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Elaine Hutchinson

Creative Art and Play Therapy

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Teens with questions

1. I’m a teen – there’s loads of ‘kids’ stuff’ in your room. Is therapy with you just for kids?

I work with kids, teens and adults and all in pretty much the same way. I’m a creative arts therapist as part of my job so all the bits and pieces in my room are part of that. A lot of the therapy I use is therapy which has come down from adult therapy into the kids and teens therapy world, rather than it being the other way around. Sand tray therapy is a great example of this.

I use sand and clay differently depending on what each person needs, but I do use them (and loads of other things) with everyone who wants to use them. If you are more of a ‘talker’ than a ‘doer’ that’s ok. We can talk too! You don’t have to get messy if it’s something you don’t like!

2. I get endless rules at school. Do you have loads of rules?

In a word – no. You, me and Orca must be safe and the things in my room must be safe too. That’s pretty much it, along with starting and ending on time.

3. Is everything I say to you just between us?

Some things can be, but not necessarily everything. You can say anything you like about what happens in sessions and most of the time I will not tell anyone anything specific. I will explain more when I meet you. However, if I think something you have told me means you or someone you know is getting hurt or could be hurt, I will need to say something to someone. I will always tell you that I will need to tell (and say what might happen next) before I do. I won’t keep the fact I need to tell a secret from you. If you know about safeguarding at school – it’s pretty much the same here.

4. Can I have an adult with me in sessions – I’m anxious?

In all probability yes, if it helps you feel less anxious, but it would be good if we can discuss it at the intake meeting and agree a few things about sessions first.

5. What if you suggest something to do and I don’t want to do it?

The space and time in sessions are yours and you can use them how you like. If I suggest something and you don’t want to do it, that’s ok and it’s fine to say!

Kids asking questions

6. I’ve had a tough day at school, do we really have to look at the hard stuff?

It’s up to you how you use our sessions. No-one can look at hard stuff in their life all the time and everyone must feel ok to do so. If today is not the day and you just need an easy, light session – just say. It’s OK.

7. I want to do an exciting thing and it’s the same time as our session. Can I change my session time?

If we can rearrange the session time so you can do both I will help where I can. I don’t always have space to shift things about though.

8. We’ve done a load of sessions and I feel like stopping. What’s next?

It really depends how long we’ve been working together and what is going on but we can work something out. Just ask – we can plan together.

9. I want to do the same thing every week. Is that OK?

Yes of course, it’s your space and time. I might suggest we mix things up occasionally, but if you like your ‘go to’ thing and it’s helping, then I’m happy – but let’s chat about it too.

10. Why do you ask about taking photos of things?

Often it helps me to remember how you did something like a sand tray or a story using figures. It also helps me to be able to look back over things you’ve done easily. If you don’t want me to take a picture, it’s OK to say. I won’t mind. I will never take a photo of you. When we meet, I will talk more about why I take photos so you can understand a bit more, but it is always up to you, and you can say yes or no whenever you like.

Bonus question – What about Zoom?

Creative therapy works better face to face, if there is a time when you can’t get to me (e.g. Covid) then we can do a session on Zoom together. Some types of therapy I can do on Zoom but face to face is always best.


If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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