Tele-Play Therapy During a Pandemic

In one swift moment, the world as we know it flipped upside down. Our schedules are distorted, our schools are closed, and our fears have escalated. Creating a new reality for ourselves is a challenge no one expected to face right now. Luckily, telehealth has opened me to a new virtual platform where our therapeutic play space can continue to live on.

We are living in a scary, crazy, historical time. The uncertainty of each day is hard to tolerate while keeping a happy face for our children and clients. This is a time to quiet the anxious mind and just breathe. We need to take this time as a reset. We are being asked to stop, slow down, be home, and stay with our families. What a gift. We have been given an opportunity to challenge ourselves, to become more tolerant, more resilient, more connected.

It is easy to stay in our comfort zone, but what happens when we are not given a choice? Many of us had to quickly move to telehealth with little warning. The play therapy community stepped up courageously to share resources and support each other. It is essential to get appropriate training and understanding of telehealth for us to do our work ethically and effectively. Parents really need our support and parent coaching is important at this time. Many parents are having a harder time than their children.They have to adjust to being home with the whole family and living with the uncertainty of this situation. Many kids are enjoying this "staycation" (the first week in at least).

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So, what have the children taught me in this first week of tele-play therapy?

  1. The relationship you have with your clients does not go away because you are not in the playroom
  2. Children are excited to share their home, family and pets with their therapist
  3. No matter what you may put on the agenda, children will find a more creative and therapeutic way. TRUST THEIR PROCESS.
  4. Children love being home with their families
  5. Children are happy to be out of school
  6. Children are really missing their friends
  7. Children do best with a routine and need time outdoors everyday.
  8. Children are resilient and need loving, nurturing, playful, connections.

Many of you know my passion for play therapy and for helping children and families. I knew I needed to do something to share my resources with other play therapists. I have done daily youtube videos providing support and sharing resources. You can check them out below and subscribe to my YouTube channel "Tammi Van Hollander."

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Meet the Expert:
Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT-S, is a licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapist. She is the owner of Main Line Play Therapy in Bryn Mawr, PA, where she works with children and families and consults with local schools and community members. She is a certified Trainer for the Nurtured Heart Approach®, a certified FirstPlay® practitioner, trained in level one Theraplay® and EMDR.

Tammi's work and creative interventions in the field of play therapy have been published and internationally recognized. Tammi is the author of a multi-sensory, attachment-based children's book titled, Casey's Greatness Wings: Teaching Mindfulness, Connection, and Courage to Children.

She specializes in attachment, sand tray play therapy & sensory integration working with infants, children, families, and adults of all ages. She is a regular faculty member at The Expressive Therapies Summit in NYC and LA. She is a sought-after expert for speaking engagements, podcast and webinars.

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Topic: Cultural, Social, & Racial Issues | Families and Couples | Play Therapy | Social Distancing

Tags: Activity | Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study | Advice | Culture | How To | Kids | Success | Teens | Telehealth | Therapy Tools | Tools

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