Play is a very natural part of a child’s life...

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Play is a natural way that children develop social skills, explore thoughts and feelings, understand their world, and discover self mastery. Since play is one of the primary ways that young children learn and develop, children respond very well to play therapy.  Research has shown that the impact of life’s struggles can be diminished for a child, if they are given an opportunity to find expression for their concerns, and especially through play.

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy for children is the equivalent of counselling for adults. Play therapy utilizes play, rather than words, to help children express themselves. Children often have difficulty trying to communicate how experiences have affected them or what they feel.  During a play therapy session, determining how they want to use toys and art materials, the child begins to identify their inner feelings and process their experiences. 

How does Play Therapy Work?

Play therapy builds on the child’s inner resources and strengths, to support growth, development and healing in the child. Play therapy helps children develop confidence and positive self-esteem, find healthier ways of communicating, promoting resilience and coping, in ways that are appropriate to their age and development. To achieve this, the quality of therapeutic relationship between the Play Therapy Melbourne specialist and the child is fundamental. As the therapist supports the child to work through difficult feelings, memories and experiences, the child develops healthier ways of dealing with these struggles in the safety of the playroom.  Once consolidated, these new found skills then transfer to the everyday life of the child, bringing greater ease to their lives. 

Play therapy is very effective in addressing the following struggles for children:

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  • abuse
  • aggressive behaviours
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • bullying
  • death
  • depression
  • family separation
  • grief
  • illness
  • phobias
  • school refusal
  • self-esteem
  • separation anxiety
  • shame
  • sleep disturbances
  • socialisation issues
  • stress
  • trauma
  • trust

What to expect when your child engages in Play Therapy?

Play therapy is particularly effective for children aged 3 – 10 years and is most successful when the family remains connected to the process.  In addition to play therapy sessions for the child, parent meetings are also scheduled, both at intake and at regular intervals throughout the therapy journey.  The purpose of these parent meetings are for both the therapist and the parents to collaborate in supporting the child. 

Before your child commences play therapy, an initial parent meeting will be arranged with the play therapist. During this meeting, the play therapist will spend time seeking to understand; your concerns for your child, your child’s developmental history, your child’s world, and your goals for your child and your family in therapy.  To help the therapist get the most comprehensive picture possible, it is best that both parents attend the parent meeting.  The parent meeting will assist both you and the therapist to begin to formulate a treatment plan for your child. 

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After the initial parent meeting, regular play therapy sessions for your child can commence. To help your child to fully engage in the play therapy experience, parents and carers are not present during the play therapy session.  However, to assist with your child’s sense of security, we do ask that you remain in the building during your child’s session. 

At regular intervals throughout the play therapy journey, the play therapist will request subsequent parent meetings.  The purpose of these parent meetings are for both the therapist and the parents to have an opportunity to; share observations, explore parenting strategies, discuss broader family developments that may be affecting the therapeutic process, and review treatment goals.

Play Therapy can Help

At The Grove Counselling & Therapy, we work hard to support your child and your family in finding greater ease in life.  Time and time again we observe play therapy as being a highly effective treatment choice for young children that are experiencing some form of distress in their lives. 

Speak with a Professional for FREE

Contact The Grove on 03-9532-4567 today to learn more about play therapy and how counselling can help you.  Or if you are ready to book a session Book ONLINE via our online booking service.


1 Attley Grove, St Kilda East VIC 3183    Tel: 03-9532-4567   E: info@thegrovecounselling.com


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The Best Play Therapy in Melbourne

Children cope differently with problems to the way most adults do. Some children, especially if they have suffered extreme trauma, stress, or abuse, can become withdrawn and may find it difficult to express their true feelings with words, or to reveal their real emotions.

Play therapy can be helpful to children in this condition as a means of helping them to heal the pain they feel, and to move forward with their lives as stronger and more confident individuals. It is not usually the only therapy employed as treatment, but an inclusive part of a more holistic approach to therapy.

What is Play Therapy?

As a provider of Play Therapy in Melbourne (one of many available therapy options), The Grove has a staff of specialist professional counsellors who can help your child.

In Melbourne and the rest of Australia, play therapy has been shown to be effective where other methods may have failed. Children who have experienced severe shocks, such as those that can occur through child abuse, neglect, bullying, grief, or other traumatic circumstances, can sometimes put up considerable psychological defences as a means of protecting themselves.

Getting past these defences is not easy, but play is a natural (and actually necessary) thing for children, and that instinct can actually be beneficial in diagnosing and treating psychological disorders, social problems, behavioural problems, and development problems.

How Does Play Therapy Work?

Children are aware that during play they can dissociate from their true identities and play a different role as somebody else. This freedom can allow them to express themselves as someone else, without the inhibitions they would feel in talking about themselves.

Play types can include "directive" and "non-directive" play. Usually the best insights come from non-directive play, although sometimes it can be useful, such as in the case of treating phobias, to include some specific direction in the play.

In every case, the goal is to try and provide a supportive environment where children can come to terms with whatever is troubling them. Because play is natural for children, they are less likely to be resistive to it, or to feel uncomfortable with play.

What are the Benefits of Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is a very specialised form of therapy, which is why the therapy should only be conducted under the supervision of an experienced therapist who is appropriately qualified.

Children are sensitive and it is important to avoid anything that may add to their trauma or fears. We need to avoid situations where the child becomes even more inhibited and afraid to express what they are feeling.

Play therapy could help your child, so choose The Grove as your play therapist in Melbourne. It is the first step toward helping your child regain ease in life. Call (03) 9532 4567 to make your appointment now.

Interested in Play Therapy? Contact us today

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