What is Play Therapy?
As children grow up, they may face challenges that are difficult and upsetting for them. Children and young people may struggle to talk about how they are feeling or what is troubling them, as they may not know how too. Their upset and distress can be shown through anxiety, fear and difficult behaviours. Children may regress or become withdrawn. This may be evident at home and at school. These behaviours can cause concern for those around them.
Play is a child’s natural form of self-expression, which enables them to play out their muddled feelings and worries in a safe way and at their own pace without feeling interrogated.
Play and Creative Arts Therapy is a gentle counselling service for children and young people. Sand, clay, creative arts, musical instruments, puppets, role-play toys and therapeutic stories are amongst the therapist’s toolkit to enable children to play out their inner thoughts and feelings. The therapist is able to gain an insight into the child’s world through observation and involvement in the play if the child wishes. Therefore, the child can explore their emotional difficulties in a safe way within a secure, permissive and accepting environment. As a child recreates and expresses their experiences and feelings I reflect back the emotions and struggles within the metaphor of their play.
"A child's play is not simply a reproduction of what he has experienced, but a creative reworking of the impressions he has acquired" Vygotsky.
Play Therapy can help children who have experienced: