.

“Only once a week?” Just half an hour? Why not two hours every day? ask surprised parents.

It’s simple: it turns out that even this half an hour a week is not so easy to find.

After she started playing with them, the children themselves saw her off: “You need to go to class!”

But already at the first game with a child, parents discover a lot of new things. One young mother, who is raising a first-grader son and a little daughter, recalled that when she told her son that they were going to play together with him now, the boy was amazed: “Without Anya ?!” So my mother realized that for a very long time she had not been only with him, did not belong only to her son.

The twin children did not let the other mother go anywhere: they cried, grabbed her hands, hung on the hood of the car. After she started playing with them, the children themselves saw her off: “You need to go to class!”

Another mother, a professor, said that she and her son had no problems anyway: he loved to study, he did his homework himself. She explained to the boy that she was going to learn to play with him and she had homework: to play together with him for half an hour. When half an hour was over, the child asked:

“Are we going to play like this every day?” No, only once a week.

— But if you do your homework every day, you can learn faster! — the excellent student reasonably noted.

Of course, behind these words lay not only educational motivation. And similar examples can be cited endlessly.

What is filial therapy, how to translate this phrase into Russian? «Branch Therapy»? But they don’t say that… And only recently it dawned on me.

In our city there is a Family and Child Center. The office of the therapist Lyubov Moshinsky is located there. And this office has a branch. He is at Vasya Ivanov’s house. And a therapist works in this branch — his mother. Vasya is very lucky — you don’t have to go anywhere to get help.

Maybe it’s time to organize something similar for your child?

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