Therapy is so dependent on the counselor-client relationship. More so than the theory or method a counselor uses, how they form this relationship sets the stage for future successes or failures.
That doesn’t mean every session should just be two people talking the whole time though, especially if the clients are children. Young kids in particular need some kind of mediation for these interactions. Often, manipulatives such as slime do a great job of filling this purpose. To further learn how counselors use slime in play therapy, read on.
Slime’s Perfect for Rapport-Building Sessions
When counselors have their first session with a child, they want to get the relationship started on the right foot, leaving harder topics for when their clients trust them. Because slime is so universally loved, kids not only want to play with it but it isn’t foreign to them. In fact, it’s often a rare treat. Bringing it out early allows kids to associate counselors with fun and look forward to coming back.
It’s a Tool for Sensory Control and Decompression
Once sessions become more serious, counselors use slime in play therapy during tough talks. By playing with it as they talk, kids feel more secure because they can take control of their sensory experience even as they grapple with stressful memories or fears. This additional security may even allow them to share more than they ordinarily would. And when they break down or become angry, slime serves as a useful tool for decompression. Counselors are all about teaching proper coping skills, and this can demonstrate one in real-time as they meet.
It Helps Kids on the Spectrum Participate
Just like any other kid, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) go to counseling. Because they typically have a few more social challenges, hands-on slime is one of the best sensory toys for helping kids on the spectrum participate. It alleviates the need for sustained eye contact, something many kids on the spectrum struggle with or are uncomfortable with. Another struggle, being in a new place, is much more tolerable when these kiddos have something to play with as well.
Slime is also perfect for those with sensory processing disorder (which is common in those with autism). It keeps them from feeling overwhelmed by the sensory information that buzzes around them at all times, instead grounding them in play they can control. There are too many benefits for counselors of kids with ASD to ignore its merits.