This is another intervention I have been using in telehealth. It can be adapted to best fit the needs of the child to create a felt sense of safety.
1. The child identifies a toy or object that needs to feel safe. Please note, If the word “safe” doesn’t work well for the child, use “calm,” “secure” or whatever the child can connect with. The toy or object could be something in their home or it could be a puppet or toy in your office. This works GREAT if the child had a favorite toy or object in your office during face to face sessions.
2. The child identities where the safe place should be and builds it. If you are creating it in your office, walk the camera around to give the child options. Blankets and scarves work well for boundaries and many children like using shelves or cubbies.
3. Allow the child to choose objects to add to the safe place. These could be calm down bottles, other toys, pillows, play food, emotion visuals, etc.
4. create a routine of ending sessions by putting the favorite toy in the safe place. Tell the toy it will get to see the child again in person one day. Ask the child during each session if anything needs to be changed or added to the safe place. Many children have been adding drawings of themselves to the toy’s safe place, acknowledging the toy misses the child and not seeing them face to face for now. These drawings could be done by the therapist, emailed, or traced on the camera screen. 🙂
This works well in creating a tangible feeling of security and safety. It also recognizes the difficulty many children have in being away from the physical toys and meaningful objects in the play therapy room.