What is Play Therapy?
Children often do not have the language to express difficult life experiences and feelings with other people and can feel confused, worried or angry as a result. Play Therapy offers a way of sharing these difficult feelings in a 1:1 setting with a trained therapist, who can help them to make sense of their world and the emotions they are experiencing, using their natural language of play.
We use integrative approaches based on Child Centred Play Therapy with focused activities and techniques, alongside non directive opportunities, where we feel these are helpful to support the child.
We work closely with parents/carers as well as schools and, where appropriate, we are able to offer support and advice to help adults understand and manage the child's difficulties at home or within the classroom setting.
What kind of difficulties can be helped through Play Therapy?
Play Therapy can help children aged 3-12 years with a range of difficulties including;
If a child is experiencing difficulties and you are not sure if Play Therapy might help we are always happy to discuss this with either parents or referring professionals.
What happens next?
After an initial brief discussion about the suitability of Play Therapy for a child with the referring adult the therapist meets with the parents/carers, and where appropriate the social worker, to explain the process and to find out as much as she can about the child's experiences and difficulties, including their early years and development to date. The therapist will then meet with the child and explain what we hope to offer in the way of help and support and may arrange to have a family play observation session or 1 or 2 play sessions as part of the assessment process. At this point it may be appropriate to meet again with parents/carers, and the referrer, to discuss the appropriateness of Play Therapy and any recommendations for further sessions.
During a period of therapy the therapist usually meets with parents/carers 4-6 weekly to review how things are going and if there have been any changes in their child either at home or in school. Whilst we do not discuss what children are doing in therapy sessions we will share with parents/carers any concerns we may have about their child and suggest ways they may be able to support them at home.