What does a Play Therapist do?
Play Therapists receive extensive training in subjects such as child development and attachment (the bonding process). They are also trained to use play, a child’s natural form of expression, as a means for understanding and communicating with children about feelings, thoughts and behaviour.
The Play Therapist will begin by carefully listening to your concerns about your child and family. They will review their history and find out about the stresses the family have been through so that they can help your child to make sense of it.
The Play Therapist may ask to seek information from school and other significant adults in their lives. An assessment is made of your child’s strengths as well as their difficulties.
Your child’s Play Therapist will talk with you about what to tell your child about their Play Therapy and how to anticipate and answer your child’s questions. You can also visit the children’s information page for child friendly wording. They may work as part of a team of other professionals or independently, and may suggest a referral for other professional intervention as part of the support. This might include support for you.
Play Therapists sometimes work with parents in the playroom along with their child. Some specially trained Filial Play Therapists may train parents in how to relate better to their child using child-centred techniques. (go to http://www.filialtherapy.co.uk for more details).