play therapy.

Is your child struggling with their emotions? Are they acting out, regressing from previously attained developmental milestones, withdrawing, crying , having nightmares, having difficulty separating from their loved ones, have difficulty socializing, behaving aggressively then play therapy may be the solution? Or is your family going through a difficult time such as divorce or a passing of a loved one, play therapy can help a child process what they are feeling and deal with the changes in their environment.

Play therapy as defined by Landreth , G (2002, p.16) is “ a dynamic interpersonal relation between a child (or person of any age) and a therapist trained in play therapy procedures who provide selected play therapy materials and facilitates the development of a safe relationship and explore self (feelings, thoughts, experiences, and behaviours) through play, the child’s natural medium of communication, for optimal growth and development.” Most adults are able to communicate verbally what they are feeling and struggling with, children do this through play. A child will play out their version of reality and what they are feeling. The psychologist then relates to the problem and helps a child work through their feelings. The psychologist therefore addresses what troubles the child and not what the psychologist sees as a problem.

One has to bear in mind that the child discovers their own strengths through play therapy. A child is therefore given the opportunity through play therapy to figure things out themselves rather than being told by the therapist. Play therapy makes a child feel in control and thus is less threatening for them.

Play therapy aims to provide a child with self-confidence, a sense of responsibility, a level of independence appropriate to their age, and helps them to feel more in control and be able to cope with difficult situations, express their negative emotions in a healthier manner and to be more accepting of themselves.

Does this sound appealing to you? For more information on play therapy contact PsychMatters on 0837755166 or email