Information for children and teenagers

How will this help me?
A Play therapist is someone whose job it is to help children understand their feelings and make their muddled up feelings get better. The job of a Play Therapist is to help children who are hurting on the inside, maybe you canít help feeling sad, or fighting all the time. There might be something going on in your life that is making you confused, worried or even annoyed.
The Play Therapist will have lots of toys and arts and crafts materials that will help you to express these feelings without having to talk about them if you donít want to. The way the Play therapist does this is by having fun with you, playing games and making things. Your Play Therapist will help you to understand your feelings while you play. Children's problems can often get better when they understand their feelings.

Why am I going to see a Therapist?
Sometimes feelings can be confusing and itís hard to figure out whatís making you feel certain ways. The Play Therapist has been asked by someone who cares about you to see you because maybe you feel sad or angry or scared about something. Maybe you can't help fighting or crying or you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes, it is hard to talk about your feelings so your Play Therapist will try to help you feel better by playing in ways which helps you to share your feelings.

Whatís a Play Room like?
That depends on the Play Therapist but all of us would have lots of interesting toys for boys and girls of all ages as well as things to dress up in and to make pictures, stories and other arts and crafts. When you start coming to the Play Room you will see it is a very different place from school or other play rooms you have been to.

How long will it go on for?
That is up to your play Therapist to discuss with you and your parents/ carers. Mostly, Play Therapistís see children on the same day and at the same time each week. When it is time to finish coming to the Play Room your Play Therapist will know when it is best to say goodbye. This ending bit might feel hard but your Play Therapist will help you with this and as best they can give you a clear idea of when you will finish so you can feel ready.

What do I do in the room?
You can play with lots of different toys in lots of ways so itís up to you. There is no right or wrong way for you to play. The Play Therapist wonít make you do anything you donít want to. You can talk about things as much or as little as you feel happy with.
Will my Play Therapist tell other people what we've been playing?
The Play Therapist will explain to your parents, teachers, or carers that mostly everything that you play and say in the Play room is private. So he/she wonít be telling people all the things you do. Even if you say you donít like someone they wonít tell unless you want them to.
Your Play Therapist won't tell anyone the actual details about what you have played or talked about, but sometimes they will need to talk to a grown up about how you are. Your play Therapist might also ask you if there are things you want to tell the grown ups, she/he can do this for you.

Do I have to keep it private too?
You can tell anyone you like about what you do, play and say in the Play Therapy room, but if you donít want to thatís okay too.

Are there lots of rules?
There is mainly one big rule in the Play Therapy room and thatís the safety rule. Because the Play Therapist is an adult it is his/her job to make sure you are both safe in the room. The Play Therapist also wants to make sure you are safe when you are outside the room, at home, in school and so on. So if you feel at any time you want to tell him/ her about times when you are not safe or if your Play Therapist is really worried about you, then the Play Therapist will help you to talk to grown ups who can help with that. It is really important that other people get to know if you are not safe.

But Iím not a Kid?
Play Therapy is not just for young kids. If you are going to someone who is a Play Therapist and you are older you will be doing things each week that you are interested in. Whether it is music, art, drama or just chatting, thatís up to you. Your Play Therapist will have all the materials and know what works best for you. There are no age limits in therapy and often I see adults in the therapy room. I will not ask you to do something that you are not comfortable with in the session.

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