"Play is how children communicate 
their thoughts, feelings and experiences in ways that enable them to heal, grow, and learn."
child feeling empowered

 

About play therapy  

 

Play therapy is to children what counselling is to adults. Children often have difficulty using words to describe their thoughts, feelings, and experiences like adults do. However, in play therapy, children use toys as their words and play as their language to express themselves in ways that nurture healing and growth.

 

A play therapist uses a range of therapeutic skills to create an atmosphere of safety and acceptance while nurturing each child's recognition of their internal strengths. This process helps children work through traumatic experiences, make sense of their struggles, and progress in their development.

Benefits 
Play Therapy is evidenced to help children:

Prevent and resolve emotional and behavioural problems

Develop a more positive self-concept

Assume greater self-responsibility

Become more self-directing

Become more self-accepting

Become more self-reliant 

Engage in self-determined decision making

Experience a feeling of control

Become sensitive to the process of coping

Who benefits?
Children aged 3-10 who have experienced: 

Major life transitions (moving house, starting school, family separation)

Adoptive/fostering families

Domestic & family violence 

Physical, emotional or sexual abuse and neglect

Anxiety & stress

Acting out behaviours

Chronic illness and medical anxiety

Grief & loss

Difficulties regulating emotions

Parents who wish to: 

Strengthen their relationship with their child

Reduce relationship stress 

Respond adaptively to meltdowns, tantrums, and disagreements

Have more fun with their child

Reduce behavioural and emotional difficulties at home

Glover & Landreth (2015), Landreth & Bratton (2016) 

Introducing Andrew: The power of play therapy

Association for Play Therapy (2016)