Clare Harvey Psychological Services
Contact: 076 473 8242        
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Adult therapy services
Child and family therapy services
Psychological assessments
About Clare Harvey
Contact Clare Harvey

Play therapy

Play is a child's natural means of self-expression and through play children have the opportunity to 'play out' their feelings. Children find it difficult to put their feelings into words as they have not yet developed the verbal and emotional capacities to do so. Play therapy encourages a child to use toys, art activities and other mediums to express their thoughts and feelings in a non-threatening way. This enables children to feel understood, to make sense of both their external and internal worlds and to work through their own confusions and difficulties. 

What happens in play therapy?

I first meet with you, the child’s parents, in order to understand more about what is happening in your child’s life at present and what has occurred in their history. The first few play therapy sessions will be used as a form of assessment in order to establish whether your child feels comfortable working with me. I take time to get to know your child and allow them the time to get to know me so that they feel safe enough to express their feelings and experiences through play and words. I meet with your child for a 45 minute session every week.

I also meet with you, the parents, in regular feedback sessions in order to discuss any current difficulties at home or school so to ensure that we work together to best help your child.

Play therapy can assist with:

managing anxiety, including feeling fearful or shy
developing greater confidence
depression, including feeling lonely or withdrawn
circle design social/relationship concerns and self-esteem difficulties
circle design behaviour concerns, including ADHD, tantrums, school refusal
circle design dealing with a traumatic experience such as crime or abuse
circle design adjusting to new situations, including divorce, change in schools, birth of a new sibling
circle design school difficulties, including exam stress and peer problems
circle design loss of a loved one
circle design sleeping or eating concerns
circle design bedwetting
circle design parent and child relationship difficulties


Adolescent therapy

Adolescence is an important developmental phase that sets into motion physical, emotional and social changes. It is a stage when young people are faced with questions of identity, as they try to work out who they are and how they fit into the world around them. This phase often involves a struggle between wanting to be independent and still needing the guidance of parents. During these times parents may feel that it is difficult to have a relationship with their child. At times adolescents may experience emotions which feel overwhelming and they may benefit from seeing a therapist to work through these feelings.

I see adolescents for a 45 minute session every week. I also see their parent(s) for feedback sessions.

Adolescent therapy can assist with:

circle design emotional difficulties, including depression, anxiety and mood swings
circle design social difficulties, including fitting in with peers and dealing with peer pressure
circle design school and exam stress
circle design difficulties with self-esteem and body image
circle design teenage pregnancy


Parent-infant/child therapy

Parent-infant/child therapy is a form of therapy where parents and their baby or child are seen together. I help you to think about what your child is experiencing and feeling. I encourage you to look into how your past and present circumstances impact on your parenting. This form of therapy offers support to you as well as to your baby or child during times of crises, as well as during typical developmental stages.

I see parents with their child or baby in weekly 45 minute sessions.

Therapy for parents and infants/young children can assist with:

parent and child relationship difficulties
circle design bonding/attachment difficulties to strengthen the parent and child relationship
circle design excessive crying
circle design sleeping or eating difficulties
circle design bed wetting and toileting difficulties
circle design temper tantrums and other behavioural problems
circle design postnatal depression
circle design pregnancy concerns
circle design parenting concerns, including unmet expectations, anxiety, a sense of being unable to cope


Parent counselling

This is usually short term where I meet with parents for one hour sessions to discuss your general or specific parenting concerns and challenges. This can help you develop different ways of handling your child’s difficulties. I encourage you to look at the ways that you were parented and how this might be positively or negatively affecting your ability to parent your child. Different ways of communicating with your child, as well as limit setting and different disciplining options are explored.