What is Play Therapy?
Sometimes children experience difficulties and behave in ways that may cause disruption to their lives or be of concern to those around them. Play Therapy provides a child with an opportunity to "play out" their thoughts, feelings and problems just as, in certain types of adult therapy, an individual "talks out" their difficulties.
Play Therapy uses the therapeutic powers of play to help children achieve optimal growth and development, and to prevent or resolve a range of developmental and/or emotional difficulties. It promotes resiliency and assists children to develop holistically and increase emotional intelligence. Play therapists also utilise play as a means of preventing or treating psychosocial disorders, and to help children overcome issues for example those associated with ADHD, sensory processing, ASD, dyspraxia, speech and language, or any type of learning difficulty.
There is a fundamental difference between the child's play in other situations and their play in Play Therapy. The structure and quality of the relationship between the play therapist and the child provides opportunities for therapeutic healing and repair. This transforms the play to Play Therapy. The play therapist in an informed container of the child's therapeutic work providing a unique understanding of the child's inner world.
Who is Play Therapy for?
Any child can benefit from Play Therapy. It promotes self-confidence, imagination, creativity, concentration, communication, problem-solving skills, self-esteem and, most importantly, happiness in the child.
Play Therapy is suitable for children as young as two to three years old and there is no upper age limit.
Play therapists who are also psychotherapists may use creative and play based approaches with adult and adolescent clients also.
Play Therapy is a useful intervention for all children as it facilitates them in making sense of the world, reaching their potential and developing resilience and emotional intelligence.