In recent research completed by Play Therapy UK based on Irish outcomes 75% of children showed a positive change as reported by referrers. 77% of children showed a positive change as reported by parents.
Play therapy can help in lots of different ways. Play therapy provides children with emotional support and can help them to make sense of their world by playing out experiences at their own pace. Play therapy can improve coping skills and help children to deal with negative feelings such as anger and worries in more appropriate ways. Play therapy can also help parents in understanding their child’s world. Some goals by the end of play therapy might include improved self-esteem, improved resilience or a reduction in the behaviours that were causing concern.
Play therapy is a suitable intervention for children aged between two and a half and sixteen years. Play therapy can be a helpful intervention for children and young people experiencing emotional and/or behavioural difficulties. Reasons for referral may include experiences of loss such as death of a loved one, children who have been hospitalised, children dealing with parental conflict or separation, children dealing with self-esteem issues, difficulties at school and many more…..
Every child’s journey is unique to them but children usually attend a minimum of 8 sessions with the average timeframe being 12 – 20 sessions. Some children may need to attend for a longer timeframe depending on the complexity of the issues that brought them to play therapy.
Each play therapy session typically lasts a duration of 50 minutes. Sessions are weekly and are scheduled on the same day and at the same time in order to provide a sense of security and predictability for the child.
It is natural for children to be curious about why they are coming for play therapy and it is important that they are prepared and have an opportunity to ask questions. The play therapist will offer guidance around this at the initial parent meeting.
Before meeting the child, the play therapist will request an assessment meeting with the parents to discuss the presenting concerns and goals for treatment. This meeting also provides parents with an opportunity to ask any questions. Once sessions commence the play therapist will work with the child on a one to one basis. There will be a waiting area for the parent to sit so that the parent is available if necessary. Some children may wish for a parent to stay for part or all of the first session until they feel comfortable with the play therapist.
Please contact the play therapist who will discuss cost and payment options. Some health insurers will offer something towards counselling and alternative therapies. It is advisable to check your individual policy and consult with your health insurer for further information.