Play Therapy is a type of therapy used primarily for children (3 – 12 years old). Unlike more commonly known therapies such as Counselling (which is a type of Talk Therapy), Play Therapy do not use ‘talk’ and instead uses a variety of play and creative arts techniques (such as play, toys, art and sand) to help the child explore, express, and safely experience the difficulties they are working through. The child can explore their thoughts and feelings without having to use words to articulate themselves. Using play, the therapist uncovers insights otherwise unable to be heard and recognized through normal dialogue.
There are many studies to show that Play Therapy has helped children with a variety of problems like aggressive or angry behaviour, family issues like divorce and death, domestic violence, eating and toileting disorders, ADHD and Autism (ASD). Also, Play Therapy is cited as one of the most effective treatments for children suffering from trauma or PTSD; with a number of articles and papers written about its efficacy. This indicates that Play Therapy can be extremely valuable for schools, since it can be applied to all children.
The workshop introduces the concept of Play and Creative Arts Therapy and provides a platform for participants to learn practical skills to understand and help the child. At the end of this course, participants will be able to use Play and Creative Arts techniques to uncover insights useful to address the child’s needs.
This workshop does not qualify participants to be professional play therapist. Rather, it enriches the range of skills that they currently possess. For instance, CBT-trained Counsellors and Psychologist in the audience will be able to integrate the Play and Creative Arts techniques into their ‘toolkit of different therapies’, thus able to offer a holistic approach and bring together different therapeutic methods for a more comprehensive treatment.
This practical workshop is delivered in a multi-modal format including demonstrations, immersive and experiential learning.
This workshop is suitable for those who are interested in the psychological welfare of children. No knowledge of Play and Creative Arts Therapy is assumed.
- Mainstream school educators, AEDs and Welfare Officers
- Special Needs school educators
- Social Workers working with children
- Early education teachers in Childcare Centre
- Medical Social Workers working in hospitals and medical institutions
- School Counsellors
- Occupational Therapists
- Psychologists and Counsellors in private practice
1 full day (9 to 5 pm)
Part A: Introduction – What is Play Therapy?
- Define Play Therapy
- Therapeutic Play Continuum
- Different therapeutic applications of play (eg, Play Work)
- Play Therapy as an application within the Therapeutic Play Continuum
- Difference between Play Therapy and Talk Therapy (such as Counselling)
- Who will benefit from Play Therapy
- Children with emotional or behavioural issues
- Special needs children
- Benefits of Play Therapy
- Alleviate anxiety
- Develop stronger social skills
- Develop better coping and problem-solving skills
- Reduce ADHD and ASD symptoms, etc
Part B: What You Need to Know Before Starting Play Therapy
- Basic principles of Child-Centred Play Therapy
- Eg, Let the child lead the way
- The toolkit of Play Therapy – toys and materials used for play therapy
- Art materials, sand play, clay, small figures, puppets, instruments, drama and movement props, visualisations, etc.
- The Play Therapy playroom
Part C: Helpful Guide to Conduct A Play Therapy Session
- Images and metaphors as tools to:
- access the inner world of a child
- help the child make sense of that world
- connect to others, and
- discover solutions to problems
- Important skills to listen and respond to a child in a play therapy session
- Demonstration and activities for experiential learning
Part D: Working with parents in the Play Therapy Process
- Why work with parents?
- Ways to include parents