Lydia-Anne utilizes play therapy with children between the ages of 10 – 12. The therapeutic process commences with an intake interview with the child’s parent(s) or caregiver(s) in order to obtain background information regarding the child’s developmental history, medical history, scholastic history, family background, social adjustment and the presenting problem. An appointment for play therapy is made thereafter. Feedback is given to the child’s parent(s) or caregiver(s) after approximately 3-4 sessions.
What is Play Therapy?
Play Therapy can be defined as a “psycho-therapeutic technique whereby the therapist attempts to give the child the opportunity to express his or her feelings verbally and non-verbally. It is assumed that the child will play out his or her problems in a symbolic manner” (Gouws, 1987).
Why Play Therapy?
Play therapy can be used to address a number of presenting problems during childhood. These include:
- Adapting to new situations (new school, changes in the family such as divorce or remarriage)
- Behavioural problems (aggression, bullying, stealing, lying)
- Fear and anxiety
- Grief and loss
- Low self-esteem
- Psychosomatic problems (stomach aches and headaches)
- Social problems (making friends, shyness)
- Trauma (sexual molestation, divorce, violence)
How many sessions are needed?
The number of sessions needed is dependent on the child’s presenting problem, the child’s personality and the time it takes for a therapeutic relationship to be established between the child and the psychologist. A minimum of six sessions is generally required for the child to develop a relationship of trust and to start allowing the psychologist into their emotional world.
How will your child benefit from play therapy?
- It allows for the expression of thoughts and feelings in constructive ways
- It encourages the development of a healthy self-esteem
- It facilitates the development of problem-solving skills, coping skills and resilience
- It fosters imagination and creativity
- It assists in the development of social skills
- It facilitates emotional healing and provides the space for growth