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What is Play Therapy 

Play is a child’s natural medium for learning, communicating and exploring the world.

One in eight (12.8%) 5-19 year olds had at least one mental health disorder (emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity) when assessed in 2017. (Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2017)

 

Play Therapy provides a safe and confidential place for a child to use the medium of ‘play’ to help them work through things that are worrying them, and to make sense of and understand their life experiences. In doing so children will be able to acknowledge their feelings in a constructive way.

 

‘Play’ allows a child to communicate at their own pace and level without feeling judged or threatened and most importantly there is no right or wrong.

 

Recovery from difficult life experiences can be facilitated by a Play Therapist, allowing the child freedom of expression in a safe and trusting environment. Therapy is led by the needs of the child/young person, who uses play to work through painful feelings or worries, at their own level and pace without feeling interrogated or threatened.

Play Therapy is carried out by a fully qualified therapist who will be non-judgmental, non directive and non interpretative, therefore allowing the child to freely express themselves verbally, physically, or primarily with the mediums within the room. This approach is based around the work of Virginia Axline (1974) and her Eight Basic Principles, which is a person centred and non-directive approach.

Conventional talking therapies may be inappropriate for children and young people who struggle to put their feelings into words. Play Therapy provides children with the opportunity to explore and understand these feelings without having to express themselves verbally.

The Therapy Room

The Play Therapist will bring along a toolkit in order for the child to utilise as they wish during the sessions, it will include;

Art and Craft

Clay/Play dough

Puppets

Music and Musical instruments

Sand and miniature figures

Dolls and doll equipment

Therapeutic stories

Dance/movement