What is Play Therapy ?

Play therapy is a non-directive, non-judgmental way of working with Children in essence. The non-directive approach is one of the most effective approaches to play therapy; this is based upon the eight principles developed by Virginia Axline. It is a therapeutic intervention for children aged 3 to 12 years.

Key Factors in Play Therapy

  1. The therapist is genuinely interested in the child and develops a warm, caring relationship.
  2. The therapist creates a feeling of permissiveness and safety in the relationship, so the child feels free to explore and express self completely.
  3. The therapist maintains a deep respect for the child's ability to solve his/her problems and gives the child the opportunity to do so. The responsibility to make choices and to institute change is the child's.
  4. The therapist does not hurry the therapy along. It is a gradual process and must be recognised as such by the therapist.
  5. The therapist accepts the child as she or he is.
  6. The therapist is alert to recognise the feelings the child is expressing and reflects these feelings back in such a manner that the child gains insight into his/her behaviour.
  7. The therapist does not attempt to direct the child's actions or conversations in any manner. The child leads the way, the therapist follows.
  8. The therapist only establishes those limitations necessary to anchor the therapy to the world of reality and to make the child aware of his/her responsibility in the relationship.