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