Play is a child’s natural way of expressing themselves, and Play Therapy provides them with an opportunity to “play out” their thoughts, feelings and problems in a non-directive way, in a safe environment with a caring therapist. In a Play Therapy session, the therapist follows the child’s lead and allows them to explore the wide range of toys available. As their relationship develops the child gains greater insight into their personal problems, through their play. The therapist uses a Play Therapy Tool Kit as well as specialist techniques such as empathetic listening and reflection to aid the therapeutic process. Play Therapy can also be more directive, for example when used with groups rather than individuals. The therapist will form a plan for the group, incorporating different parts of the Play Therapy Tool Kit, and working toward a therapeutic aim – for example, to increase self esteem, or to develop an understanding of loss.
At Play Therapy Mayo, play therapy is administered through one-on-on sessions. How this works is there will be a initial meeting with the parent/guardian to discuss the best way of working with the child. If the pre-therapy conditions are met the child will come to play therapy for a weekly hour long session. After the first 5 sessions there will be a parent review with the therapist to discuss how the child is engaging in the process.
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