What is Play Therapy?
Play Therapy is an approach in which games, toys and art activities are used to help a child to express their thoughts, wishes and needs. Children use play to communicate and succeed at their own level and at their own pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened.
Play therapy can enable children to develop the resilience to cope with difficulties and enable them to grow in confidence in class, with their learning and across the whole school.
What does a play therapist do?
- work with an individual child on a 1:1 basis for 45 minutes each week.
- Participate in the activities and play.
- Create a safe environment in which the children can explore their own thoughts and perceptions.
- Not judge or interpret, but rather reflects on what she sees and experiences with the child.
What are the benefits of offering Play Therapy in schools?
- Helps children and young people to build healthier relationships with teaching staff and peers
- Reduces emotional, behavioural and social obstacles to learning.
- Improves adaptation in the classroom.
- Enhances communication and play skills as well as emotional literacy
- Addresses the needs of at-risk children
- Supports and advises teaching staff
- Is recommended by the DfE as an appropriate and effective intervention.
Who is referred for Play therapy?
- Children who have experienced significant trauma
- Children who need to express their feelings in ways other than verbal
- Children whose emotional and mental health needs are having a significant impact on their learning and their ability to form and maintain relationships
- Children who have experienced loss
Our Play Therapist believes in the child’s own ability to find a balance in their life, therefore helping them to become aware of what they are doing and gives them the opportunity to grow in confidence.