www.helpingpsychology.com 3 Techniques Employed in Pediatric Psychology
www.helpingpsychology.com Pediatric psychology, or child psychology, is the science concerned with the thought patterns and behaviors of children. Many of the findings in this area are applied to optimize the education, foster the development and improve the results of counseling for children.
www.helpingpsychology.com Just as kids differ from teens and adults in many notable ways, so do the counseling techniques employed in pediatric psychology. Here are three techniques used in pediatric psychology that have been developed in order to foster positive behavior and well-being in children.
www.helpingpsychology.com Play Therapy It is common knowledge that children are unable to express or explore their feelings to the same extent as adults.
www.helpingpsychology.com To account for this limitation, counselors must use techniques that capture feelings, opinions and personalities in a way more fitting for children. Play therapy is one popular approach to counseling children that has yielded favorable results.
www.helpingpsychology.com For example, the therapist may allow the child to play freely and note the things the child says and does, and particularly the emotions and understandings of the world and relationships that the child expresses.
www.helpingpsychology.com Art Therapy Art therapy involves the therapist watching for thoughts and feelings expressed in the child’s art. As a nonverbal mode of expression, art can provide a perspective that the child may not be able to articulate.
www.helpingpsychology.com Through discussing the artwork and the situations represented in it, the counselor can glean a fuller understanding of life through the eyes of their client, the child. From that point, they can work with the child through the same medium to help the child become better-adjusted to and more accepting of his or her situation.
www.helpingpsychology.com In fact, there are therapists who work with children, teens and adults who specialize in this kind of therapy. http://www.youthvillages.org/Portals/0/images/what_we_do/residential/InnerHarbour/classroom.png
www.helpingpsychology.com Emotion Graphics As another way of overcoming a child’s inability to fully articulate his or her experience, the therapist may use pre-made graphical charts that represent emotions pictorially.
www.helpingpsychology.com For example, if the child is trying to express a certain emotion to the therapist but can’t find the proper words to do so, the therapist may present a chart of facial expressions and ask the child to point to his or her emotion. This technique works great with children and also with verbally-challenged patients such as autistic individuals.
www.helpingpsychology.com These are just a few of the techniques employed by counselors, which were developed based on research findings about the capabilities and development of children in the field of pediatric psychology. Pediatric psychology is a rapidly developing science that will undoubtedly contribute several more effective techniques for assisting children in the future.
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