Play Therapy works for children as counselling or psychotherapy works for adults. It helps children work through emotional, psychosocial and behavioural difficulties and helps address family problems. It promotes resiliency and can assist every child to develop holistically and increase emotional intelligence.
Children who attend play therapy enter into a dynamic relationship with the therapist that enables them to express themselves, explore and make sense of the world in which they live and resolve any difficult or painful experiences through the medium of play.
The therapist works in a systemic and child-centred way, working with children within the context of their family, home, school and any other environment or system of which they are part. Parents and teachers are supported and encouraged to be active in this process so the skills learnt by the child can be carried over into both home and school situations.
Play therapy sessions are usually held in a playroom equipped with carefully selected toys such as small figures and animals, sand, water, musical instruments, puppets, art and craft materials. Sessions can also be offered in other settings such as home, school or hospital. The activities include movement, sensory play, drama and role play, story-telling, puppetry, creative play and play with miniatures. The types of play will be dictated by the child’s needs.
Possible referral issues:
- Emotional or behavioural issues
- Communication difficulties
- Delayed or uneven development
- Learning difficulties
- Relationship difficulties
- Family Disruptions such as illness or divorce
- Bereavement or loss
- Abuse or neglect
- Chronic illness/hospitalisation
- Bonding and attachment issues
- Fostering, adoption and identity issues.
- ADD, ADHD, Autism
- Elective Mutism
- Low Self-Esteem
- Poor play skills