If Your Child Has Been Referred for Play Therapy You May Have Questions or Concerns, or You May Feel Relieved That More Support Is On Its Way

It can be a worrying time if your child is unhappy or behaving in ways that are hard to understand or help with.  When you meet the Play Therapist you can ask them any questions that you have and they will talk to you about how we work and what Play Therapy is.

At some point most children face challenges or difficulties which they will need to work through in order to feel happy, confident and thrive at school.  Often these issues can be solved at home, but sometimes help from outside our families, from a trained therapist, is what is needed to make sense of difficult feelings or things that have happened that are holding your child and family back.

Play Therapists use art and play in sessions for when it is hard to put thoughts and feelings into words.  We can then reflect on the artwork or play together, and come to understand what was being expressed and what is happening for the child.

What Happens in the Sessions?

Your child will be able to play with the wide range of resources that will be made ready for them each week.  We call our selection of items our ToolKit, it includes: a large array of art and crafting materials, clay, dressing-up and role play props, musical instruments, sand and water, puppets, miniature figures, games and construction toys.  Your child will be able to choose freely what they would like to use, and the therapist will enter into their play, following their lead.

Your child will be able to work at their own pace and explore narratives and experiences in the metaphor of the play, without being asked to explain it verbally.

Over the first few sessions your child will begin to forge a relationship with their therapist and experience the consistency of the session and its predictable boundaries.   The aim being that this will enable them to use the time and the therapist’s knowledge, to express themselves in their own way.

If during their sessions your child makes any artwork, it will be stored safely by the therapist until the therapy ends, at which point your child can choose if they would like to take it home.

What Happens Next?

When your child is first referred, the Play Therapist will talk to you and listen carefully to what has been happening, how your child is at home and what you would hope would be the outcome of this help.  Once you have given your consent for the therapy to start then your child will attend one session a week, at the same time and place and with the same Play Therapist.

The therapist will invite you to meet them again after approximately 7 sessions, in order to talk about how your child is and what changes you or their teacher have noticed.   This review ensures that we are working together to help your child, something that we have noticed children find helpful.

What is my Role as a Parent in This?

Your role remains central to your child and your support of them attending therapy is important.

Your child may choose to keep what they do in their sessions private, please do not be offended or worried by this, it may well be that they have not got the words to explain it to you yet.

The Play Therapist will keep the exact details of what happens in the sessions confidential, but can share with you the general themes of the play and talk to you about patterns they notice or topics that come up, so that you can help your child at home.

Just as it helps not to ask for details about their sessions, it helps not to ask children to behave in a certain way when they are there.  The Play Therapist does not expect or need ‘good’ behaviour in the sessions.  Instead, we hope that each child comes to trust that they can express themselves freely, without judgement, in their sessions.  Our Therapists are trained to understand and manage all types of behaviour, and to recognise and work with the reasons behind it.

To make a referral or to find a Play Therapist near you, click the button below:

Make a Referral