“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 has been used for over 60 years to provide emotional support to children and help them to learn more about their thoughts and feelings. Play therapy can be used with a general outcome in mind, for example: reduced anxiety or improved self-esteem. It can also bring about more specific change in behaviour and relationships. Sometimes children play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in the therapy room in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their life now.  Children may also learn better ways to manage relationships and conflict.

the child is free to play without direction from the therapist. The idea is that given the chance to play and speak freely a child can work through their own difficulties. The child may play with a range of resources that encourage dramatic play or associations. These include dolls and other toy figures such as animals and cars, as well as puppets, crayons, sand and water trays, musical instruments, art materials, books and dressing-up clothes

Play Therapy involves the use of toys, blocks, dolls, puppets, drawings, and games to help the child recognize, identify, and verbalize feelings. The psychotherapist observes how the child uses play materials and identifies themes or patterns to understand the child’s problems. Through a combination of talk and play the child has an opportunity to better understand and manage their conflicts, feelings, and behavior.