Are you thinking about undertaking Therapeutic Play as a therapy for your young loved ones? Therapeutic Play believes in the use of play to help children communicate their emotional needs. We at Seek a Therapy want to help answer your questions and concerns surrounding therapeutic play in order to help you select the right practitioner for you and on this page we have included some of the most common questions a person may have before attending their first session.
What Is Therapeutic Play?
Play Therapy uses a variety of play and creative arts techniques (the Play Therapy Tool-Kit to alleviate chronic, mild and moderate psychological and emotional conditions in children that are causing behavioural problems and/or are preventing children from realising their potential.
Play therapy offers a way for adults to focus on providing the right conditions to develop methods of communication through play for young people. Often, a playroom will have a wide range of toys, chosen for their capacity to help children express their feelings and problems.
The therapist will allow the young person to select the toys they want to play with. During the session, the therapist will observe the child’s actions and sometimes engage in imaginary play. If the child’s play becomes problematic then they will set limits to their behaviour.
Through the use of therapeutic play, the child’s problem usually come out naturally. Often, parents will be involved with the therapy as children often are more open with them around. The aim of utilising this method of therapy for young people is to decrease difficulties such as increased ways of dealing with anxiety, frustration and improve capacity to trust and relate to others.
What to Expect From Therapeutic Play
As children play they often become less guarded more open to sharing their feelings. It is important that they don’t feel pressured to release these feelings though. They unveil their feelings in their own time and with their own method of communication.
Play therapy will differ depending on the therapist and the particular needs of the child.
At first, a therapist may want to observe the child at play. They may also want to conduct separate interviews with the child, parents, or teachers. After a thorough assessment, the therapist will set goals, decide on what limits may be necessary, and formulate a plan for how to proceed. Much can be revealed in how a child interacts with different types of toys and how their behaviour changes from session to session. They may use play to act out fears and anxieties, as a soothing mechanism, or to heal and problem-solve.
Play therapists use these observations as a guide to the next steps. Each child is different, so therapy will be tailored to their individual needs. As therapy progresses, behaviours and goals can be reassessed.
A short overview of Therapeutic Play
How Much Does A Typical Play Therapy Session Cost?
A therapeutic play therapist ( and we have several in our directory in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia) costs can vary and can range from £40/$50 per session and sometimes can go upwards of £100/$150. It can occasionally be more depending upon the status and experience of the therapy, speciality and location.
How Do I Know Which Play Therapy Specialist To Choose?
It is probably important to recognise that the play therapist you select must make your child or young loved one feel comfortable. They are going to have to develop a relationship of trust and support for effective practice and to share insights from the play experiences.
When you find the right therapist that offers you good communication, a partnership, trust, goals and a feeling of genuine understanding then together, over time, you will be able to create the right atmosphere to get the most from play therapy. This will help you reap the benefits of the therapy.
It is also recommended, if it is possible, to try and find reviews from previous happy customers and whether they are registered with the appropriate bodies with insurance.
How Long Does Play Therapy Take?
Some children will respond to a short term intervention (for example up to 12 sessions). However, when problems have persisted for a long time or are complicated a longer-term intervention may be required. In these circumstances some Play Therapists have worked with children for two years or more. Sessions are usually once a week and consistency on a regular day and at the same time and place is very important for developing a trusting relationship. Unplanned missed sessions may disrupt the progress.
What If It Doesn’t Work For Me?
First of all, don’t worry!
If you think play therapy is the right therapy but you have the wrong professional then you have every right to seek a second opinion and you will not offend your practitioner, they just want you or your loved one to improve and you deserve to feel well. If, on the other hand, you don’t feel Play Therapy is not working at all then do not be disheartened, there are many, many different types of therapy that can help and personal training is only one. Use our therapy directory to find a different therapy, you may find hypnotherapy works better or possibly some holistic treatment. The key is not to think this is your only option.
Play Therapy For Mental Health
Please note: This information should not replace professional medical advice, it is purely for informational purposes. At all times when you are in crisis please first seek help from your GP or another medical professional. Thank you