July 25, 2014

About Therapeutic Play Therapy

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Therapeutic Play Therapy or Therapeutic Play is a method of helping / counselling children with behavioural and / or emotional problems to heal themselves.  Play is the childs natural medium of self expression – it’s essential for development and play therapy gives a child the opportunity to play out their feelings and problems with a therapeutic objective.

It is reported that one in five children suffer a psychological disorder and one in ten have mental health problems.  The purpose of play therapy is to help children benefit from teaching at school and alleviating their mental and emotional health problems, and improve home life after parental divorce.

I have successfully worked with children using non-directive therapeutic play therapy skills to help them work through their issues issues or “muddled thoughts”.  Some children and adolescents benefit from a combination of talking therapy and creative arts work to enable them to solve their problems.

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Young  children especially are able to work with metaphor, where the problem is too scary or buried deeply. I n this way they can show their troubles without actually saying what their specific problem may be, but gain help, perhaps using the sand tray to act out scenarios or painting / drawing scenes that relate to their issues.  These skills help a child to solve and put “muddled thoughts” in order.

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Play is essential for children to develop physically, emotionally & socially.

It fosters imagination and creativity.

Encourages confidence and concentration.

Helps them make friends and learn about their ever expanding world.

Allows them to learn from mistakes safely.

Play can be used to establish a relationship.


The main therapeutic play therapy tools for the therapist are:

Creative Visualisation
( helps understanding and thinking )

Storytelling
( helps moral and spiritual  development )

Drama
( helps social relationships )

Puppets and Masks
( helps caring for self )

Art
( helps creativity and aesthetic experiences )

Music
( helps communication )

Dance and Movement
( helps with physical problems )

Sandplay and sandworlds
( helps with emotional problems )


Therapeutic Play therapy has been recorded as being beneficial for issues such as

Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Bereavement / Loss
Separated / Divorced Parents
Emotional Wellbeing
Under Achieving at School
Poor Social Skills
Cultural Diversity
Low Self Esteem
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Trauma
Abuse
Nightmares
Delayed Development
Unauthorised School Absences
Social Exclusion
Bullied/Bullies
Behavioural Problems
Communication Problems


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In a short pilot trial run by PTUK  and Kent County Council, 126 children were identified using Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire as suitable for therapeutic play therapy and these were offered 6 sessions each. Difficulties such as emotional problems, conduct problems, attention / hyperactivity difficulties, peer relationship, pro social behavioural problems were identified.

After a course of therapeutic play therapy the benefits to teaching staff are that the child participates in group work, communicates with others, listens and is better able to concentrate on their work.  This helps to reduce exclusions and helps the child to improve their attendance rates.

Fees
£40.00 per 50 minute session