What is Play Therapy and The Benefits of Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

When Is Play Therapy Used?

Play Therapy is a form of counselling for children who are going through the following problems:

  • Abuse (Emotional, Physical, Sexual)
  • Adapting to Foster Care & Adoption
  • ADHD
  • Anger
  • Attachment Issues
  • Autistic Spectrum
  • Behaviour Problems
  • Bereavement / Loss
  • Bullied/Bullies
  • Communication Problems
  • Delayed Development
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Poor School Attendance
  • Relationship Issues
  • Selective Mute
  • Separated/Divorced Parents
  • Social Exclusion
  • Trauma
  • Unauthorised Absences
  • Under Performing (Academically, Socially, Culturally)
  • Withdrawn Personality

Play Therapy Uk Research

Play Therapy is a well-established discipline based upon a number of psychological theories. Research, both qualitative and quantitative shows that it is highly effective in many cases. Recent research by PTUK, an organisation affiliated to PTI, suggests that 71% of the children referred to play therapy will show a positive change.

A safe, confidential and caring environment is created which allows the child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary (for physical and emotional safety). This allows healing to occur on many levels following our natural inner trend towards health. Play and creativity operate on impulses from outside our awareness – the unconscious. No medication is used.

Play Therapy Is A Special Time for the Child

The therapist may reflect back to the child observations of what has happened during the session if this is felt to be appropriate. Above all the child is given “Special Time”. So often in modern life we never seem to have enough time to spend with our children – just playing, just being there for them. The child is given strategies to cope with difficulties they face in life and which they themselves cannot change. It provides a more positive vi Save ew of their future life.

Special Time is non-judgmental, non-directive and non-interpretative. Play is essential for children to develop physically, emotionally and socially. It fosters imagination and creativity and encourages confidence and concentration. It helps children to make friends and learn about their ever-expanding world. It allows them to learn from mistakes safely. Special Time enables children to consider and acknowledge their feelings. It helps them to learn that it is OK to feel, and teaches them how to cope with feelings in a safe and constructive way.

Play Therapy Approach In Malta

Jacqueline Abela DeGiovanni CEO of Hand in Hand LTDThe CEO of Hand in Hand Jacqueline Abela DeGiovanni had setup Play Therapy Malta in 2011 and opened the first Certificate course in 2012 and the Diploma course in 2013. Play Therapy approach is based upon the theories of Virginia Axline, Carl Rogers, Margaret Lowenfeld and Rachel Pinney. Their theories postulate that children are able, from a very early age, to make choices and take responsibilities in line with their age and ability. If this ability is fostered, the child becomes happier, more fulfilled and confident. A happy child is better able to grow and accept the reasonable authority of those in charge of him or her and to take initiative.

The Benefits of Play Therapy

Very few children have real freedom to play without constraint. Play therapy techniques allow a child complete freedom of choice within safe boundaries. The child is set free from the responsibility for taking care of itself; Safety for the child, the environment and themselves are now the provinces of the therapist during Special Time. The child is neither praised nor blamed. There is no judgement, no right or wrong. By providing a free atmosphere within safe boundaries the adult allows the child complete freedom to express him or herself verbally, physically or with playthings.

The use of unconstructed materials such as sand and water, paint, glue, clay etc as well as miniature figures of people, animals, trees etc is important to allow the imagination free rein. Making a world in the sand, for instance, gives a child the opportunity of making sense of his or her experience and gaining some control over his or her world in which adults appear so powerful and sometimes threatening. During Special Time the child will develop strategies of how to deal with situations in the real world more appropriately.

Sessions may last from typically 30 to 45 minutes. They may be with individual or groups of children. A variety of techniques – ‘the Play Therapy Toolkit’ is used according to the child’s wishes and the skills of the ‘therapist’.

Play Therapy Technique used with children

Play Therapy Role Play

Children express themselves through creative dramatic play. It occurs daily in the lives of children, as they constantly imitate the people, animals, and things in their world. Children express themselves through creative dramatic play. It occurs daily in the lives of children, as they constantly imitate the people, animals, and things in their world.      It helps them understand and deal with the world and promotes imagination, one of the life’s essential ingredients. Role play is a natural way for a child to work through issues such as mistreatment, divorce, and loss and find a resolution. Drama play expands a child’s awareness of self in relation to others and the environment. Children utilize this instinctively to try out new situations, explore possibilities, express emotions, and solve problems. It is a natural developmental process. Role play assists children in developing mastery of emotions and a repertoire of self-regulation skills and coping strategies.

Play Therapy Art & Drawing

Drawing and painting is a valuable tool which enables therapists to help the child literally draw connections between what they Drawing and painting is a valuable tool which enables therapists to help the child literally draw connections between what they create and themselves. In this technique, a child is usually left free to create whatever they want and often this reveals much about their inner worries and concerns.

Play Therapy Sand tray/ Sand worlds

Sandplay involves choosing miniatures to manipulate within a sand tray world which the child can create and control. Sandplay involves choosing miniatures to manipulate within a sand tray world which the child can create and control. In this manner, through free, creative play, unconscious processes are made visible in a three-dimensional form and a pictorial world comparable to the dream experience. This is with children in order to gain access to the contents of the unconscious.

Play Therapy Creative Visualization

Creative visualization is a technique where the child is guided to visualize Creative visualization is a technique where the child is guided to visualize positive outcomes for difficult and perhaps even anger-provoking situations. This technique is a helpful tool, taught to children at a play therapy session.

Play Therapy Therapeutic Storytelling

During storytelling, children listen to the story and then work with the child on the course of the story, a therapist can help During storytelling, children listen to the story and then work with the child on the course of the story, a therapist can help the child express emotions and work through their feelings. This same technique can be used with therapeutic storytelling during which a story, relating to the child’s issues, is told so that emotions can be explored through the use of metaphors, and a positive outcome can be controlled.

Play Therapy Dance and Movement

Movement is a holistic, non-verbal medium that focuses on the individual’s preferred movement patterns apparent in their daily lives. With the belief that movement Movement is a holistic, non-verbal medium that focuses on the individual’s preferred movement patterns apparent in their daily lives. With the belief that movement reflects an individual’s pattern of thinking and feeling, using movement, music, props and play may bring awareness and understanding to deeply embedded problems in one’s life that may have stemmed from infancy. This medium of psychotherapy is best for those who find verbalising their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours difficult. This medium of therapy is a creative way to resolve past trauma, promotes integration and self-regulation, and allows the individual to learn coping strategies and stress management in a holistic and natural fashion.

Play Therapy Puppets

Puppets offer the children a safe distance, what be call symbolic detachment. Because of this puppets offer physical and psychological safety that, in turn, invites Puppets to offer the children a safe distance, what be call symbolic detachment. Because of this puppets offer physical and psychological safety that, in turn, invites greater self-expression. No child wants to see a therapist who fixates on her problems, nor feel there’s something wrong with himself/ herself.  In my playroom, it’s the puppet who has the problem. Puppets help bring the child’s problem comfortably into the room and they often speak for the child.

Play Therapy Music

Music allows children to express their emotions and manipulate their feelings through the energy of the music. It can help children  Music allows children to express their emotions and manipulate their feelings through the energy of the music. It can help children to focus and enhance their listening skills, increase concentration levels, help with coordination and relaxation, help increase patience levels,  while also giving self-confidence, increasing self-esteem offering them a communication tool overall.

For more information on the service please contact Jacqueline Abela DeGiovanni on [email protected] or 79474692 or via Facebook.

2 comments:

hi my daughter is having behavioural problems. I was approached by teacher that she is doing unexpected things such as wiping the whiteboard with her hair, writing with a market on her jacket and so on. She is a lover the place and most of the time distracted. she is 5th as old and just started a new school St Monica Gzira. does she need any help or is it normal until we settles in the new school.

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