Early Childhood Intervention: Module Three – The Professionals

The “T” Professionals

Therapists: Art, Play, Movement

Art Therapist

Art therapists (Fig. 1 and 2) work with children or adults with disabilities, or who have survived abuse or trauma. Their treatment helps these children heal, and it uses simple art materials. Art therapists encourage children to freely express themselves. They aim to help children to feel safe and free of threat no matter what they paint, colour or create. Art therapists work with parents and with other professionals to help the child. In British Columbia, the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute provides these services and trains art therapists.

Figure 1. Art therapy

Figure 2. Art therapy

Movement Therapist

Movement/dance therapists (Fig. 3) work with children with disabilities or with behavior or emotional challenges using different movements. These movements may be related to exercises, physical training or dances. Movement therapists draw from different movement traditions around the world. They use these movements to heal and promote physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Figure 3. Movement/dance therapist

Play Therapist

Play therapists work with children who may be going through difficult times at home, school or within their community. Play therapy is a valued approach for children who have survived trauma. Play therapists invite children to “play out” (Fig. 4) their feelings; while adults “talk out” their feelings in adult therapy sessions. Play therapists may work in agencies that provide different community and therapy services for families. These may include Children’s Services, community agencies, psychiatric centers, children’s hospitals, schools, and women’s shelters. Play therapists may work one-on-one or within group settings, or with the child and family together.

Figure 4. Play therapy

Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing works in home guidance & preschool programs for deaf and hard of hearing children. Find out about specific programs and resources for children who are deaf or hard of hearing listed under General Resources.

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