What is Therapy through Play?
Therapy through play is a method of therapywith children in which a therapist uses a child’s fantasies and the symbolic meanings of his or her play as a medium for understanding and communication with the child. (minddisorders.com)
Play and creativity operate out of our awareness, allowing our true feelings and thoughts to come through. Children communicate their feelings and thoughts through play more naturally than they do through verbal communication.
What will happen?
The counsellor will firstly meet with the referrer (School, parent) to talk about issues the child may be having. The therapy through play will then be arranged to take place at a time and place arranged during this meeting. The sessions usually last about 60 minutes, but can be shorter if the child tires sooner.
Where will this happen?
The therapy through play happens either within a room provided by the referrer (school, children’s centre) or within ACCESS’s family room. This room contains toys and creative supplies especially for this purpose.
The space is a safe, confidential and caring environment that enables the child to play safely and freely. The child is given quality time one to one with the counsellor, just playing, just being there. (playtherapy.org.uk)
How does therapeutic play work?
The therapeutic play ACCESS offers is child centred, so the play goes where the child goes.
As trust is developed with the counsellor the child will play and talk freely about the things that worry/trouble them.
The counsellor then uses their therapeutic skills to help the child to work through how they feel and develop resilience; enabling them to manage life’s’ ups and downs in the future.
Who does this work?
Only ACCESS counsellors who are fully qualified in Person-Centred therapy and have additional training ‘working with children through play’ carry out his work.