What is Play Therapy?

IMG_6549

Play Therapy is a creative, client-led form of counselling that is often used when working with children. Difficulties can be addressed while in a safe, contained space. The therapist gently encourages progress by developing a trusting, nurturing relationship and using the child’s own language of play.

The client has access to a variety of mediums including art, drama, sand, clay, story telling, music and many more. They can use whatever they are drawn to. Some clients stick with the same medium for the duration of therapy and some choose to work through everything in the playroom.

When children are given permission to lead the play sessions, free from judgement or agenda, we see incredible growth and healing. In a safe, neutral environment; with a trusted adult, children will naturally work through all kinds of problems using the stories and metaphors within their play. For older children and adults, play will start to include the use of art, drama, music and sand. These tactile mediums allow us to create something meaningful while gently reconnecting with our physical selves. Confronting, emotions that may have been previously suppressed or ignored.

IMG_6526
model used

Can be used to address a variety of concerns:

  • Emotional
  • Behavioral
  • Attachment
  • Communication
  • Social Integration
  • Relationships
  • Traumatic Experiences

IMG_6637

Things to Note:

It is very important for sessions to be consistent, where possible, so having a predictable schedule at the same time, on the same day of the week is one of the factors that helps to contain all of those strong emotions and keep them safe.

The ending session and lots of notice that the ending is coming, is equally as important. Parents are asked to pay for the ending session in the initial fee, to make certain this important milestone doesn’t get missed. The goodbye session is the acknowledgement and celebration of all of the hard work and progress that the child (or adult) has made in the previous sessions and it brings a healthy sense of closure.

Sessions are always confidential. As a parent, it is very tempting to ask your child what they did during the session but it is better to give them the choice to talk about it or not. It is very important that the child trusts their therapist and is given ownership over their own therapeutic process. The child will be helped to understand what can be kept confidential and what must legally be shared.

Session Length

Children ages 3-5 will be offered 30-40 min sessions

Children ages 5-10 will be offered 45 min sessions

Ages 10 to adult will be offered 50-60 min sessions