How often does a child ask,
"please can we have a chat?" Ever?

But, how often does a child say,
"please will you play with me?" Often!

Play is the natural medium through
which children learn, communicate
and explore their world.

Peep through the Keyhole...

Ellie was an 8 year old girl referred for play therapy due to a change in her family situation at home. Ellie and her half brother lived with her mother, however at the point of referral her brothers father was fighting for custody of him. This has caused much uncertaintainty within the family and had left Ellie feeling withdrawn and showing many signs of anxiety.

This is her story...

During her twelve play therapy sessions Ellie played out her "muddles" and fears metaphorically, using figurines and the sand tray. Within the safety of the playroom Ellie developed her story of three zebra's who lived in Africa. One zebra in particular feared the threat of the Lion who prowled around and continually tried to catch the zebras. Ellie told how the zebra could not sleep at night for she had to keep watch over her friends, she was tired and scared...

Each week Ellie played out her story, expressing and exploring her inner world in her own time. The therapist sat quietly besides her, gently reflecting the emotions and feelings surrounding the characters and expressing her empathy for the tough time the zebras faced. Wondering aloud about the needs of her characters allowed Ellie to gradually discover ways to make them feel safe and "unmuddled". Eventually Ellie began to transfer these ideas and coping strategies into her own world and her story progressed...

The zebras were well cared for and spent many sessions visiting the watering hole and eating magic beans. Finally towards the end of her sessions, the zebra who had been tired and afraid was no longer scared. She felt safe and secure and knew where her friends were when they were not with her; she also knew that they would return... and finally Ellie too, felt safe and was able to relax.

Play Therapy is more than just play, it's powerful and purposeful!

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