What is Play Therapy?



Play therapy is a way of doing counselling with children approximately ages two to fifteen years.

The therapist leads the child to better self-knowledge, acceptance and handling of emotions and traumatic events. The child is made aware of his experiences in the present. With the use of techniques such as play dough, drawings, paint and toys these experiences are explored and handled. A variety of skills are introduced which help the child to function optimally in his environment. The play room provides a safe place and the techniques make the child feel at ease. Because therapy takes place within the child’s frame of reference, the child can reach self-awareness to work through unfinished business.

Play therapy is effective for a variety of social, emotional- and behavioural difficulties. With the start of therapy an emotional assessment is done to determine the child’s level of development and if necessary the child’s coping meganisms after trauma. During therapy the therapist focuses on the child’s needs, should it be emotional regulation (handling different emotions), social skills, handling changes, divorce or working through the grieving process. Play therapy is beneficial for children with special needs as well as their siblings. Parents receive guidance as necessary. It is important that the therapist, parents and in many cases the teacher be involved in the therapeutic process to support the child, and where necessary changes be made to the child’s environment to be supportive for the child.

How long does the therapy last?

Therapy usually takes place for approximately 45 minutes once or twice per week until the child or adolescent learned to deal with his/her emotions.

Therapy can restart at any time if the child or adolescent have the need for more therapy.