What is Play Therapy ?

Posted by Maira Kalpogiannaki on




Play therapy refers to a large number of treatment methods. Play therapy is an umbrella term that describes several modalities including:

  • Dramatic play
  • Art therapy
  • Therapeutic storytelling
  • Dance/movement
  • Sand tray therapy


    Did you know?

    Recent research by PTUK suggests that 71% of the children referred to play therapy will show a positive change.



    Play Therapy is a therapeutic approach for communicating with children through their form of language. Play is their language while toys are their words. Play is the natural medium of children and play therapy has been proved effective as it is based upon the natural habit of play. Based on the brain development, usually, children have not developed the cognitive or verbal skills to process their feelings and experiences. Trained play therapists provide children a safe, supportive, non-judgmental therapeutic environment for them to process their experiences.

    Two major approaches are 'Non-directive play therapy', meaning that the child is on the lead of the session, and 'Directive play therapy', where the child engages in structured activities which will facilitate positive growth and development and are based upon their individual needs and personalities. A skilled practitioner will adopt a mix of both approaches in order to create a safe pathway to the child's inner world aiming to establish healing. Play therapy can be healing for children who went through a major trauma, or may be going through various transitions in life.






    In more detail, Play therapy allows children to:

    1. Understand diversity.
    2. Experience a less threatening approach to talk therapy.
    3. Think creatively – encourage new ideas
    4. Express themselves as a metaphor for conflicts, emotions, and relationships.
    5. Allow parents, caregivers, and others, into a child’s inner world.
    6. Respect and accept themselves and others.
    7. Develop self-control, self-responsibility, and a healthy self-esteem.
    8. Rehearse and master skills.
    9. Increase their levels of concentration
    10. Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
    11. Communicate ideas, thoughts, feelings and experiences.
    12. Acquire responsibility for behaviours and develop more successful strategies.






    The Therapeutic Environment

    Pictologue's playroom is child-friendly and filled with toys, love and adventures. In addition, therapeutic playrooms offer children a great variety of materials (e.g. clay, sand, water, play-dough, art and craft props etc.) and give them the opportunity to participate in many different activities (e.g. role-play, story-telling, singing and dancing, experimenting with colours and marks etc.) all based upon their individual and unique personalities, likes and dislikes.


    Please feel free to post any questions and comments that you may have in regards to Play Therapy below. We would be more than happy to hear your ideas and share our thoughts and experiences with you. 

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