Integrated Play Therapy

Email:                  Call:    0499 536 076

The Therapeutic Process

play therapy process

The Play therapist will first meet with the parent or carers to discuss the history of the child and their development, functioning and present/past concerns. The Play therapist then meets with the child to discuss play therapy and what play therapy involves and to answer any questions the child may have. 

Throughout the therapeutic process, regular progress and review meetings are conducted between the play therapist and with the child’s family and support networks.

What happens in play therapy?

Play therapy sessions are usually 30- 50 minutes in length and will occur on a weekly basis. The sessions are held in the same play room every week with the same toys and resources set out in the same locations of the room. This consistency of the playroom environment and play therapy sessions, offers the child a feeling of safety and it provides the best possible opportunity for a child to open up and explore a range of emotions within the room and experience therapeutic growth

Toys and play materials

The materials and resources that are chosen for the play room are carefully selected to encourage the child to openly express and communicate their needs, feelings and experiences both verbally and symbolically, and facilitate the child’s emotional and developmental growth. These include toys and resources that reflect the culture and life of the child as well as supporting themes of nurturing and caring and issues of aggression and regression.

Toys and resources in the play room include arts and crafts, puppets, sandplay, messy play materials, miniatures, dolls, soft toys, aggressive toys (foam swords, handcuffs, nerf guns), playdough, clay, dress ups, building materials, games, toy vehicles, and musical instruments and resources that reflect the child’s culture.

Whilst using these resources, the play therapist holds and accepts all the child’s emotions and assists them to express these in a variety of ways which are appropriate and safe.

Limit setting

Although the environment is one of permissiveness, the therapist will convey limits to the child to establish boundaries. These help to create a sense of emotional and physical safety and include:

  • The child not hurting themselves or the therapist
  • Not breaking the toys intentionally
  • Toys to remain in the play room

Although it is anticipated that children will at some point test these boundaries, the therapist remains firm in stating the limits whilst demonstrating an acceptance of the child’s desires to challenge the rules

How long will it take?

Like many forms of therapy, the number of sessions will vary depending on the child’s needs and presenting issues. For children who have experienced ongoing, persistent, and complicated issues, the number of sessions may be more long term such as 1-2 years. Some children may need to see a play therapist for more than a year, whilst others may show significant shifts after 12 sessions. Throughout the therapeutic process the child will undergo a number of stages with the final stage of Mastery being the ultimate goal. These stages are not static as the child may move between them and back and forth.


As like any other therapy, a Play Therapy session is confidential. Before discussing anything that arises in a Play Therapy session, the Play Therapist would first seek permission from the parents and the child. It is important that a child feels empowered during this process and so before meeting with parents, we will ask the child if they feel comfortable with this information being shared. This makes the child feel empowered and informed and is ensuring that they are always kept in the loop.

It will be explained to the child, prior to the beginning of Play Therapy, that if there are concerns for their safety, or the safety of others, that this will need to be reported or information shared with parents, carers, or other relevant people.