THE POWER OF PLAY
WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY AND THERAPEUTIC PLAY
Children do not have the capabilities to verbalise their feelings using everyday language like adults do so many talking therapies are usually not appropriate and can make a child feel interrogated or threatened.
This is where Play Therapy comes in! Play is a powerful tool, it is the language of children, where children can communicate at their own level and at their own pace.
A Play Therapist or a Therapeutic Play Specialist will provide a range of play activities that can be used to promote the expression of feelings and emotions; helping the child to understand muddled feelings and any upsetting events or experiences.
During sessions, activities are child led and children can select the parts of the play kit that feel most appealing to them. Play kits will include tools like;
Puppets and soft toys
Which can be used as an extension of the child’s being, helping the child to indirectly explore experiences
Fancy dress items
Which can be used as a symbolic tool creating a safe distance for a child to explore trauma in a detached and safe way.
Which can be used by children to create a reflection of their life or world using miniature toys and figurines, arranging them in the sand in any way they choose.
Clay and Playdoh
Which can be used to encourage children to put imagery to thoughts,
creatively expressing themselves without using words, helping children to feel more relaxed and in control.
Which can be used to explore situations and social behaviours with a child in a safe, detached way, refining behaviours of concern.
Every child can benefit from the therapeutic power of play but research has shown that it is particularly useful for children experiencing the following challenges;
- Caroline Elder