Throughout their lives, most children go through difficult times
such as adjusting to changes at school or home, illness or difficulty
with peer relationships. Some children need more help than others
to get through these times.
Children can have difficulty talking about their feelings and experiences that worry them.
Younger children may not have the vocabulary or ability to understand and talk about difficult feelings and experiences that worry them. Play is the natural language of your child.
Play Therapy allows your child to play out their worries and concerns with support from the Play Therapist. Play Therapy can help parents and caregivers to understand what their child is going through.
Your child is seen in a playroom equipped with specially chosen toys and creative media that will allow the safe expression of feelings. When a child feels safe and accepted, they may play out the feelings and issues they are experiencing at home, in school or in their everyday life.
In Play Therapy children can regain a sense of control and safety in their lives resulting in increased self-confidence and a change in their wellbeing.
Through play, the difficult feelings and worries may become less intense resulting in their social, emotional and behavioural problems decreasing or being eliminated altogether.
Child Centered Play Therapists believe in the importance of the therapeutic relationship. The Play Therapist focuses on the child they are working with—not the child’s problem. By experiencing a therapeutic relationship in which they feel valued and accepted, children learn to value and accept themselves.
Gary Landreth in “Play Therapy - The Art of Relationship” (2002) described six objectives that assist the Play Therapist in developing a positive therapeutic relationship:
1. To establish a safe and nurturing atmosphere
2. To understand and accept the child’s world
3. To encourage expression of the child’s emotional world
4. To establish a feeling of permissiveness
5. To facilitate decision-making by the child
6. To provide the child with an opportunity to develop self responsibility and self-control
See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) — Play Therapy for more specific information about Play Therapy .
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