Thursday, 31 January 2013

Therapeutic Play.. for children in need.

Many may be aware of what Play Therapy is, some may have heard but do not know much, some may have not heard about Play Therapy before.
So, what exactly is Play Therapy and who can benefit from it? – Please read the article below.

Helping a Child Through Play Therapy

Adults often think of child’s play as mere fun and games, or a way to fill time. Actually, imaginative and creative play assists a child’s cognitive growth and emotional adjustment. Through play, a child develops self-confidence, a positive self-image and learns to express feelings, make decisions and cope with real-life situations. As such, play can be therapeutic, helping a child deal with and overcome problems that inhibit his normal development.

How does play therapy work?
Play therapy offers a child a safe place to play out-rather than talk out-his thoughts, feelings and problems. The therapist chooses toys that encourage “fantasy play,” such as clay, sand, water, drawing materials and puppets, as well as toys that enable a child to act out real-life scenarios. The therapist builds a warm and supportive relationship with the child, thereby encouraging the child to open up through the symbolic language of play.

During a therapy session, few limits are set and the child is given complete freedom to control his play and actions. In such a protective, yet empowering environment, the child generally leads the therapist to the source of his emotional disturbance through his activity and behavior. The therapist uses developmentally appropriate techniques to help the child let go of negative or restricting feelings and develop coping mechanisms to use in real life.

Who can benefit from play therapy?
All children go through stages or an occasional emotional “crisis.” But some children have serious problems, often caused by:


Family violence
Divorce, separation or other changes in a family situation
Severe burns or disfigurement
Chronic illness
Deafness or other physical challenges
Learning disabilities or other mental challenges
Often, a child needing help displays the following traits or behaviors:

Poor academic performance
Poor relationship with peers or siblings
Passivity, withdrawal
Bedwetting after toilet training
Reading problems
Social immaturity
Speech difficulties
Refusal to speak
Preoccupation with sex
Excessive worrying, anger, sadness or anxietyPhobias
Aggressive behavior or acting out
Knowing if a child needs professional help is not always easy. Ask your family physician or a mental health professional for guidance.


I’m currently a Therapeutic Play Trainee, looking for suitable case studies.
As such, I welcome any individuals if you have any referral or recommendation or if you need more information; please drop me an email at
I have listed herewith, what you'll be expecting.

What’s after initial contact?
I’ll need the referrer to fill in Referral Form and the teacher/parent/guardian/child (if he is older than 3.5 years old) to complete the SDQ questionnaire. This is to determine whether the child needs therapy and if I’m suitable to take on the case.

What’s next?
If concluded that the child’s case could be taken on, we’ll have to sign on a confidentiality agreement. This is necessary to protect you and your child from breach of confidentiality.
Then, we’ll work out a plan on where and when the therapy will be held.

How long is a session?
Elaboration on Play Therapy: 1) 45mins of therapeutic hour (the child will be exposed to all kind of play, eg. sandplay, storytelling, clay, puppets, arts, music etc)
2) the therapeutic hour is non-directive approach, led by child, the therapist follows
3) 1 case study usually take about 12 sessions depending on SDQ outcome (sometimes more)
4) 1 session per week

As a trainee, I can only take on 2 cases a week, thus, I appreciate your understanding if my schedule is full, I believe we can make some arrangement thenafter.

How do you know if it works?
After ¾ of the therapy journey, the same SDQ forms will be answered by teacher/parent/guardian/child. The result will be evidence.
Do note however, of the statistics:
¢  For all children referred 70% will show a positive change
¢  For those who are abnormal/at risk 76% will show a positive change
¢  For those who at considerable risk 82% will show a positive change
¢  For those at the extreme 88% will show a positive change
¢  So you could say ‘between 70% and 88% will show a positive change depending on the severity of the problems

How much do I charge?
I charge absolutely nothing for the therapy as a trainee. However, I do not have a therapy room, if you are not able to provide a room for therapy at the comfort of your own home, I would have to seek your understanding to absorb rental of a therapy room.
Rental of therapy room subjected to availability, the cost right now is $30 per session.

Is your room suitable?
 1.     A play room, or play space that is safe in terms of confidentiality, physical security and consistency.  This must be consistently available and kept clear of extraneous equipment or materials for the times of play therapy sessions.
2.      Absolute privacy during every play therapy session, with no interruptions, respected by every member of the family.

I look forward to embark on this meaningful journey to help children in need.


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