What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is a therapeutic way of supporting a child based on the understanding that a child’s natural means of expressing themselves is through play.
In the way that adults may talk about their feelings through talking therapy, children can ‘play’ out their feelings, anxieties and worries through creative tools of toys, art, drama and music. Play helps to bridge the gap between abstract feelings and unconscious thoughts to concrete experiences so that a child can better understand their feelings, worries and what is happening in their life.
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Non-directive play therapy is based on the Person Centred Approach of Carl Rogers, developed by Virginia Axline, where the therapy is led by the child, and the therapist responds in a way that supports their self -expression. The child, and their needs are always at the forefront of the therapy process. Integral to the therapy is the relationship between the child and the therapist which allows the play to be meaningful and therapeutic. Within this safe world of play, a child can begin to explore and process difficult feelings and experiences in their lives.
Therapeutic support through play allows for a trusting, empathetic and accepting environment where the child can take responsibility, grow and fully realise their true selves. It trusts that children have a innate drive for growth and change. Play therapy allows a child to express and release feelings in a safe way which might result in improved daily experiences, better communication and more fulfilling relationships with parents, carers, siblings or teachers.
Meet Diana – Play Therapist Surrey
- Qualified Play Therapist from the University of Roehampton, London
- Accredited by the British Association of Play Therapist (BAPT)
- 13 years experience in teaching
- DBS (Enhanced Disclosure Barring)
- Member of BAPT
- Using Sandtray in Counselling and Psychotherapy: Foundation level – February 2019
- I offer individual sessions with a child and also training for schools and nurseries that support the emotional needs of children.
- As a play therapist I take a holistic approach; always placing the child at the centre of the process and working closely with the family, carers and significant adults in the child’s life.
- Continued Professional Development
Parent of child with complex needs
“Diana remained professional, supportive and exceptionally knowledgeable throughout the therapy, my son has adapted to understand his emotions better and he responded very well to play therapy.”
– Parent of child with complex needs
Parent of 7 year old
“Diana gave my child the space to explore her emotions in a safe, non-judgemental and fun environment. She understands how to deal with complex emotional issues in a way that children relate. Play therapy has changed my child’s outlook on life in the best way.”
– Parent of 7 year old
Somerset Nursery and Children’s Centre
“Fun, informal and engaging.”
“Very useful to have ideas to support children in nursery and in school.”
“Really opened me up to other reasons for the way children can act the way they do.”
Play Therapist and Clinical Supervisor
“Her ability for self-reflection combined with her eagerness to learn enables her to be reflective about ways to develop. Her engagement with the parents is supportive, understanding and helpful.”
– Play Therapist and Clinical Supervisor
“She loves going to Play Therapy each week.”
Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion, London
“The children have been very keen to go for their play therapy sessions and enjoying time with Diana. Parents have also commented that the children clearly enjoy the 1:1 time with Diana.”
“She has always been warm and approachable to staff and children.”
– Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion, London
What is a BAPT play therapist?
- BAPT registered play therapists are trained to the highest professional standard available in the field.
- Training provided at MA level requires attainments to degree level in other relevant fields e.g. PGCE, social care, OT etc
- BAPT approved training emphasises a thorough understanding of theoretical frameworks alongside therapeutic practice modules with children over 2 years.
- The Roehampton University MA includes Infant Observation modules as developed by Esther Bick at the Tavistock Clinic, London. Each therapist must also undergo their own personal therapy to prepare them for the rigours of mental health work and to enhance awareness of a therapeutic experience as well as completing a research dissertation.
- BAPT is regulated by the Professional Standards Authority and requires its members to engage in continuous professional development.
Any establishment or service employing a BAPT Play Therapist can feel secure in the knowledge the therapist is a highly trained and supervised professional.