Ways of working with children

Children who have been traumatised by abuse and domestic violence often find it difficult to talk about what they have experienced and seen. Our Caseworkers employ techniques that enable the child to tell their story through a range of modalities that are non- intimidating and non–judgemental, including but not limited to:

Art Therapy

People have been using art as a way to express, communicate and heal for thousands of years.  Over time, art has evolved as a healing strategy whereby people in distress are able to express themselves in their drawings and other art work.

Art therapy is a modality used by Parentline Caseworkers, working with children who have experienced emotional  trauma, physical abuse, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression or who are suffering from behavioural and social problems at school or at home.  A variety of art methods are used including drawing, painting, sculpture and collage.

Sandplay Therapy

Sandplay is recognised as a highly effective and creative modality used mostly in child therapy.  The essentials of Sandplay therapy are a sandtray, a source of water, shelves of miniatures of multitude variety – people, animals, buildings, bridges, vehicles, furniture, food, plants, rocks, shells, cartoon characters.

Sandplay is a medium in which the child has the freedom to self-express in ways he she desires, with no guidance or intrusion from the therapist.


Animal Assisted Therapy

Children with emotional and behavioural issues can be difficult to work with. Because of abuse or domestic violence, most are slow to trust adults and may be unwilling to trust anyone at all. A child who has been abused will likely be angry and prone to emotional outbursts.

Animal assisted therapy offers children a safe environment in which to work through issues of fear, anxiety, self-doubt and poor communication. By teaching the child how to work with and communicate with an animal, the child learns how to apply these same skills to their own interpersonal relationships.

Parentline works in partnership with the Hamilton Riding for the Disabled Group to offer children horse riding experience to build self-esteem and self-confidence. The programme is invaluable for children who bully or are being bullied.

Behavioural Therapy

Parentline provides evidence based behavioural therapy that is uniquely tailored to your child’s needs.  All behaviour has a purpose, even inappropriate or challenging behaviours.  Behavioural therapy uses procedures to understand the cause or purpose of the behaviour. It can be used to increase appropriate behaviours, teach new skills, maintain behaviours, generalise appropriate behaviours across people and places, and reduce skill deficits or inappropriate behaviours. 

See more pictures of the art- and sandplay therapy