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Play Therapy

Therapeutic Play sessions at St Aidan’s are provided by Mr A Williams, to support individual pupils with their emotional well-being.

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a form of child-led counselling, where issues are explored through play. Please click the video link below for more information.

Video – What is Play Therapy?

How can Play Therapy Help My Child?

Play is an important part of child development and allows children to develop in many different areas. These include emotional, physical and creative development as well as helping the development of language and social skills.

Play therapy can help to reduce anxiety, raise self-esteem, improve relationships with others and even improve behaviour at home or in the classroom. As with any intervention, there is no ‘guarantee’ of success, but a high percentage of children show a positive change following play therapy.

What Happens in a Session and How Often Will This Be?

Your child will have access to an array of toys, arts and craft materials for 45 minutes on a weekly basis (excluding school holidays). During this time they can choose to do whatever they want, under the condition that they and their environment are safe from being harmed.

Your child may wish to share with you what they have experienced during their sessions, but this should be voluntary; the time spent in play therapy is personal to them and is confidential.

The therapist will only share information about the session in the event of a safeguarding issue (for example, if the child or someone else is at risk of harm). In this event, the school’s safeguarding procedures will be followed.

You will receive information linked to any progress your child is making, and will be given the opportunity to give your own feedback with regards to this.

How Long Does Play Therapy Last For?

This depends on the individual; some children are seen short-term (for a minimum of six weeks), whereas others may access play therapy throughout their time at school. Your therapist will discuss the length of time required for a child to access therapy with their supervisor, whose job it is to ensure that the therapist is practicing safely. This is done in a strictly confidential environment.

The effectiveness of Play Therapy can be measured in and out of school through the use of Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQs), which are filled out by staff, parents/carers before, during and after therapy. These measure difficulties with peers, behaviour, emotional well-being and hyperactivity, as well as measuring a how positively they are able to socialise with others. Changes in scores are then used as an indicator of the effectiveness of Play Therapy for a particular child.

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