Interactive Therapy is form of play therapy. This is also particularly useful in finding “special time” with a child. It’s an opportunity to practice instructing and structuring a child. And moreover, a wonderful way to educate and/or get a feel for whatever ideas and topics that are in your child’s mind. Mostly, it’s practical and fun. There are several aspects of interactive therapy that are helpful for people with behavior or social skills challenges such as:
⦁ Engaging in an activity with the purpose of practicing how to make decisions based on options available.
⦁ Understanding the nuances of social cues and expectations in a group
⦁ Practicing focusing and keeping attention and concentration
⦁ Being assertive and/or knowing when to accept trends in a group setting
⦁ Management of emotions including frustration, anxiety, sadness, boredom, and anger
Interactive therapy is an important mode that I use often with kids and adults alike. One of the greatest challenges to overcome in therapy is that most of your problems, issues, and pressures take place exclusively outside of the office. Often is the case that people intellectualize as a defense. With interactive therapy, we engage in activities designed to evoke the very situations and reactions that you would encounter outside of the session. If we can make you feel it, be more informed in how to cope with it, then maybe you will be more successful in continuing with good habits on a more consistent basis.
Interactive therapy is also a wonderful way to engage kids who may not even recognize their patterns. If the work seems like fun, then they are much more likely to engage. When they do, not only does their resistance reduce, so too their guard drops and when can often for the first time understand what’s cooking down deep in their minds. It’s amazing how the simple activity of play can open up the world.
So to be clear, while on the surface you may see what we are doing is play or mundane exchanges, in reality big things take shape. In treatment, we build trust and rapport. Play evokes many aspects of one’s personality that may not be readily available unless it is prompted to emerge. How you handle competition, what your style of problem solving is, your ability to be present with others socially, while simultaneously being able to process multiple stimuli and scenarios–All of this is on display when we interact. That leads to being in touch with your emotions and feelings while consciously practicing active change under real-life pressures.
Additionally, interactive therapy is a perfect way to practice parenting skills. As an aside, you are not emotionally scarring your kids at every turn. Behavior cycles are years in the making and derive from such things as the personality of the child and parent clashing or ineffective communication and limit setting/follow through patterns. So by participating, we are modelling more effective ways to create safe and predictable environments to engage with your child or person. We can practice more effective alternatives and increase our comfortability with new routines.