I am a Child Centred Play and Filial Therapist. Before becoming a Play Therapist I was a Primary School teacher and I met a lot of children who had had difficult life experiences which were affecting them every day in the way they felt about themselves and the world around them. I could see that these children needed a specific time, place and person to whom to tell their story to before they could fully focus on the business of school and learning.
As Play Therapist, I am now in the privileged position of being able to provide children who are experiencing difficulties in their lives that time, place and trusted relationship within which they can express what is going on in their inner and outer worlds. Working through play in Play Therapy enables children to explore their life stories and feelings in a way which comes naturally to them. In my experience this opportunity is grasped readily by children and they use it to work towards gaining a more balanced and peaceful state which allows them to more fully access their ability to have positive relationships and interactions with others and to reduce behaviours which are limiting their progress and enjoyment of life.
When working with families as a Filial Therapist I work closely with parents to train them in the skills which allow them to engage in therapeutic play sessions with their own children. I then support the family through a period of weekly play sessions undertaken by the parents, usually within their own homes.