Play Therapy is a safe, confidential and caring method of therapy allowing the child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as are necessary for physical and emotional safety. In modern life we never seem to have enough time to spend with our children - just playing, just being there for them. In Play Therapy the child is given strategies to cope with difficulties they may face in life that they themselves cannot change. Play Therapy provides a more positive view of a child's future and helps them cope with issues such as communication skills, low self-esteem, separation/divorce, social and behavioural problems, bullying/be bullied, anxiety, withdrawal, bereavement and loss.
What is the Play Therapy Tool Kit?
The Play Therapy Tool Kit consists of various elements including sand tray, creative visualisation, therapeutic storytelling, puppets, mask making, dance and movement, clay, music, art and drama role play. The Tool Kit is used according to the child’s wishes and the skills of the therapist. “Play Therapy is a safe and containing therapeutic relationship between a therapist and a child in which the child is free to use a variety of play and creative arts techniques (called the 'Tool-kit‘) to work through emotional, behavioural and social problems that are preventing the child from realising their potential.” (PTUK)
"So what happens in Play Therapy?"
One of the first and most important aspects of my play therapy practice is a parent information meeting through which a complete history of the child/family circumstances is attained. This parental meeting allows the parent to become familiar with the therapist and voice any queries. The meeting also allows the parent to see the Play Therapy room/practice. Based on the information acquired, an appropriate treatment plan is chosen. In all cases, the treatment is play-based and child-centred, focusing on the individual needs of the child.
"So how many sessions are needed?"
Because children are unique and their circumstances are diverse, the individual length of sessions may vary. Initial sessions run for eight to ten weeks after which a interim parental review will be held to discuss progress. Each session is one hour (depending on age).
"A dynamic interpersonal relationship is established between a child and a therapist trained in Play Therapy procedures. The therapist provides selected play materials and facilitates the development of a safe relationship for the child to fully express and explore their feelings, thoughts, experiences and behaviours through play - the child's natural medium of communication - for optimal growth and development."