What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a way of helping children cope with their distress and make sense of their lives using play and the creative arts. Play therapy can be used to help children experiencing: Anger Management Difficulties, Anxiety, Bereavement, Lack of self esteem/confidence, Bullying, Attachment Issues, Experience of Domestic Violence, Separation/Divorce, ADD/ADHD/Autism, Communication Difficulties, Trauma/PTSD, Adoption, Relocation.

Play therapy is a method of psychotherapy and a non-talking therapy that allows children to make sense of painful experiences and upsetting feelings, even though they might not have a cognitive or conscious understanding of why they are feeling a particular way. Through play, children can explore and express their feelings at a conscious and unconscious level. As play is a child’s first language it is important to their social, cognitive, language, creative and emotional development. Children play out their experiences and feelings in the same way that adults talk about theirs.

Play Therapy Benefits

  • Within play therapy a tool kit is used which includes:
    1. sandtray
    2. art
    3. music
    4. clay
    5. therapeutic story telling
    6. puppets
    7. dance/movement
    8. creative visualisation
  • A safe environment is created which allows the child to play with as few limits as possible, while keeping them safe. This allows healing to occur on many levels, while also giving children a sense of control in their process.
  • Through the use of play therapy, children are better able to cope with difficult emotional situations. By being able to process their feelings and fears, they will develop increased confidence as they feel more in control of their lives. This will provide an overall improved emotional well-being of the child.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many sessions does a child need?

On average children require 12 sessions

How long does each session take?

Approximately 50mins/hr.

How often does a child attend play therapy sessions?

Sessions take place weekly.

What is talked about during the sessions?

As play therapy is an alternative to talking therapies, children do not have to talk if they do not want to. However the therapist creates a relaxing, safe, private environment for the child so that they can talk if they please.

What age is play therapy appropriate for?

Play therapy is recommended for children age 3-18yrs old.

Where does play therapy take place?

Play therapy takes place in schools, private practices and centres .

When does a child need play therapy?

If a child exhibits behaviours that concern parents or teachers or is finding it difficult to cope at some time (at home, at school, with divorce or separation, has difficulties with other children etc), play therapy could be a beneficial approach to help a child.

How do I talk to my child about play therapy?
It is important not to ask too many questions about your child’s sessions. Remember to be conscious of the privacy given to your child to allow for self -expression. Any issues regarding your child’s safety will always be available to discuss with the therapist.