Play Therapy is a specific counselling approach in which games, toys and media such as clay, drawings and paint are used to help a child or adolescent to express their emotions, thoughts, wishes and needs. It helps them to understand muddled feelings and upsetting events that they have not had the chance or the skills to sort out properly. Rather than having to explain verbally what is troubling them, as adult therapy usually expects, children use play to communicate at their own level and at their own pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened. The therapist is warm, open, non-judgmental, does not interpret or question, and maintains containing boundaries at all times.
Counselling is usually verbal interaction between a therapist and a client. Usually individuals choose to have therapy because they are experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives. Other life issues and events which can be very difficult to deal with include bereavement, divorce, redundancy, health issues, bullying and so on. However, you do not have to be in crisis or on the verge of one, before choosing to have therapy. The therapists aims to be impartial, and be able to express warmth and empathy to assist you to talk openly about your feelings and emotions. They should also be non judgmental (this means not judging what a person discloses about themselves, their attitudes or behaviours); fair; open and trustworthy to enable a respectful working relationship to develop between them and the individual.