We are so proud at Play Kenya of the diverse and amazing skills in our team. Each person brings something unique and wonderful to our dream and vision. We ensure that the staff we employ have the qualification and experience to match the job they do.

Is there a difference between being a therapist or counsellor, and having training in using a therapeutic approach when working with children and young people who have experienced trauma? You bet there is! Both are essential but shouldn’t be confused.

Here in Kenya and on our team from the UK, our qualified therapists and trainers have spent many years studying, and applying their skills, to support families and young people make sense of the horrors they have lived through. They also take those long built-up skills, and support the front line of professionals, in how to support and communicate when someone’s brain is wired, incorporating complex trauma.

A therapist belongs to a governing body and has a code of ethics around their practise, which would include for example, not sharing personal and confidential session notes, without the expressed permission of the client, or if something in the session is disclosed that puts your client, or others at risk. There should never be a time when this information is shared for other reasons. That is not therapy and promotes distrust.

Therapy is about building trust and keeping therapeutic boundaries. A therapist must have regular supervision across their practise and abide to the rules of their governing bodies around this.

Do Play Kenya, The Kindness Project, think everyone should be a therapist? Most certainly not, but they do believe that an understanding of trauma; neo-natal and preverbal memories; neuroscience (what is held in your brain as a conscious or unconscious memory); thinking around what drives behaviour and how to help make sense of complex emotions that drive these coping mechanisms, is a pretty good base line for all professionals that work with children and young people who have had bad things happen to them. But it doesn’t make them a therapist. It makes them a trauma informed practitioner, which is an amazing place to be. The world of our families will improve with the more people that understand therapeutic connection and parenting.

This makes the upcoming training phase, of working with the Government Child Protection Centre, simply mind-blowing. We will have so many trauma informed professionals walk out of our doors. These will be Children Officers, Juvenile Remand Officers, Schools, Police and members of the Armed Forces to name just a few. Their new skills and understanding, will take the pressure off the limited therapists available.

We already have an amazing training programme, that is updated regularly to incorporate the latest thinking and understanding around the ordeal’s children from the streets, living in poverty, experiencing physical emotional and sexual abuse, have endured. This training helps to makes sense of what happened in early years and takes us through to the many children and adults, who turn to addictions to fill the pain of being alone, often from their very early lives. This truly ground breaking thinking around trauma and addiction, being disseminated to so many working in the front line with children and young people, is the way forwards. It supports the work done by qualified therapists and is a huge part of the corridor to change for so many of our most needy children, young people, and their families.

Knowledge truly is the way forwards. We need to be knowledgeable and mindful of our roles with the complexities of the community that needs us the most. Please be so careful with your words and your claims with this vulnerable group. Please don’t claim that they have therapy if, what they have is, access to a trauma informed practitioner. Be proud of that but don’t say therapy. Society might just judge them for not making the strides expected if they believe them to be ‘in-therapy’

I can boil an egg, (just about!) but it doesn’t make me a chef!

We, the professionals who care deeply about the pain that is happening in front of our eyes, are about to truly stand together, so our abused and unwanted children are able to stand alone; safe in the Kindness society has wrapped them in. We want you to be part of that.

We already work with rescue centres and children’s homes, who support sexually abused children. We support their staff to be the vehicle of change. We walk with staff, so they can walk closely with the children in their care.

We Choose Kindness to educate and change the world. We’d love you to join us in that thinking. Please feel free to comment or message anytime. We really love to hear your views