Therapy Through Play
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) says that “therapy offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable”.
Sometimes though the format of two chairs facing one another with a professional (all be it a polite, warm, open and friendly one) sitting opposite you waiting for you to tell your story can be somewhat overwhelming and sometimes intimidating… and perhaps even “confusing, painful or uncomfortable” in itself.
Many clients manage to overcome the initial period of being uncomfortable and progress on to attend many appointments. However I know from experience that some clients, in particular children and young people, can often find therapy situations so awkward that they are put off and cancel their subsequent sessions.
As your Counsellor I would seek to aid and assist you in any way that I can in order that you could make the most of your sessions. Some children and young people benefit from a more creative freer environment (some adults prefer this too), and through my training and experience at Place2Be I am able to offer therapeutic play skills in our sessions.
In a creative or therapeutic play session the space would remain safe and confidential. I would make many materials available – paper, paint, glue, scissors, pencils, crayons, chalk, puppets, board games, sand, toy animals, toy figures, play dough, stress balls, pebbles, buttons, drums or within reason anything the client requests…
The idea is very Person-Centred, and it is hoped that you the client will use the time as you wish, to address any issues that arise as the play goes on. Creative activities or play can help express or process thoughts and/or feelings where language fails or on the other hand you might use the time to play for play itself, as some creative down time.
Does it work? Personally, I have been extremely honoured and moved to take part in some very poignant play sessions and I have been amazed at the massive progress shown by clients through the most simplest of play sessions. There is more evidence on the Play Therapy Daily site.