Welcome to Play Heals,
the website of Play / Filial Therapist
What is Play to a Child?
Play is a natural form of self-expression, a medium for experimentation, communication and learning. Through play a child can make sense of feelings, frustrations and new experiences. Play can be joyful and care free but also serious work. Play can connect a child with his or her inner self, and through Play a child can develop the skills needed for relationship. Playing together can help families communicate better and in the case of peers, it would promote learning to share and deepen friendships.
Play can help a child in many ways:
* experiencing and understanding emotions.
* experiencing and learning what is 'me' and what is 'not me'.
* acting out difficult situations.
* practicing different roles and activities of daily life.
There are different ways of working with play as a means to an end and there is also spontaneous play, just for fun.
- Guided Play: is determined by adults (worker) and can have several uses, such as to get to know the child better, to encourage parents/carers to interact and enjoy their children and can be used in some life-story work.
- Structured Therapeutic Play: It is time-limited and worker-directed and normally the result of assessment play or from detailed knowledge of the child. It is usually focused on one or two issues that have been identified previously.
- Assessment Play: Time limited and worker determined, this type of play work tries to answer questions such as What is this child like? What has hapened? What plans should be made? Can this child play? What intervention might be helpful? It uses play-based methods which can enable us to understand the child in ways that 'adult-type' interviewing techniques can not.
- Play Therapy: It is Child- centred and based on play being the child's natural medium of self- expression. The Play Therapist reflects the young person's actions and feelings, participating in the play if asked to do so.
"To 'play it out ' is the most natural self-healing measure childhood affords." Erik Erikson