Play therapy is a clinical psychotherapy for children which uses play as the primary medium for helping children express and communicate their feelings. Play is a child’s natural form of expression. Through play therapy a child can explore their feelings, express themselves and make sense of difficult life experiences such as abuse, trauma and loss.
Play therapy provides a safe contained space for children to explore issues that are pertinent to them, conscious and unconscious to reach resolution and recovery. It does not require them to put experiences into words and they can use the materials (art and craft, small world figures, sand, water, dressing up, role play materials) to express themselves often creating metaphors and stories in which to communicate and contain horrific experiences. The play therapy relationship helps the child make sense of their life experiences and to express difficult feelings through the metaphors of play.
This approach is most suitable for children between the age of 3 and 12 and for children who struggle with more direct approaches. It promotes emotional resilience, a more hopeful view of the world and an increase in self -esteem.
Although a child focused therapy the parents or carers and wider network are actively engaged in the process. At times it may be appropriate to facilitate child/parent play sessions or involve the parent within the sessions.
A school based play therapy service can be provided.
Enter into children's play and you will find the place where their minds, hearts and souls meet