Intervention in the psychoanalytic tradition is geared at understanding a child's
complex meanings, possibly originating from experiences in infancy or from a recent
These past experiences will colour their current experiences, resulting in maladaptive behaviour.
Intervention aims to work through these potential blocks to learning. Examples of creative therapeutic interventions include: art therapy, music therapy, play therapy.
In these two clips, teachers describe some of the benefits of different therapeutic
approaches in the classroom.
The therapist provides:
- A means for expression/containment of feelings, clear boundaries, and helps to make order out of chaos.
- A trusting relationship – shared communication that develops through the medium in question.
Specialist techniques may be used to help:
- Voice feelings (articulating the 'unspeakable').
- Use of metaphor – exploring issues one-step-removed through another analogous context.
It is important to distinguish 'therapy' from 'therapeutic'. There are respectful therapeutic principles that can be safely used without specific training in therapy. These include:
1. Patience – change is possible, needs time.
2. Trust – 'being there', reliable.
3. Space – cosy contained place or freedom outside?
4. Containment – security from structure, boundaries.
5. Doing and being – balance of demands and space.
6. Shared language – regard through interaction.
7. Timing – sensitivity over a new departure.
In this clip, you can see examples of music therapy in action, along with a discussion of its benefits and impacts. Try to spot some of the therapeutic characteristics described previously, and how they influence the therapist's approach.
- Start 'where the child is at'.
- Use a multi-sensory approach – visual, aural, kinaesthetic, touch, smell.
- Read body language – watch for 'red flags' for when the child is becoming agitated, and deflect.
- Ritual aspects – use routine beginnings, endings, to provide a sense of security.
- Transitions – support all changes, use cues to help the child anticipate and prevent feeling out of control.