What is Play Therapy?

What is Play Therapy?

You may have heard about play therapy and wondered what is this and how might it help my child?

Play therapy is a form of therapy that uses play to help children express their emotions, thoughts and experiences. Play is a child’s natural way of communicating and through play therapy, trained therapists can work with children to understand and address emotional or behavioural issues they may be facing.

Our social worker can deliver play therapy to help children develop coping skills, improve self-esteem and strengthen relationships with others. It is often used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, impacts of trauma and behavioural disorders.

Child Centred Play Therapy

Child-centered play therapy is a therapeutic approach that allows children to express themselves through play. The focus is on the child’s feelings and experiences. The therapist creates a safe and supportive environment for the child to explore and process their emotions. The child is given the freedom to choose what they want to play with and how they want to play, while the therapist observes and interacts with the child in a non-judgmental and accepting way. This approach can help children develop emotional regulation, improve communication skills, and strengthen their self-esteem.

Attunement in Play Therapy

Attunement in play therapy refers to the therapist’s ability to fully understand and connect with the child’s emotional state and needs during the therapy session. This involves being present and attuned to the child’s nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language.  Then therapist responds in a way that fosters a sense of safety and trust. Attunement is essential in building a strong therapeutic relationship and creating a space where the child feels comfortable exploring their emotions through play.

Filial Play Therapy

Filial play therapy is a form of therapy that involves training parents or caregivers to become therapeutic agents for their own children. In this approach, the therapist teaches the parent how to conduct play sessions with their child while observing and providing feedback. The goal is to strengthen the parent-child relationship, improve communication, and promote emotional healing. Filial play therapy has been found to be effective for a variety of issues, including behaviour problems, anxiety, and trauma. It is a collaborative and empowering approach that can benefit both the child and the caregiver.

Who can be a Registered Play Therapist?

To become a play therapist in Australia, you can start by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as psychology, counselling, or social work. After that, you’ll need to complete a postgraduate qualification in play therapy that is accredited by the Australian Play Therapy Association.

Once you have completed your education and training, you can apply to become a registered play therapist with the association. This involves submitting your qualifications, completing a certain number of supervised play therapy hours, and passing a written exam.

As a registered play therapist, you’ll be able to provide therapeutic services to children and their families using play-based techniques. This can be a rewarding career for those who are passionate about helping children overcome emotional and behavioural challenges.

Our Social Worker Paige is currently an Associate Play Therapist, and by the end of 2023 will be a Registered Play Therapist. Paige will commence offering Play Therapy at With Grace Therapy in our Kedron office from August 2023.

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