Play-Based Therapy Melbourne

Developed in the 1940s, play-based therapy for children may seem a relatively new practice, in comparison to more traditional modes of psychotherapy. But the difference is, it’s highly specialised and tailored just for kids. Using their own language, play.

Play-based Therapy is a gentle, non-directive form of evidence-based counselling for children. The therapist, an experienced licensed child mental health professional, builds trust with the child and develops a relationship based on understanding and acceptance. Once the trust has been formed the child is able to use play to help express difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Play Therapy sessions work on developing the child’s awareness and understanding around their own personal experiences, thoughts and feelings.

Through play therapy the child begins to express her thoughts and feelings in a developmentally appropriate way using the materials and toys in the playroom.

The relationship with the therapist assists the journey, increasing emotional intelligence and encouraging the child’s ability to self-regulate and self-control through the use of therapeutic limit setting.

Play therapy sessions with a trained professional can also help with children’s abilities to initiate social engagement and develop a greater sense of identity and self-concept through the non-directive, child-centred approach.

The therapist is not telling the child how they feel, they are giving words to the feelings that are being experienced by the child.

The unique thing about kids is they have a sort-of emotional freedom. They’re experiencing most things for the first time––feelings, thoughts, relationships. They don’t really have any predetermined response to emotions like adults do. Their emotions are all new. Kids also haven’t yet formed boundaries, or filters for everything they feel. They are free wheelin’.

But what good is that freedom if they don’t know how to manage it?

Instead what happens is the myriad new feelings a child might have will either go unexpressed or transferred somewhere else. Simply because they do not yet have the language to express the sophistication of all these new and incomprehensible feelings.

What do they know though?

Kids know play. It’s innate to them. Children use play to communicate their feelings. They use play to connect with peers. They use pay to work through emotions. So, it only makes sense that we use play to help them with that journey through their emotions.

How does play-based therapy help?

Play Therapy gives a child the space, the time, and an ally to work through some of their troubled feelings. In a safe and accepting space like the play room, and with the time to explore, and trust from a person of their very own that is accepting and reflective, a child will feel that freedom and start to express those feelings through their unique language of play. The therapist is there to help the child develop the language and tools to express those feelings appropriately outside the playroom and therefore help ease some of the troubles that are building up inside the child.

Play therapy becomes the bridge between the emotion freedom and the emotional responsibility. And a play therapist, the coach.

Do you want to know a bit more?

Let’s organise a free, no obligation free chat.

Play therapy can calm the storm in your child’s inner world and bring some well-deserved harmony to your home.

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