What is it:
Child Centered Play Therapy is an evidence based therapeutic counselling method. It is child lead and uses 'play' a child's natural way of communicating to express, process and 'act out' how they feel and how their experiences have affected them. Through the use of play, a therapist can provide a feeling an approach of 'being with' rather than a way of doing something for the child.
Play therapy sessions are only scheduled weekly in order to develop and maintain a therapeutic relationship.
Session can last from 30-45 minutes
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How does it work:
Play Therapy provides a safe space for children to process their emotions and feelings in an age appropriate, safe & non-judgemental space. During the first 4 weeks (The warm up stage) the child will start to build a therapeutic relationship which will form the agent of change for healing to begin.
Once the therapeutic relationship has been created the child will go on to move through 3 more stage as thier healing journey continues. There is no right or wrong or time limit on each of these stages. The therapist simply allows the child to move through them at their own pace. These include:
The Aggressive stage: This is where the child will begin to test the relationship, release built up emotions or
The Regressive stage: This is where the child may find themselves feeling vulnerable with the emotions they ahve displayed and or released
The Mastery stage: At this stage the child has been able to appropriately express thier feelings, intergrate them into their sense of self, and then demonstrate the ability to manage these feelings and experiences in a healthy and effective way.
Through Play Therapy treatment a child learns to process emotions and make sense of how they are feeling. Telling stories through play helps to calm big emotions and integrates both brain hemispheres, allowing a child to understand & process experiences.
Play Therapy benefits children who have experienced traumatic events like bullying, grief & loss, divorce/separation, neglect or illness. Play Therapy is also beneficial for children experiencing feelings of anxiety, fear, depression, sadness or frustration.