Support for Children & Young People
What is Play Therapy
Play Therapy is therapy that helps children to explore their feelings, to express themselves and to make sense of their life experiences. Play is children’s natural way of learning, communicating, and exploring their worlds.
Play Therapy enables children to shift their perspective of abuse or difficulty so that they are less likely to internalise blame – empowerment and increased self esteem can be the springboard to help the child cope with difficulties in the real world. It can offer children a space in which their feelings can be expressed and contained; it can promote resilience to enable them to discover a more hopeful view of the world.
Play Therapy generally happens every week at the same time and in the same room. This is important for developing the trusting relationship.
Who can benefit from Play Therapy?
This is an effective intervention for children with a variety of presenting difficulties
- Children or young people who have been abused, neglected, or traumatised
- Those who have experienced loss through bereavement or family breakdown
- Those who have witnessed violence or the abuse of substances
- Children who have been separated from their culture or origin
- Children who have emotional or behavioural difficulties such as depression or aggression arising from their experiences
Play Therapy is appropriate for young people of all ages, cultures, genders, and varying abilities but is most often used for children aged between three and twelve years. Here at The Birchall trust we work with individual children but can also offer joint working involving parents/carers or siblings.
How can Play Therapy help
Play is vital to every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. It helps make learning concrete for all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult.
It helps children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their feelings and thoughts – understand the muddles they may have. Sometimes they may paly out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways.
At The Birchall Trust, we have a large selection of play materials including art and craft materials, dressing up props, sand and water, clay, small figures and animals, musical instruments, puppets and books and through these our Play Therapists encourage children to express themselves without having to provide verbal explanations.