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Therapeutic Play

Play has long been hailed as a great tool for connecting with children.  Play is how children learn, communicate and practice skills.  Therapeutic Play Practitioners offer a safe child-led way to engage with a child who needs further support.

Play Therapy can be used for children with a varied range of needs from social challenges, behavioural difficulties, learning needs, family issues, mental health disorders, ADHD and many other areas of support.



What age children can play therapy support?

Play therapy is usually used for children between 3 and 12 years old.  


Who is play therapy for?

Play therapy can help children with a variety of needs including:

  • Diagnosed disorders: ADHD, ASD and mental health disorders such as anxiety

  • Social problems

  • Challenging behaviour

  • Trauma

  • Family Crisis

  • Grief

How long are the sessions?

The sessions are for 45 minutes and should take place once a week.  We ask for a minimum commitment of 12 sessions.  


Where do they take place?

The therapeutic play specialist will come to your school for the sessions.  


How does it work?

Often, children, parents and Teachers have used up their own problem solving tools so extra support is needed.  Play therapy allows trained mental health practitioners who specialise in play therapy, to assess and understand children's play. Further, play therapy is utilized to help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems. By confronting problems in the Play Therapy setting, children find healthier solutions. Play therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns.  Even the most troubling problems can be confronted in play therapy and lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered and adapted into lifelong strategies. (Association of Play Therapy, US. Play Therapy Makes a Difference)


What outcomes can I expect?

The outcomes will depend on the presenting problems.  In general, you can expect a reduction in anxiety and raised self-esteem, or more specific areas of change may occur such as:

  • taking responsibility for their own behaviours

  • developing coping strategies

  • problem-solving skills

  • Growing self-respect 

  • Developing empathy and emotional intelligence 

  • Reducing anxiety

  • learning to fully experience and express feelings

  • stronger social skills 

  • stronger family relationships


What is the evidence/research to support play therapy?  

Play Therapy is an evidence-based therapy, research is based on actual cases.  Recent research by PTUK suggests that 71% of the children referred to play therapy will show a positive change.   (Play Therapy International. Latest Research Results. 2021)

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