What is play therapy?

Why Play?

Play is the language of children and the toys are their words. Children do not have the words to describe their thoughts, feelings and emotions.

What Resources are used?

Art and craft materialsThe standard play therapy kit includes:

Why does Play Therapy Work?

Play therapy works because it allows children the opportunity to express themselves freely in a safe environment.

It enables the child to:

During Play therapy sessions, children develop a trusting, therapeutic relationship with their therapist. This relationship enables them to express themselves, explore and make sense of their difficult and painful experiences.

Where and how is play therapy carried out?

Play therapy is carried out in a safe room, the play therapy resources are provided. Sessions are 40 mins, at the same time and day each week. Some children will respond to a short term intervention which is 12 sessions of individual play therapy. However, when problems have persisted for a long time or are complicated a longer term intervention may be required.

Sessions are non-judgemental, child centred and predominantly child led.

What is the evidence that play therapy works?

PTUK's clinical evidence base, containing over 12,000 cases, shows that between 77% and 84% of children show a positive change through the use of play and creative arts therapies when delivered to PTUK standards. (PTUK website)

The principles of non directive play

Much of current play therapy practice is based upon Virginia Axline’s work.

The therapist: