Play Therapy

How can Play in Therapy help my child? Who is it for?

Play Therapy is regarded as a well researched, evidenced based, trauma informed  method of counselling for children aged 2-12 years old.  It is a specialised approach that is effective for a wide range of childhood emotional, behavioural, developmental, social or psychological concerns. 

Play based therapy assists positive childhood behaviour and helps them to find healthier ways of communicating and develop a greater sense of identity and self esteem, while increasing their emotional intelligence  and resilience.

Play Therapy builds on the child’s inner resources and strengths.

Play Therapy is supported by the therapeutic relationship to bring about growth, development and healing of the child (Australian Play Therapists Association).

A child will often use their natural tendency to “play out’ their reactions to life situations through their play. They are supported to safely express, explore and make sense of their feelings. This then enables the child to feel accepted and understood, as a direct result of the relationship that the play therapist has worked hard to establish. Children learn to gain a sense of control or understanding of their difficult situations and sometimes painful life experiences. Overtime, the child is helped to cope with and work through difficult feelings, memories and experiences. They develop better ways of dealing with them within the playroom. They generally transfer these newly developed and practiced skills to their everyday life.

Child-centered Play Therapy sessions are non directive, relationship focused and child lead in nature. It is considered a medium to long term therapy intervention that is unique based on the child’s developmental capacities, temperament, presenting issues and current needs. 

Our therapeutic approach with children also involves supporting the family along the journey by empowering parents and bringing about positive changes within their interactions and relationships. The process to change and growth and ultimately feeling healthy and integrated is a gradual process but with long lasting benefits.

What to expect in Sessions that include Play

The playroom is a child friendly environment equipped with a range of carefully selected toys and art materials. These toys are chosen to allow a child to explore a range of emotions and use their natural tendency. These tools help them “play out” their reactions to life situations, in the presence of a trained play therapist.

Each Therapy session lasts about 30 – 50 minutes and take place weekly. The child is invited into the playroom. They are also invited to play with the toys in most of ways as he/she wishes.

“Play is the child’s natural medium of self-expression.” Founder of play-based therapy, Virgina M. Axline

The play therapist is specifically trained to create a safe environment of acceptance, empathy and understanding in the playroom. The play therapist applies their specialist skills in a consistent and predictable manner. So a trusting and positive relationship can develop between the therapist and child. When this occurs, the child begins to express their feelings and thoughts using the toys and materials in the playroom.

The therapist will pay close attention. Reflect how the child is engaging with the toys and the underlying emotions that accompany their actions. These play therapy sessions work on developing the child’s awareness and understanding around their own personal experiences, thoughts and feelings.

Sometimes limits are set when needed. This is done in a respectful and therapeutic manner that helps the child to learn to make responsible choices and develop self control.

Overtime, the child is helped to cope with and work through difficult feelings, memories and experiences. They develop better ways of dealing with them within the playroom. They generally transfer these newly developed and practiced skills to their everyday life.

Play Therapy sessions are delivered face to face and through telehealth (online).

Do you want to know a bit more?

Get in touch with us to book an initial consultation or request more information.

Therapy that includes play can calm the storm in your child’s inner world and bring some well-deserved harmony to your home.

Get In Touch


Here’s what our clients had to say about their children and our Play Therapy Melbourne:

Children’s therapy centre

We began play therapy hoping that it would be an effective way of breaking the difficult cycle that I was in with my son. Our play therapist, Mardi, has a beautiful manner with our son and we have valued her insightful observations about what may be underlying his behaviours.

Danielle (Mother)
Filial Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

The combination of the play therapy and implementing her simple strategies has been very effective in changing things at home. We have found play therapy to be very beneficial for our family and are now undertaking filial therapy to continue to reap the rewards of the play therapy approach.

Karen & Rob (Parents)
Play Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

Natalie is fun, bright and bubbly. Through Play Therapy, she was easily able to connect with my child and we cannot believe how much he has transformed from being an anxious and unsure little boy, into the settled, confident and social child he is now.

Emma (Parent)

My child has a trauma background. He’s getting the Play therapy for about 9 months now. I can’t not thank Helen enough for her help and support . It’s been a very hard journey but the result is amazing. He has got great control on his emotions. He is a happy boy now 🙂

Mark & Linda (Parents)
Child Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

Donna’s play therapy & animal assisted therapy work has been instrumental in supporting & developing an understanding of the underlying issues of our disengaged refugee students. Her expertise has also been welcomed by staff who needed insight in engaging & developing strategies to meet the needs of our highly challenging students.

Ivan Araujo (Dandenong West Primary Youth Worker)

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