ProPlay Therapy - What is Play Therapy?

What is Play Therapy?

“Toys are like the child’s words and play is the child’s language”

- Dr. Garry Landreth

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About Play Therapy

Play therapy is able to help children address a range of difficulties. It is designed to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings. In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language. Through play, therapists may be able to help children learn more adaptive behaviors when there are emotional or social skills deficits.

Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems through what, typically, comes natural to them ...  through play. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002). Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behaviour, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others.

“Play Therapy is founded on a number of theoretical models whereby the trained play therapist utilises the power of play, within a therapeutic relationship, to relieve suffering, prevent or resolve emotional and behavioural difficulties and to achieve optimal growth and development of children (or older individuals)."(The Australaisa Pacific Play Therapy Association; 2014)

Who can benefit from Play Therapy?

While others may benefit from the results, Play therapy is typically suitable for children aged 3 to 12 years old. Play Therapy can be beneficial for children experiencing a broad spectrum of difficulties and issues, including:

Children with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties:
  • Anxiety
  • Social withdrawal
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Excessive anger
  • Elective mutism
  • Problems in making friends, getting into quarrels, bullying or being bullied.
  • Physical or verbal aggression
Children having undergone stressful or traumatic events:
  • Adoption or foster care
  • Attachment difficulties
  • Bullying
  • Illness, injury
  • Loss or bereavement
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Starting at a new school or moving schools
Children with special needs:
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism (ASD)
  • Developmental delays

What can I expect?

ProPlay Therapy is dedicated to providing a compassionate, confidential and personalised Play Therapy experience that caters to the unique needs of each individual.

At the initial consultation, the play therapist conducts an intake interview with the parent or caregivers to gather information about the child. A separate consultation with the child may be held to get to know the child prior to the clinical sessions. The clinical sessions are then typically held on a weekly basis for an average of about 8 to 20 sessions depending on each child’s needs.

The play therapy clinic is equiped with a range of specially chosen toys, games and crafts. During a typical play therapy session, the child chooses what they most feel like doing or playing - the child guides the play session. It is a time and space the child can discover their “Wonder Space”; a place the child can experience safety and trust. During the session, the Play Therapist provides warmth of presence and empathic regard. The trained Play Therapist harnesses the powers of play to understand the issues the child may be experiencing, address feelings and thoughts and to facilitate growth and healing.