Sometimes there are bumps in the road, sometimes there are difficult phases but other times we feel more seriously stuck, trapped in our patterns and helpless. If you worry that your child has got stuck and their emotional, behavioural or social problems are holding them back from their true potential, Play Therapy can help.
Play Therapy is a special kind of psychotherapy especially tailored to children's natural language, play. Through play, children can explore their feelings and experiences within a safe and playful environment and therapeutic relationship. Play therapy is largely non verbal and is typically child led catering for your child's individual needs. Children are free to explore through different modalities such as Music, Drama, Dance, Sand play, Puppets, Storytelling, and Arts & Crafts. Children can play out their experiences and their difficulties using the different modalities. The therapist sensitively supports this delicate process with the aim of empowering the child to help themselves (rather than become therapy dependent which is economical wasteful and unfulfilling).
Is Play Therapy effective?
Play therapy is very effective. For every child that is referred to a PTI registered practitioner 70-84% will show a positive improvement. This is based on a large database of over 8000 cases. These results can only be applied to registered practitioners from the playtherapyuk register.
Who is play therapy for?
Play Therapy is for children aged 3years and up and teenagers who are facing social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Every child is an individual and these difficulties will show themselves in a different way. Below are just some of the reasons why children join Play Therapy.
- Anxiety and depression
- Relationship difficulties with peers or siblings
- Physical illness
- Adoption issues
- Difficulties adjusting to a big life change e.g. relocation, divorce, bereavement.
- Selective mutism. Persistent choosing not to talk in some or all social situations.
- Bullying (either as a bully or a victim)
- Extreme shyness and social withdrawal
- Under-performing at school because of many worries and concerns.
- Child abuse (physical, emotional or sexual)
- Witnessing domestic violence
- Recurrent nightmares, bedwetting and sleeping problems
Play Therapy is not for:
- Children who are generally functioning well in social, emotional and behavioural aspects of their lives.
- Those looking for a playgroup
- Children who have been showing difficulties for less than three months (and therefore might bounce back by themselves with lots of love and support)
- Children training or preparing for school interviews
Although I would recommend plenty of general play in those situations as play is essential for whole child development!
Play Therapy is for those children who need more help because they are dealing with something particularly difficult and their parents and teachers have already tried to help but they don’t know how to help the child move forward. Play Therapy could be for your child if you have that gut feeling that something isn’t right and they seem stuck and you desperately want them to reach their full potential. If that is what you are feeling then please do submit an enquiry form and a therapist will get in contact to discuss further whether Play Therapy may be a good fit for your child.
What to expect:
After an initial meeting and assessment a regular weekly 40 minute time slot will be agreed upon. The therapist will discuss the length of intervention required. A short-term intervention may only need 12 sessions however parents and teachers can review with the therapist every 6-8 weeks or so. One of the core principles of non-directive child centred therapeutic play is that the child will not be rushed but paced accordingly to what is right for the individual. Our philosophy is that we should empower children to help themselves. Therefore, excessive long-term dependency on a therapist is not what we’re about.
If you're concerned about your child and would like to try the safe, child centred and playful approach please submit the form below and a therapist will get in contact to make an initial consultation appointment or answer any questions you might have. Click here for our FAQ page.