What is play therapy?
Play therapy is a form of counselling where play is used to help both children and adults to:
- understand their problems;
- learn new ways to cope with their problems and to;
- solve their problems.
Does play therapy means playing with real toys?
Yes. Media like paint, clay, drawings, sand, water, miniature objects like dolls, animals, etcetera are used in play therapy.
How can play therapy be good to adults as well?
Sometimes it’s uncomfortable and threatening for an adult to sit and talk about his painful feelings, anxieties, needs and shame. Play therapy takes place in a safe, caring environment. Play therapy helps an adult to work through (play through!) and understand his own feelings and some things that might be troubling his mind without actually realizing it at the start. In this way play therapy becomes a tool to make an adult aware of his inner conflicts and undesirable behaviour.
But how can play therapy help you to sort out issues?
Play and play therapy operates on impulses which are outside our awareness – which means our unconscious minds. A person becomes aware of his feelings and how these feelings manifest (can be seen) in his behaviour (e.g. aggressiveness, blaming, withdrawal) and his body (e.g. stomach aches, head aches). Then a child and an adult can learn how to better deal with and express their emotions in more positive ways. The result of these play therapy sessions is that a person gains more self knowledge and skills which will help him to become more mental tough. In this process of play therapy he will become more self assertive and gain self respect and self confidence to learn to face his problems and to better deal with it. All of this takes place while the client is in a more relaxed state of mind.
Can you summarise why play therapy is good?
- Play therapy can help both a child and an adult to understand his problems and to learn how to cope and deal with it.
- Play therapy can help a child or an adult to understand himself as well as others better.
- Play therapy can support a person to act out painful situations through play.
- Play therapy empowers a person to become more mental tough, to recognize and develop his strengths and be able to act preventatively.
- Play therapy supports a person to better deal with setbacks, stress and trauma.
- Play therapy helps a person to deal with issues in his unconscious mind of which he wasn’t aware of.
How can play therapy help children and adults?
- It can be used effectively for people who experienced a trauma;
- Or in grief / loss;
- Are you struggling with anger management;
- Peer pressure;
- Negative self-esteem;
- A new sibling;
- A new baby;
- Re-structured families;
- Discipline issues;
- Seperation anxiety;
- Adaption in a new job;
- Adaption in a new environment;
- Moving to a new town and dealing with change;
- Socializing and making friends.
At what age can a child or adult start with play therapy?
As mentioned above, play therapy can be used for children and adults alike. I start with play therapy from more or less three years up to adults and more senior people as well.
Remember that play therapy is just one of many tools that a psychologist can use in the counselling and therapy process. For a more detailed list of services that I offer, please click on the services tab on the menu, or just follow this link.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with me, please contact me on 074 041 0081.
If you would like to sign up for my free monthly newsletter, please click on the following link. Don’t worry, I am very serious about maintaining privacy, and will never share your e-mail address with anyone.