How is the play session structured?

My first priority with all children is to ensure that their basic needs are met and that they are safe and secure. Once these basic needs are assured I seek to provide them with experiences where they feel understood, accepted, competent and valued. When I do this they will find creative ways to learn and to resolve difficulties.

Play Therapy provides a specially designed environment and an attuned relationship with the therapist within which the child is free to communicate non verbally, symbolically, and creatively.

At the initial consultation session, which is done without the child being present, details are taken of the child’s history and development from birth to present. This meeting is to gather information relevant to the child’s difficulties and to discuss the process of play therapy. An hour and a half is allocated for the consultation. We will discuss in detail the concerns the parent/carer has for the child and explore the child’s experiences and difficulties. The therapist can also provide parents with personal support and guidance. Caring for a troubled child can be very demanding and draining.

Intake sessions also provide the parent with an opportunity to learn more about the way the therapist works, their training and qualifications, their fees and other requirements.

How long is each Play Therapy session?

A session usually lasts for 1 hour.

How many sessions will my child need?

It is important to note that play therapy is not a 'quick fix' solution. It works at the child's pace and there isn’t any set number of sessions. As a guide children will usually attend a minimum of 10 to 20 play sessions and those with complex histories can often attend for more than a year. We will agree on a time frame for the sessions and will arrange that the parent attends regular reviews throughout the child’s therapy.

How do I prepare my child for Play Therapy?

Your child will be naturally curious about Play Therapy and a useful reply could be something like “when things are hard for you at home, at school or with your friends and you find it difficult to talk about how you feel, then it helps to have a special place for you to go and play”. You can explain to your child that they will be spending some time every week in a special playroom where there will be lots of toys and materials available to them where they can have fun and express themselves.

Can I change my session times if necessary?

Changing session times is generally not possible due to set times for each child but this can be discussed if a difficulty arises with the time allocated and everything will be done to accommodate the child if alternative arrangements need to be made.