Children do not have the language to describe how they are feeling or to discuss their worries, what they are able to do though is play. Play therapy provides a safe and confidential space where children can explore their feelings and play out situations that are worrying or confusing to them.
Developed from the work of Carl Rogers and Virginia Axline, Play Therapy is a holistic therapy which is child led and aims to help the child to help themselves.
It helps to empower children by helping them to acknowledge their feelings in a constructive way and give them strategies for coping with the difficulties they face. Play Therapy can help reduce anxiety and improve a child’s self-esteem. Though this can take time, a child may feel more confident to make positive changes in their lives, which lasts long after the initial therapy has finished.
Play and Creative Arts Therapies are a well established discipline based upon a number of psychological theories. Research carried out by Play Therapy UK shows that for every child referred to a practitioner registered on the Play Therapy UK register, 70 – 84% will show a positive improvement. These results are based on a large database of over 8000 cases.
Play Therapy is a means for the child to explore and express their experiences within a trusted and therapeutic space and is based upon the fact that play is the child’s natural medium of expression.
It is age appropriate, spontaneous, with a developing theme carried to a resolution and is often used when ‘talking therapies’ do not work.
Individual Play Therapy is for children that are having difficulty socially, emotionally or behaviourally. As each child is an individual these difficulties will show themselves in different ways.
Play Therapy can help children who have experienced:
Bereavement / Loss
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Difficulties adjusting a big life changes
Sensory processing difficulties
Or who are:
There are a number of different items in the play room that the client can use to express themselves, including a sand tray with dry sand, if there is room a sand tray with wet sand, a selection of symbols, art materials, clay, puppets, musical instruments, train set, dolls house and movement equipment.
Each session lasts 40 minutes and is held at the same time and same place each week. Play Therapy has as few boundaries as possible but each client will know that they are not to hurt themselves, the therapist or any of the items in the room.
These boundaries are essential as they help the client to feel safe and contained, enabling them to express themselves how they need to, not how others think they need to.