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Stress and Obesity
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5 signs that you have a good child psychologist in front of you

How to choose a child psychologist who works with children and with themselves, says child psychologist Victoria Melikhova.

1 His office resembles a toy store

The task of the psychologist is to accept the baby, create a comfortable environment for him, give him the opportunity to feel safe, and then give him the opportunity to express himself.

 

A child may not always be able to express thoughts or feelings, but they can play. Strong emotions and conflicts will definitely manifest themselves in the game.

 

In order for the child to relax and start playing, it is necessary to provide him with a comfortable environment. This is a specially equipped playroom or children’s corner in the room, preferably with a carpet so that the child can safely play on the floor.

 

There are a lot of different toys in the child psychologist’s room — so that the child can choose what toys to play with and what to play with.

 

A child may not always be able to express thoughts or feelings, but they can play. Strong emotions and conflicts will definitely manifest themselves in the game.

There must be a toy house. The house is the personification of yourself, your family. By the way the child will play in the house, how he will arrange it, who will settle down, you can say a lot about the child’s family and about his psychological comfort in the home environment.

 

Among the toys must be a doll family: dad, mom and child. Through such toys, children can show the real situation in the family or, conversely, the ideal parents they would like to have. Dolls are not popular with everyone, so it should be possible to raise a family, for example, from animals (bear, bear and bear cub).

 

Different toys will help you express and work out your feelings. A good set of animals will help you express emotions: hare-fear, wolf-anger. To work out aggressive feelings in the office, it is good to have a ball, old paper, from which you can “blind” snowballs, make a gun, a sword.

 

A set of dishes, vegetables and fruits, various types of transport will help to make the game’s plot more vivid and provide the psychologist with more material for work.

 

Some children will need a baby doll, a stroller, a feeding bottle — the topic of babies is very relevant for children. Someone has a little brother, someone wants to be a kid again, and someone plays their kids.

 

Well, if there is a shelter: a house, a soft cylinder, a bag. You can get tired of the game, and then you can hide and take a break.

 

A good child psychologist’s office should have a sandbox. A rare child does not like to play with sand. Sand calms well, helps to work out different feelings. Paints and pencils will help your child express their feelings in color, in a drawing.

2 The psychologist encourages you to exercise regularly

Working with the child is conducted through building a trusting relationship with them, so it is very important that the child is given the maximum possible constant time in long-term work.

 

The stability, predictability, and consistency of the child’s contact with the psychologist itself plays a therapeutic role. Children quickly get used to a certain regularity and start waiting for the next meeting. It’s easier to wait when you know you’ll be back and what time it will be.

 

The duration of one meeting is usually 45-50 minutes. This time is enough for the child to develop the game plot, but at the same time not get tired.

3 A good child psychologist uses the free play method

In psychoanalytic psychotherapy with adults, the method of free association is used. A person speaks freely whatever comes into his head: he starts talking about one thing, ends up talking about something completely different-often very unexpected for himself.

With children, the free play method is used. It’s like asking a child what’s bothering them, what they’re thinking. And the child responds with a game. And here every detail is important, every choice of the child — what toys to take, what to do with them. If you allow them to play only part of the toys or only certain games, it is the same as if I asked them to tell an adult about their experiences using only vowels. Therefore, during the session, the child should play by himself as he wants.

 

If you allow them to play only part of the toys or only certain games, it is the same as if I asked them to tell an adult about their experiences using only vowels. Therefore, during the session, the child should play by himself as he wants.

The psychologist takes the child to the office, where there are different toys. The child chooses the ones he likes and starts playing. Psychoanalytically oriented psychologists try not to interfere with the child’s game. They are close by, observe the game’s plot, analyze the symbolic meaning of toys, and compare the game’s material with information from the medical history that they previously received from their parents.

 

The psychologist voices the child’s feelings, suggests what is the relationship between the child’s game and his life situation, internal conflict or bursting feeling.

 

A five-year-old boy builds a wall from session to session that separates me from the world around me. I can’t go beyond that wall, I can’t even try to break it down. The child asks me to cry loudly. I begin to analyze: a wall is a border, borders are prohibitions. You can’t even try to destroy the wall. I tell the child that, probably, there is something that he really wants, but it is impossible. So it is — “you can’t” say parents,” you can’t ” say educators. It is very difficult to be in such tension, I want to cry, but my uncle says that only girls cry. Therefore, the child himself cannot cry.

 

In a playful way, the child can be offered other scenarios, and thus help him get an experience that he does not get in life and that can be transferred to reality. For example, all the kid’s toys fight all the time. But you can try to make friends and play together. Or the girl plays too strict mother, who scolds and punishes for any offense. And what happens if this mom gets a little kinder?

4 He goes to personal therapy

In the process of observing a child’s play, a psychologist may have many different fantasies, and interaction with the child causes many different feelings, which are the material for work. At the same time, it is important to distinguish your fantasies and feelings that relate to the specialist himself from those that relate to the case.

Personal psychotherapy helps here. A good psychologist for a child, already as a client, studies their pain points, their feelings and emotions, how they arise, in response to what events.

 

When I know myself and my emotional reactions well, I can distinguish whether it is my fear that arose during the session, or whether it relates to the child and his family. I understand that my office is safe, that in principle I do not have excessive concern for the safety of the child, that it is unfounded. So, I can think that it is the fear of the child or his mother. Conversely, when a child gives me, for example, a snake, I do not attribute aggressive feelings towards me to the child, because snakes frighten me, not the child. I’m trying to understand what a snake means to a particular child.

5 The psychologist communicates with the supervisor and colleagues

Supervision is a form of work where a psychologist examines a case with a more experienced specialist. During supervision, you can analyze the progress of work, better understand the presented case, and get the support of a more experienced colleague.

It is important for a psychologist to constantly develop, attend training seminars and conferences. After all, there you can share your experience, communicate with colleagues, and learn from their best practices.

 

The main resource is love and interest in your work. You can learn to be a psychologist, but to gain professional flair, develop professional intuition, and become a true master of your craft, you need to have a vocation. Great love for what you do, curiosity, interest in your inner world make you learn, work on yourself, listen to yourself, and therefore constantly improve the quality of your work.

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