Play Therapy

“Play Therapy is based upon the fact that play is the child’s natural medium of self-expression. It is an opportunity which is given to the child to ‘play out’ his feelings and problems just as, in certain types of adult therapy, an individual ‘talks out’ his difficulties”. ~ Virginia Axline

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is offered on an individual or small group basis for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old.  I work therapeutically from an integrative and holistic perspective which, integrates the therapeutic use of a wide range of creative arts media, which I call ‘the toolkit’. The toolkit can include, stories, arts and crafts, sand-tray and miniature symbols and objects to play within the sand-tray, puppets, dolls, dolls house, musical instruments, materials, sensory based toys and games. Through this therapeutic approach, children are invited into the space to play – Play is a child’s natural language and it is through their playful exploration that sense can begin to be made with regards to presenting difficulties – their play is the bridge between their conscious and unconscious minds and as they are playing I am noticing, reflecting, witnessing and finding therapeutic ways to help them to connect and process psychological, social, behavioral or emotional difficulties. Play Therapy works with unconscious as well as conscious processes; using non-directive and directive approaches, which has been therapeutically evidence through research and practice.

Many children do not have the words to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions – meeting them in their world, as they are can help to build therapeutic connection and a deeper understanding of how a child views their internal world and difficulties they may be struggling to process.

A child might benefit from Play Therapy if he or she:

  • is struggling academically or socially
  • has nightmares or disturbed sleep
  • is excluded or is at risk of being excluded from school
  • has suffered trauma, loss or bereavement
  • has suffered emotional, physical or sexual abuse
  • struggles with being fostered or adopted
  • is troubled by his or her parents’ divorce or separation
  • suffers anxiety, stress or phobias
  • is withdrawn or continually unhappy
  • finds it hard to make friends
  • quarrels frequently with peers or siblings
  • is bullied or bullies’ others
  • displays inappropriate behaviour
  • doesn’t play

According to current research* up to 83% of children receiving play therapy to Play Therapy UK’s (PTUK) standards reported positive change.