Therapy for Tweens (8-12)

Once children reach the beginnings of puberty around 9-10 years of age, their ability to communicate goes up and their play behaviors decrease. For this age group, their brain development is beginning to shift rapidly, and are growing as much as they were when they were infants. The body changes, the brain changes, hormones are fluctuating every moment, school is picking up speed, responsibilities in the home are increasing, and social relationships are a chaotic mess. This is an exhausting time for them and for parents! 

Tweens are oscillating between the ability to communicate verbally and the need for expressive mediums of play and games. Most no longer engage in free play, choosing more organized game play and sports. Therapy works the same for these children. Some are able to sit and engage in traditional talk therapy but most will need a relaxed directive play oriented style of engagement. In sessions, the therapist will most likely use some kind of guided activity/worksheet, creative game play, or “therapize” a beloved standard game like Uno or Jenga. This age still needs lots of support from the parents in helping address specific issues as they may not want to or know how to communicate their or their family’s concerns. As with the littles, these kids ultimately need to know they have a safe space to be themselves, discover new elements of their personality and find appropriate ways to get their needs met.