“More brain centres light up in response to metaphor that any other forms of communication, forming new neural pathways (Levin, F. 1997 and Modell, A.H. 1997)”
“Helping children to make sense of their story, and giving them a voice to tell it”.
What is play therapy?
Play therapy meets and accepts each child where he or she is at in life and provides support to promote personal development and to facilitate each child’s capacity to be healthy.
Children aged 3 – 10 years are seen regularly for play therapy sessions at their school or local clinic (home visits can be arranged if necessary).
Who can play therapy help?
Play therapy can help all sorts of children with all sorts of problems. Some examples are;
- Children with anxiety disorders such as selective mutism
- Children on the Autistic Spectrum or those with Asperger’s
- Children who have been neglected/have suffered trauma and as a result find it difficult to build healthy attachments to care givers
- Children with behavioural difficulties or disorders such as ADHD
- Children who have suffered a bereavement
- Children with low self esteem
- Children who just don’t know how to play and need to work on their communication skills
- Children who have nightmares or who have suddenly begun bedwetting.
Play is essential for children to develop physically, emotionally and socially. Play Therapy, has numerous benefits;
- It provides a safe space for emotional expression
- Children learn how to express their thoughts and feelings in constructive ways
- It fosters decision-making and acceptance of responsibility
- It facilitates the development of problem-solving, coping skills and resilience
- It helps children to explore and practise social skills
- It helps children to make friends and learn about their ever expanding world
- It allows children to learn from mistakes safely
- It encourages confidence and concentration
- It fosters imagination and creativity
- It supports emotional healing and growth
The primary communication tools used in play therapy are games, sand, puppets, art, clay, drama and music. Spoken language is also used but is seen as the secondary method of communication, therefore this method of working is ideal for children and young people who may have a developmental delay, a learning difficulty/disability, a speech or communication disorder or those who may be too traumatised to verbalise their experiences.