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  • Writer's picturePegasus Health

The Healing Power of Play Therapy/Counselling for Children After a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA)

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Motor vehicle accidents (MVA) can be traumatic and have profound impacts on children. The physical and emotional injury from the MVA can leave lasting damages on a child's overall well-being. Clinical counsellors can play a crucial role in the recovery of children following a MVA.


1) Trauma Processing and Coping:


Children may experience post-traumatic stress (PTSD) symptoms following a motor vehicle accident, including flashbacks, nightmares, and heightened anxiety. At Pegasus, our clinical counsellors are trained in trauma-focused therapy that can help children to process their traumatic experiences and develop effective coping mechanisms through play therapy, sand tray therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), learning coping skills and practicing relaxation exercises.


2) Emotional Support and Expression:


After MVAs, children may experience a range of emotions, such as fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, and confusion. Clinical counsellors provide a safe and non-judgmental environment where children can express and process these emotions. Through active listening, empathy, and age-appropriate techniques, counsellors help children process their feelings and develop healthy coping strategies.


***Case study: Play therapy for children following motor vehicle accident


A 6- years old young client experienced symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress such as flashbacks, startling, irritability, emotional outburst, fear of separating from parents, nightmares and behavioural issues at school.


Our clinical counsellor guides the young client to recreate the MVA scenario with toys and figurines through play therapy. This allows the young client to exert control over the traumatic event. Throughout the process, our clinical counsellor helps the young client to make sense of the MVA, process the overwhelming emotions, and practice coping skills. Through play, the young client worked through the fears, anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares. The young client regains the sense of self-efficacy and resiliency.


If your children have been involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) within 12 weeks, your children are eligible for 12 pre-approved counselling sessions from ICBC. Find out more with our clinical counsellors here.


No physician referral is needed.






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