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All Things Play Therapy! 

Here houses the frequently asked questions (FAQs), providing information on all things play therapy!  Take a scroll and have a read...  

The Play Therapy Toolkit
What can be found in a play therapist's room?

A play therapist's toolkit, to sum it up, is a vast array of toys, games and creative mediums.  It is one large treasure trove for children (and adults)! 

 

To be honest, (and I think I speak for most therapists here) I will find any excuse to have a play whether that be Lego or rummaging around the basket of gems, beads and buttons!  You are never to old to play despite what society may say about it, but that's for another day.

 

Often, in the play room, you will find items including,

- Art and craft resources (whatever we can get our hands on!)

- Construction (Lego, building blocks etc)

- Games

- Musical instruments

- Puppets

- Role play mediums 

- Selection of small world symbols (shells, stones, dinosaurs, animals, figures, etc)

- Sensory mediums including sand, clay, playdoh, foam etc.

- Stories (Therapeutic stories are amazing resources to support the therapeutic process!)

The list is never ending!  Believe me, as therapists, we are constantly on the hunt, rummaging around charity shops, carboots and recycling centres, looking out for all manner of mediums that we feel will benefit our clients' therapeutic process.  

 

Each play room is unique and unique to the therapist.  

Puppet Show
Kids Playing with Lego

Who can be referred to play therapy?

Honestly - anyone!

Whether you're a child, young person or adult. 

 

Sometimes we need the symbols and metaphors to do the talking.  We cannot always find the words to express what it is we want to communicate, and as already acknowledged, this is particularly so for children.

Below is a non-exhaustive list on reasons for a referral:

- Abuse (Physical, Sexual, Emotional)

- Neglect

- Domestic violence

- Academic struggles 

- Anger  

- Anxiety

- Bereavement 

- Parental separation

- Social struggles i.e. making friends

- Nightmares or disturbed sleep

- Not knowing how to play

- Low self-esteem 

- Withdrawn 

- Witnessing a stressful event such as a house fire.

 

Play Therapy Process
How does it work?
A whistle-stop insight...

 

Once a referral has been received, I will often have an informal chat with the school/ local authority before inviting parents, carers and/or social workers to an initial assessment (IA).  This sounds rather formal, quite the contrary, it is an informal get-together, sometimes with coffee/ tea available, and if we are really lucky...BISCUITS!  The IA is an opportunity for me to learn more about the child, obtain consent to work with the child, as well as putting faces to names, and giving you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.  Typically an IA lasts for an hour and can be face-to-face or virtual - telephone or video call. 

 

A play therapy letter is provided for the child ahead of their first play therapy session.  This letter includes a short explanation on what play therapy is, a picture of me and some information about my likes and dislikes.  The aim of the letter is to ease the worry a little as there is nothing more daunting than meeting someone you do not know for the first time!  

 

The number of sessions a child receives can vary greatly. This could be anywhere between 12 to 30+ sessions depending on their individual needs. This will be discussed with you and determined during the initial assessment.

Sessions will occur at the same time/ same place for consistency and continuity.

Like adults, children have the right to a confidential therapeutic space and therefore the specific content of sessions will not be discussed with you. I understand that this can sometimes feel strange or uncomfortable, as parents/ carers are used to knowing all the details of their child's life and understandably want to be involved. However, confidentiality is a key part of the success of therapy and building a therapeutic relationship based on trust.  Of course, there are limits to this confidentiality and anything that I feel you need to know will always be shared. Regular review meetings will also take place during the child's therapeutic journey and communication channels are always open for any questions.

Xylophone
Kids' Paintings

How do I go about making a referral? 

At this time, I only accept referrals from schools and the local authority within Rugby, Warwickshire; Daventry, Northamptonshire and surrounding areas. 

 

I appreciate this may be disappointing to some of you that you are unable to make a direct referral, however please do not be disheartened.  Play Therapy United Kingdom (PTUK), the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) and the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) have registers where you can contact local, qualified counsellors and therapists in your area.   

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