“Play Therapy is based upon the fact that play is the child’s natural medium of self expression. It is an opportunity which is given to the child to ‘play out’ his feelings and problems just as in certain types of adult therapy an adult ‘talks out’ his difficulties.” Virgina Axline
Child Centered Play Therapy is a deeply respectful, heartful and effective form of counselling and psychotherapy for children from 2-10 years old. It is a humanistic Play Therapy modality that provides wonderful opportunities for early intervention with children. Child Centered Play Therapy fosters the child’s innate potential and encourages the unique development and emotional growth of the child.
In this non directive Play Therapy approach, the Play Therapist enters the world of the child, following the child’s lead, developing a safe place and a relationship of trust. Children often have difficulty trying to say in words what they feel and how experiences have affected them. Play is the natural language of children and the toys can be their words. Through the toys, art materials and other things in the playroom, children can express their thoughts, feelings, wishes, explore relationships and share about their experiences.
Child Centered Play Therapy helps children work through emotional, psychosocial, developmental and behavioural difficulties and helps address family problems. The child selects the toys to play with and the Play Therapist may join in the play on the child’s direction or invitation. Limits are set as and when needed to support the Play Therapy process. This is done in an empathic and respectful way that helps children make choices and develop self responsibility.
Play Therapy supports the child’s innate capacity for inner growth development and healing. It is designed to help children grow up as happy as possible. I have received additional training in Expressive Play Therapies, Sand Tray Therapy as well as using EMDR in conjunction with Play Therapy.
Who Can Benefit from Play Therapy?
Research has found Play Therapy to be an effective therapeutic approach for a variety of children’s difficulties including:
Adjusting to family changes
Excessive anger, fear, sadness, worry and shyness
Aggression and acting out behaviours
ADHD and ADD
Abuse and neglect
Social adjustment issues
Sleeping and eating difficulties
Self concept and self esteem
Grief and loss
Chronic illness/ hospitalisation/surgery
Bonding and Attachment
Prenatal and birth trauma