Thank you for making Tristan* smile again!
When Tristan’s mum moved to Australia, she left her young son Tristan behind.
This confused and hurt the little boy. Every day, Tristan asked Dad and Nan why Mum left him, if she had forgotten about him, if she was ever coming back, and did Mum not love him anymore.
The questions were getting harder and harder to answer. Tristan was feeling disconsolate and rejected. He was showing signs of increasing sadness and insecurity. Dad and Nan thought that counselling might help.
When they brought Tristan to meet Family Worker Alanah for counselling, he took to her right away. Alanah used sand tray therapy to allow Tristan to express his emotions. Children aren’t very adept at using words to express themselves and need some form of play to communicate their feelings.
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Over a sandbox, Tristan built empires of superhero characters which triumphed against Alanah’s empire of aliens. It may sound simple but the fun and friendly sessions allowed Tristan to enact his frustrations and gave him a chance to feel ‘in control’. This formed part of his healing process because as a child he had no control over his mum leaving him. Tristan enjoyed the counselling sessions so much that he never missed one.
Now Tristan is making steady progress and is quite his old happy self again. Though he still remembers Mum from time to time, he’s no longer preoccupied with feelings of rejection. He started attending a new school and has made lots of new friends. Dad and Nana are happy that Tristan was able to move forward, and that he now feels safe, loved, and confident.