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What Is

Play-Led

Therapy

?

‘Where adults use words, children use play’


Children don’t typically have the cognitive and language skills to communicate their emotional experiences.  Through play-led therapy, by creating a safe, free and protected space, the child is given the opportunity to work through deeper emotional fears, anxieties, worries, wounds and experiences.  Children are given permission and means to express themselves in ways they are comfortable with.


Play-led therapy, sometimes called non-directive play therapy, as practised by All-of-You Therapy, and according to the training our therapists have undergone with the award winning Place2Be, requires that the therapist maintain unconditional acceptance and positive regard for the child.  Play is a child’s language.  A child uses toys to express their inner experiences and how they perceive and experience the world in the same way an adult uses more complicated language skills.


By working with and observing a child’s play sequences and play themes, a play-led therapist can gain great insight into the child’s inner world.  This therapeutic relationship is what provides dynamic growth and healing for the child, providing them with tools of self healing and understanding they will carry with them for life.  

There are lots of reasons you may think your child or a child you know could benefit from play-led therapy.  It is not uncommon for a child to express their inner thoughts and feelings in a maladaptive way at home or school because of their inability to articulate their experience fully.  By reflecting a child’s feelings expressed through play, the therapist begins to give the child a vocabulary of emotion.  Most importantly, the therapist makes the child feel understood and validated.


Understanding and validation lead to confidence, Play led therapy has been widely researched as an effective and developmentally appropriate method for working with children dealing with, among other things: grief and loss, social adjustment, fear and anxiety, abuse and neglect, trauma, aggression/acting out, attachment issues, and parental separation or divorce. If you’d like to discuss any issues and play-led therapy, please contact us.