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Our Specialist Play and Therapies team supports children, young people and families with child-led sessions that focus on individual needs; helping children communicate their emotions, manage anxiety and gain a sense of autonomy.

There are many reasons for a referral to this service including social, emotional, developmental and physical support.

Our therapy sessions are a confidential, safe space where children feel they are valued and respected. Sessions with our professionally-qualified and HCPC registered therapists last up to 45 minutes and are a time to communicate in the child or young person’s preferred manner and be heard.

Specialist Play

Noah's ark children's hospice believes that play is such a vital aspect of a child's life. Our Play Specialist, Vikki Kempster, can provide play support for your child in your home, school or hospital setting if he or she is undergoing a stressful procedure or is worrying about their condition. All play sessions are focused to meet the individual needs of the child with aims and outcomes. Sessions are child led and all play is looked at from a holistic approach to enable positive outcomes.

Vikki uses sensory play as part of her sessions. This allows a child to use all five senses, sensory play encourages children to explore materials, building up their fine motor skills and coordination. Children process information through their senses and learn through exploration. Giving them a better understanding of the world around them.

Vikki can also provide advice on ways of playing that can help your child’s all round development. Vikki also supports brothers and sisters who are experiencing difficult times and this can be pre and post bereavement.

Dramatherapy (Drama and Movement Therapy)

Our Dramatherapist/Drama and Movement Therapist, Amy Keenan, uses a mixture of verbal and non-verbal creative tools to encourage exploration and expression of feelings and thoughts. A creative arts form of psychotherapy- this flexible and child-led approach allows Amy to support children and their siblings within the home, school or hospital setting regarding emotional, mental health, social and behavioural based issues. Amy delivers 1:1 and group based sessions to a wide range of ages, and supports parents and carers with techniques and ideas.

This specialised form of dramatherapy can support those with complex needs to experience personal growth and develop relationships with others. Sessions may include drama, improvisation, storytelling, art, play and movement. Amy also supports with pre and post bereavement sessions and is part of the bereavement support service here at Noah’s Ark.

Music Therapy

Our Music Therapist Kirsty Ormston aims to provide children and young people with an improved sense of self and their relationship with others. Kirsty is trained to interpret physical and emotional cues and turn them into music which can be experienced together.

Often non-verbal, music therapy is able to be accessed by everyone, and can often seem less threatening than verbal therapy.

The sessions are used to support development goals, and help children process feelings, emotions and experiences. They may include free improvisation, games and familiar songs as well as song writing.

Read more about Kirsty and how music therapy works in practice in Joe and Kirsty's story.

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