What is Play Therapy?
Play is vital to every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. It helps make learning concrete for all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult.
Play Therapy uses a variety of play and creative arts techniques to alleviate chronic, mild and moderate psychological and emotional conditions in children that are causing behavioural problems and/or are preventing children from realising their potential.
Play Therapy helps children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways.
How can Sum Of Us help?
At Sum of Us Kids, our experienced play therapists provide a broad range of services to support children and adolescents, including:
- Play Therapy
- Animal Assisted Therapy
- Learn to Play
- Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (Filial Therapy)
Our play therapists also provide parent coaching and support through the following approaches:
- Parent Effectiveness Training
- Positive Parenting Program
- Tuning into Kids
- Circle of Security
Play Therapy FAQs
Play Therapy sessions last about 50 minutes because play therapy is hard work and for most children this is ample time to think about or experience different feelings.
Sometimes if your child is anxious about leaving you, you and your child may come into the playroom together initially. When your child feels comfortable with you leaving the playroom, the rest of the session and following sessions are conducted with your child and myself only in the playroom. This allows your child to freely express their feelings and concerns without the worry of upsetting you.
In Play Therapy your child selects the toys and activities to play with. The Play Therapist may join in the play with the child’s invitation or direction.
In a typical play therapy session, the Play Therapist will be reflecting about how your child is engaging with toys and the underlying emotions which seem to accompany the actions rather than asking questions.
Limits are set as and when needed. This is done in a way to help your child make choices and develop responsibility.
A child does not have to talk directly about their problems or feelings to gain relief. In Play Therapy children are provided with specially chosen toys to enable them to say with toys and through play what they have difficulty saying in words. This allows children to distance themselves from difficult feelings and memories but through expression these feelings and memories may become less intense.
Play Therapy allows your child to play out their worries and concerns with support from the Play Therapist. Sometimes they may re-enact traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past. Play Therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns (Kaugars & Russ, 2001).
Play Therapy can help parents, teachers and caregivers to understand what their child is going through and suggestions can then be given to assist the individual needs of the child.
Troubling problems can be confronted in play therapy and lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered and adapted into lifelong strategies (Russ, 2004).
Yes, it is important your child knows you are waiting in the waiting room and that we can come and check should he or she needs to do this.
Please feel free to make yourself comfortable and enjoy some time for yourself.