We know that play therapy works very well for most children because simple assessments are carried out before and after the therapy episode by people that know the child. These assessments measure shifts and progress in the client’s presentation and disposition. Of children attending 12 or more sessions of The Tough Stuff Play Therapy, I find that:
90% of children make improvements in disposition and readiness to learn.
Scientific studies show that creative processes promote emotional regulation (the ability to feel safe and be calm). Given time, with the therapist alongside, the child starts to gain insight into their own feelings and learns to regulate their emotions better. Negative patterns of behaviour occur less often or with less severity and the child improves at coping, becoming less overwhelmed and happier.
The Wider Proven Impact of Play Therapy:
How many sessions will my child neeD?
Play therapy requires a minimum of 12 therapy sessions. Children need to be given enough time to work through big feelings – a process that cannot be rushed. Those with deeper emotional distress or trauma may require longer-term therapy.
Client progress is reviewed individually and the decision to continue or end therapy is taken collectively, using therapist, parent/carer, teacher and the child’s opinions. Once the ending point is agreed (several weeks in advance), the therapist helps the child to manage their feelings around ending, to avoid it being a negative experience.
how much do play therapy sessions cost?
Sessions cost £40 each. A package of 12 sessions is £480. Referrals made into The Tough Stuff Private Play Therapy clinic should be paid for in advance as a block of 6 or 12.
For school referrals, there is an Initial Referral Fee of £40 covering: referral assessment and suitability, liaison meetings with teachers and care givers. Therapy Summary Reports or Full Clinical Reports can be provided at an additional fee.
how long are play therapy sessions?
Play therapy sessions are usually 40 minutes long, but are sometimes shorter depending on the developmental age of the child.
where does therapy take place?
If a school refers the child, therapy sessions take place at the school, once a week. Parental/carer permission is required for any therapy work with children.
In making a private referral to The Tough Stuff Play Therapy clinic, sessions take place at my therapy room in Layer de la Haye, south Colchester, out of school hours. Please contact Nikki at the email address email@example.com or please use the Contact page for further information.
what is the referral process?
Step 1: Contact Nikki for an initial discussion and referral paperwork.
Step 2: Complete and return the referral paperwork.
Step 3: Provided there is a therapeutic need and it is appropriate for the child, the therapist will speak or meet with the child's teacher (for school referrals) and the parent/carer – to help get a picture of the child and the difficulties they are experiencing. Step 4: If the parent/carer is happy for the therapy to go ahead, with parental consent the therapy can commence at an agreed time. Please note that the child needs to feel willing to come to play therapy and Nikki can support you in having these conversations with the child in advance of therapy starting.
do adults attend sessions with the child?
Just like adult therapy, play therapy is confidential – so only the client and therapist are in the room. Therapy allows the client freedom to safely express themselves without inhibition. The therapy room is safe because there is no one else present.
As The Tough Stuff play therapist, I have a current DBS certificate and am trained to ensure that your child remains safe at all times – see Keeping Kids Safe. I always work in the best interest of the child. Play therapy is not a fact-finding process, it is a supportive intervention. Just like staff in schools, if I ever become concerned about a child’s safety or well-being, I have a duty to report my concerns to the relevant safeguarding and child protection professional.
do children have fun?
Play therapy is usually lots of fun, however, we must be mindful that children are referred for therapy because they have unpleasant experiences or overwhelming feelings that cause them to feel unhappy – therefore we avoid imposing the expectation on the child to ‘have fun’.
Therapy can be uncomfortable and difficult for the client because they are working through their ‘tough stuff’. The process and thinking that children undergo during a therapy session can be deep and emotionally exhausting. They may seem distracted or tired after sessions.
can more than one child attend therapy sessions?
Group play therapy sessions can be very powerful for those needing to develop social skills or in reassuring children that they are not alone in their experience.
There are specific criteria for attendance at group play therapy. Please see Other Services page.
do children need to bring anything to therapy sessions?
Only emergency medication (eg: inhaler/epi-pen) should be brought into sessions – if they are likely to be needed.
If your child has an inhaler or epi-pen this should be brought to the attention of the therapist prior to sessions commencing so clarity around use and administration can be agreed.
Toys and other objects are discouraged from entering therapy sessions. If attending private therapy sessions after school, a snack and drink prior to the session starting may be helpful for your child.