What is Play Therapy?

Play is a child’s natural medium to learn, develop and communicate. Some children find it difficult to express themselves through talking; therefore play therapy uses play to help children explore their experiences and express themselves. Play therapy helps children understand their feelings, difficult events and behaviour.

Play therapists are trained to use play as a child’s natural form of expression to understand and communicate with children about feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Therapy takes place in a playroom, which has a selection of play materials including arts and crafts, animals, figures, puppets books as well as sand and water. Children can use these materials to express themselves and explore their feelings.

Who can Play Therapy help?

Play Therapy can help children, their parents, carer, family or whanau understand their feelings.  It can help with issues such as:

  • School or home difficulties, e.g. disruptive, non-compliant
  • Behaviour problems
  • Emotional difficulties including feeling angry, upset, sad, anxious or depressed
  • Relationships, including parents, siblings & peers
  • Fostering/Adoption
  • Social Skills
  • Disability, Autism, ADHD, and Aspergers
  • Trauma, family/whanau difficulties, separation or life changes
  • Loss or grief
  • Illness
  • Abuse
  • Domestic & Sexual Violence/Harm