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FAQ - A Guide to Play Therapy 

We understand that contemplating treatment options for your child leaves you with many of your own questions. We've put together as much information to help you along the way. If you find you have other questions not covered in our list we urge you to get in touch with us.

  • Is my child too young to seek therapy?
    Children and young people need a platform or space to truly be able to express themselves. In general children and young people are alike in the sense that they cannot come right out and tell us what is bothering or hurting them. Even if they were able to communicate things to you before. This is where Play Therapy comes in. Play Therapy is an internationally recognized therapy for children between the ages of three to sixteen. The goal is simple, it aims to teach children how to express their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and perceptions through therapeutic play. The space offered is safe and most importantly confidential.
  • What you can expect when you bring your child to play therapy for the first time?
    When you first meet your play therapist, they will do an assessment with your child that lasts for about 45 minutes. During this time, they will gather general information and you should share as much as you can about any challenges, recent changes etc. You will also be asked to fill in a questionnaire. Then you will schedule weekly sessions. Each Play therapy session occurs every week and is generally 45 minutes long. In the session, your child will play and have fun. However, not every session will be fun. You will usually not be part of the session unless you want to consult with the therapist beforehand or afterwards.
  • How does play therapy work?
    Play therapy focuses on relationships and experiences to create positive changes in the brain. While your child explores their concerns, the therapeutic relationship helps regulate their emotions, which then allows the brain to make important structural changes. For example, Sarah, is a 4-year-old little girl, and recently her parents separated. She is moving to a new home with her dad and has just started at a new school. At school, she experiences some awful bullying from her peers. She has always experienced physical symptoms of anxiety when she's talking about her recent traumatic experience. Using play, Sarah can work through her traumatic experience without feeling the same symptoms of anxiety because she feels different physical sensations through play. Sarah's brain can now rewire to have a new understanding of her anxiety, especially with repeated sessions that cement her learning.
  • What are the hours and frequency of the sessions?
    Once weekly and 45 minutes per session. As with any other therapy, consistency is very important, so its important that your child attend every session.
  • Will my child be able to speak/communicate with me after completing a 6 month programme?
    This is dependent on many factors as every child is different and will progress at different rates. At the end of the 6 months period, we will conduct a re-assessment to measure your child’s progress and determine which goals require more time and to set new goals when necessary. If your child is assessed to have skills that are age-appropriate, then the therapist may recommend that your child may not require any more therapy.
  • Do parents sit in the session?
    During play therapy, a trained therapist or psychologist observes and assesses your child’s thinking patterns, behaviors, decision-making, communication, and problem-solving skills, and play habits. The play therapist will then encourage your child to explore events and situations in his or her life – good and/or bad along with the various accompanying emotions– through play and non-verbal gestures. Your child then learns how to manage conflicting emotions, ease anxiety, cope with phobias and other stressful situations, and improve thought processes and behaviors. Over time, the goal is to give your child all the tools they need to navigate any of the “scary” situations they face with confidence. ​ There are sub-sets to Play Therapy that include parents. Typically, your therapist will work out a treatment plan that will involve you along the line.
  • How long does it take to see results?
    Each child is unique and has different needs at any given time. Meaning they will respond to therapy without a set pace. A combination of early intervention and consistent treatment in therapy has shown to achieve a great deal of success.
  • How many sessions will my child need?
    This will soley depend on the difficulties your child is facing and the progress observed throughout the therapy sessions. Your therapist will use the first four sessions assessing your child and their needs. After which, your therpaist will formulate a 6-month Treatment Plan which will detail the goals your child will work towards achieving.
  • What progress can I expect? How long will it take before we see improvements?
    Any progress is dependent on your child’s difficulties, rate of learning, and ability to generalise what he or she has learned. Therefore, we are unable to give a definitive time frame with which to expect a certain level of progress. We have found that regular parental involvement helps your child achieve their goals. The reason for this is supporting your child appropriately by understanding his/her needs and extending the play therapy at home therapy helps to reinforce the skills learnt, which in turn leads to your child making strides in therapy.
  • When is Play Therapy used?
    Play therapy is ultimately a form of child therapy used to help children cope with social and emotional challenges, and inadequate communication, processing, and problem-solving skills. It is also used to improve undesirable behaviors, so children can interact with others in healthier ways. Therefore, children, who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event in their lives may benefit from play therapy. ​ Some examples include: the death of a loved one domestic violence child abuse or neglect a chronic illness divorce hospitalization a personal or family crisis family dysfunction or any loss or change in their family dynamics or environment Play therapy can also be used to help teenagers in certain cases. For example: ​ underperformance in school having a hard time developing and maintaining friendships feeling uncomfortable interacting with others having learning disabilities, anxiety, behavioral issues, depression, or anger/rage It can also be used to help those who are: ​ grieving have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suffering from ADD or ADHD. ​ Some children and teens may find the traditional methods of therapy intimidating, which can lead to unproductive counseling sessions. Play therapy is an alternative and effective methodology that just might work wonders for your child.
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