Balancing the needs of the dyad

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This step involves recognising that there are two different points of view to be heard and responded to. The therapist holds both of these perspectives in mind.

The therapist pays attention to the needs of the adult and the child, but recognises that the adult may have some issues which are beyond the therapist’s remit.

When this is the case, the therapist indicates to the adult that the issues are important and should be addressed elsewhere.

Issues relating to the adult which do not fall within the remit of the art therapist are likely to include

  • untreated or undiagnosed mental health needs

  • safeguarding issues which the therapist will report as appropriate

Adult needs which it is appropriate for the art therapist to address may include

  • needing to feel comfortable and not too exposed in sessions

  • needing a forum to explore and reflect on issued relating to parenting approaches

  • needing a forum to let off steam about the challenges of parenting the child (this is likely to be difficult for the child to hear so parents and carers can be offered a separate session or phone-call)

Feedback from dyadic art therapy service users suggests caregivers value the support they get from their therapist.

Related goal

This step is related to achieving the goal engaging with the dyad.