Could Play Therapy help?

 

"For children, to 'play out' their experiences and feelings is the most natural dynamic and self-healing process in which they can engage".  Landreth, 2012.  

 

In a play therapy session, I provide a range of equipment, toys, and art materials to allow the child optimum range for expression; materials include:

 

  • Coloured pens, paints, play-dough and clay, and a range of different textures and materials.
  • Sensory art materials and toys.
  • Specialist sand world trays and miniature figurines.
  •  Puppets and dolls.
  •  Dolls house and furniture.
  •  A range of miniatures including- people, vehicles,  heroes and villains, mythical creatures and animals.
  • Therapeutic books.
  • Toys for physical play, including balls and skittles.  

 

In a session, the child is free to play in 'almost' any way they like and they may choose how or if they would like to involve the therapist; the child's feelings are listened to and accepted unconditionally, however some actions need to be considered more carefully, and boundaries are applied to keep the environment safe. As a therapist, I follow the child's lead, and remain present; reflecting back their feelings and experiences, encouraging them to trust their impulses and understand who they are and what they want.  Once the child feels safe and a therapeutic bond is established, the space can become a safe container for the child to project, organise and integrate their thoughts, feelings. anxieties and desires, both consciously and unconsciously. 

Play therapy may not always be the right intervention for a child, in order to assess this I offer a free consultation so that  I may listen to your concerns and ask questions about the child's early years, family history, and his or her presenting problems.

 

Play Therapy can help a child who has experienced:

  • A significant bereavement
  • A traumatic event.
  • Abuse (emotional, physical or sexual).
  • Family breakdown.
  • Mental illness in the family.
  • Attachment difficulties, and adopted or looked after children.

A child suffering from underlying symptoms including:

  • Disturbed sleep, bed wetting, nightmares, phobias, eating disorders; or extreme changes in personality, including regression, anxiety, manic behaviour, aggression,  withdrawal, anger, confusion, or sadness. 

 

Play therapy can help a child to develop

  • Self-esteem and confidence.
  • Independence and motivation.
  • The safe integration of traumatic experiences.
  • Emotional regulation and coping strategies.
  • Communication skills, empathy,  and interpersonal relationships.