Play and Creative Arts Therapy
I am a Certified Play Therapist and Clinical Supervisor. I have experience in working with a wide range of clients, families and professionals, from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and in a variety of settings (private client, schools).
The children I have worked with have presented a variety of difficulties and life experiences.
I have a strong belief in the benefits of play therapy as an evidence based, safe and effective mental health intervention for children and young people.
My experience has given me a deep respect for children and young people their resilience and ability to cope with their individual challenges.
I work every Tuesday and Wednesday, delivering therapeutic support to children at Our Lady & St Joseph.
Play Therapy - What is it and how can it help?
Play therapy helps children modify their behaviour, clarify their self-concept, and build healthy relationships. In play therapy children enter into a dynamic relationship with the therapist that enables them to express, explore and make sense of their difficult and painful experiences.
Play Therapy gives children the opportunity to work through difficulties without the challenge of having to put their feelings into words.
Play is a natural form of communication for children, and therapeutic play can provide them with the means to explore deep feelings and fears without the need to talk about them or face them directly.
Who is Play Therapy for?
Children (4-11) often struggle when encountering difficulties. Play therapy is an effective treatment for the emotional and possibly behavioural difficulties children may present after experiencing trauma, abuse, neglect, loss, bullying, friendship problems, illness or separation anxieties. It can be very helpful for children who are fostered or adopted, not living with a parent or parents, those suffering bereavement or going through relationship challenges. Children who are struggling academically or with specific learning difficulties may more easily express their frustrations through play therapy.
Why choose Play Therapy?
Play Therapy uses a variety of methods to encourage a child to explore their inner world and feelings.
- Creative Visualisation helps to create new, positive beliefs, attitudes and behaviours.
- Storytelling encourages creativity and increases willingness to express thoughts and feelings.
- Puppets, Masks and Drama enhances social relationships and self-care, provides the safe release of fears, aggression and frustrations.
- Art and Clay develops creativity, promotes self-expression, provides methods of safely exploring stressful or traumatic experiences.
- Music, Dance, Movement and Role Play enhances communication, improves social skills, and reduces stress.
- Sand play gives expression to non-verbalised emotional issues, provides a positive sensory experience.
How does Play Therapy Work?
Through regular 1-to-1 contact with a caring and supportive therapist, children experience emotional support whilst they explore their feelings and thoughts. They can re-enact or play out traumatic or distressing life experiences. This helps them to make sense of the past and to have more positive coping strategies for the future.
Scientific Benefits of Play Therapy
"The theory is that cells that fire together, wire together." - Donald Hebb
More brain cells light up in response to metaphors than any other form of human communication regarding emotion thereby forming new neural pathways.
We can therefore see the benefits of using symbolic/fantasy play with its use of metaphors to provide the experiences to further develop the brain/mind. (Levin, F 1997 and Modell, A. H 1997.)
Where does Play Therapy Take Place?
Your child’s school. Sessions are weekly and can be short or long term. The minimum number of Play Therapy sessions is 12. However, if problems are complex or have been persistent for a long time, then further sessions may be necessary.
Who can practice Play Therapy?
Only practitioners who have completed post graduate training in Play Therapy as part of an accredited University course can offer services as a Play Therapist. All therapists have ongoing regular clinical supervision of their practice and continuing professional development. Hold an up-to-date enhanced DBS certificate, indemnity insurance and comply with GDPR.
About Play Therapy UK
I hold professional membership with Play Therapy UK (PTUK) and BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). As a PTUK/ BACP registrant, I adhere to PTUK’s/ BACP’s Ethical Framework.