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What is play therapy?
Play therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach used to help children ages 5 to 12 explore their lives and freely express repressed thoughts and emotions through play. Therapeutic play normally takes place in a safe, comfortable playroom, encouraging free expression and allowing the therapist to observe the child’s choices, decisions, and play style. Games, toys and mediums such as clay, drawings and paint are used to enable such expression.
The goal is to help children learn to express themselves in healthier ways and discover new and more positive methods to solve problems. Children use non-verbal communication to express themselves. For this reason, it is important that when dealing with children we enter their world at their level of communication. This is why the medium of play is utilized.
Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, as adult therapy usually expects, children use play to communicate at their own level and at their own pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened.
After making an appointment, an intake interview is scheduled with the parents or caregivers. This initial interview is used to gather information about the child, the family and the presenting problem. After this, the therapist will see the child to make an initial assessment. An assessment allows the therapist to decide the best treatment approach for the child.
Play therapy usually occurs in weekly sessions for an average of 20 sessions lasting 45- 50 minutes each. We integrate parental counselling with play therapy as we believe that it is vital that parents are supported and given the necessary skills and understanding to develop a better relationship with their children.