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Play Therapy - How play is being used to heal children's mental health issues

By Play Therapy UKpic-blog One in ten children in the UK have a mental health issue and another one in ten have a psychological problem that impairs their potential to develop fully. Most adult mental health issues have their roots in childhood problems. Do you know a child who finds it difficult to concentrate or learn? Can’t control their anger? Suffers from anxiety or stress? Has experienced loss through bereavement or divorce? Is adopted or fostered? They would probably benefit from play therapy. Between 77% and 84% of children receiving play therapy to Play Therapy UK standards show a positive change.

 

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy provides a safe environment, with boundaries, in which the child can choose from a variety of therapeutic media such as as toys, drawing, music, puppets, sand worlds, clay, story-telling etc. The therapist communicates with them using their chosen medium to help their healing process.  

Why Play Therapy works so well

Play is a natural process that is essential for the development of a child’s brain and mind. Recent discoveries in neurobiology have shown that beneficial chemicals such as opioids and Oxytocin are released naturally as a result of play. The amygdala is calmed and the hippocampus is repaired. Play Therapy uses metaphors and fantasies which have been shown to be a more effective way of communication when dealing with the emotions.

But it’s more than just letting a child play.

The Play Therapist provides a safe environment in which the child can heal themselves. They provide safe boundaries, reflections when appropriate and a very close focus on the child. Play Therapists help to co-ordinate the rational brain with the emotional systems of the mammalian brain


Play is a child’s natural medium for development so please try to make more time to play with your children. To find approved Play Therapists near you, visit www.playtherapyregister.org.uk.