Increasingly ACTG is seeing referrals specifically for play therapy for younger children.
In recent times play therapy has been widely accepted as well-established discipline based upon a number of psychological theories. Research, both qualitative and quantitative shows that it is highly effective in many cases and can be an authentic medium for change.
Play therapy is informed by an array of psychosocial theories and dates back to the mid 19th century. Two major approaches adopted by ACTG therapists are non-directive play therapy and directive play therapy. Our skilled clinicians will adopt a mix of both approaches according to circumstance and the individual child.
In the play therapy room
The work undertaken by play clinicians at ACTG is underpinned by having a safe, confidential and caring environment which allows a child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary (for safety). This allows healing to occur on many levels, play and creativity operate on impulses from outside our awareness – the unconscious. At times and as relevant our play therapist may reflect back to the child observations of what has happened during the session if this is felt to be appropriate.
Time to just “play”
Play therapy essentially enables a child to have time to just “play” and be “in the moment”. Often in modern life we never seem to have enough time to spend with our children – just playing, just being there for them. The child is given strategies to cope with difficulties they face in life and which they themselves cannot change. It provides a more positive view of their future life. Sessions may last from typically 30 to 45 minutes.
ACTG play clinicians use a variety of techniques – ACTG Play Therapy Toolkits are used according to the child’s wishes and the skills of the clinician. These may include:
- Creative Visualisation
- Puppets and Dolls
- Sand play
- Painting & Drawing
- Clay, Plasticine & Playdough Games
Australian Childhood Trauma Group