Structuring the intervention and sessions

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Following the assessment and the goal setting, the intervention can then be tailored to meet the needs of each dyad.

Art therapists can be flexible about what is offered and how the sessions are structured. A balance is struck between flexibility and coherence so that the intervention doesn’t seem unpredictable or inconsistent.

Session times and venues are consistent. Any alterations or breaks must be carefully and clearly negotiated ahead of time. The therapists are clear about what is being offered and why.

The work is likely begins with a period of preparation prior to the start of joint sessions. A lack of preparation could interfere or sabotage dyadic work.

The therapist may want to factor in separate sessions with parents or carers in addition to the joint dyadic sessions with the child. These sessions which might be face to face, by phone, or by email. These sessions will provide opportunities for the therapist to have discussions with the adults which might not be appropriate or helpful to have with the child present.

The focus of these separate discussions could be on issues in the adult’s own past, such as their own experience of parenting. Alternatively, the focus could be on more day to day issues to do with their experience of parenting the child.

Related goal

This step is related to achieving the goal taking a flexible needs-based approach.