Play Therapy 

What is Play Therapy?

At Creative Ways, Play Therapy provides a safe environment with a qualified Psychotherapist for the child to explore their emotions and feelings at their own pace and in their own way.  Play is a child’s “natural medium for self-expression” (Axline, 1969) and as an adult may talk out their concerns, children and young people may express their feelings through actions, behaviours, noises; or in other words- play!

Play Therapy provides “an opportunity that is offered to the child to experience growth under the most favourable conditions” (Axline, 1969).  It follows the understanding that a child carries their own solutions and will find them within a safe and predictable environment.  During sessions a child is free to explore their emotions, feelings and behaviours through a toolkit of resources including arts and crafts, clay and messy play, puppets and role play, miniature world toys and sand tray, music and movement to name but a few.  Through an accepting, predictable and permissive environment, trust builds a therapeutic relationship between the therapist and child/young person to allow them to feel grounded enough to explore less conscious feelings and emotions.

“Children with better emotional wellbeing make more progress in primary school and are more engaged in secondary school” (Morrison-Gutman L & Vorhaus J (2012)  The Impact of Pupil Behaviour and Wellbeing on Educational Outcomes (Institute of Education, University of London, Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre, Department of Education research Report DFE-RR253)

At Creative Ways we run one to one Play Therapy sessions, usually within a school or children’s centre setting.  On request, we can also run groups for specific issues such as domestic abuse, parental substance misuse or bereavement or loss.  These sessions will begin with an assessment including an Ofsted recognised evidence-based tool and there is a review after 12 sessions.  Play Therapy usually runs over 12 or 24 sessions depending upon the outcome of the assessment.