In the process of growing up, most children experience periods of difficulty – and some children may need more help than others.
Children have a hard time sitting in a big chair and talking about their feelings. Developmentally, they lack the language skills to express what they’re feeling or thinking. Often they don’t understand why they feel ‘sick’ or ‘mad.’ They just do.
Play therapy is a well-researched specialised counselling technique for children aged between two and 10. This type of therapy is used all over the world to address a wide range of childhood concerns – including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, anger, fear, sadness, shyness, social issues, chronic illness, trauma, and adjusting to family change.
Play therapy is not like regular play. In play therapy, carefully selected toys, arts, and crafts are presented in a playroom. Here, with the help of a trusted therapist, children can express their inner world without words. The toys (chosen for their therapeutic value) become their ‘words’ and the play becomes their ‘language.’ In this way, play is to a child is what talking is to an adult. If a child is able to ‘play out’ their experiences and feelings, they are able to make sense of what is troubling them and work towards a place of healing and resolution.
The therapeutic relationship between the child and the ‘play therapist’ is very important in this kind of therapy. The child must feel comfortable, safe, trusting, accepted and understood by their therapist. Nina Fitch from Finding Balance Occupational Therapy and Play Therapy has plenty of experience building this all-important trust.
Finding Balance Occupational Therapy and Play Therapy is based in Nedlands and offers a unique and well-respected service to children and their families or carers. They work with children with developmental and learning difficulties as well with children experiencing mental, emotional, social and behavioural issues.