Play Therapy

Empowering Children
Curious to know what Play Therapy Involves?

About Play Therapy

Play therapy is a form of Counselling that relies on play to help therapists communicate with children and understand their mental health.

Because children develop cognitive skills before language skills, play is an effective way to understand a child. The therapist may observe a child playing with toys–such as playhouses and dolls–to understand the child’s behavior and identify issues.

Client Focus Age Toddlers  (1 to 3) / Preschoolers (3 to 6) Children (6 to 10) Preteens / Tweens (11 to 13) / Teens (14 to 17)

Get the help you need and understand your child’s issues. They are treatable with play therapy, a non-verbal communication method.

We use various forms of “play” based on the child’s need.  Some of the common techniques include: Art & Crafts Drama Music Therapeutic Games Sandplay Variety of Toys

Play Therapy Approach

Expressive Arts

Expressive arts therapy is the use of the creative arts as a form of therapy on the basis that people can heal through use of imagination and creativity. Expressive arts therapy would include art therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, music therapy and narrative therapy.


Person-centered therapy uses a non-authoritative approach that allows clients to take more of a lead in discussions so that, in the process, they will discover their own solutions. The therapist acts as a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgment and acknowledging the client’s experience without moving the conversation in another direction. The therapist is there to encourage and support the client and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with the client’s process of self-discovery.

Supportive Atmosphere

Our therapy area is a safe and welcoming space. Children are given the space to express themselves without feeling any pressure.  After all they are here to “play”!

Working with Parents

When we work with the child it is a one-one-one session with just the child and the therapist. However, we keep parents apprised about their child’s progress on a regular basis and provide strategies and tips for continuing work at home as needed.
The therapist aids the child in their exploration by reacting in a specific manner, allowing the child to bring their emotions to the surface where they can face them. The therapist does this by providing an unconditionally accepting environment and does not express their personal reactions to the child’s behaviour. (McIntyre, T. , no date)

Signs and Symptoms

  • Changes in your child’s behaviours in different environments, home, school and/or social
  • Sudden mood fluctuations, very sensitive or non-reactive
  • Less energy focus and motivation
  • Loss of interest in previous activities
  • Changes in sleeping habits, either sleeping more or sleeping less
  • Withdrawing behaviours, not socializing with friends or family, isolating themselves
  • Changes in academics, unable to concentrate, not completing homework
  • Bullying behaviours
  • Becoming more aggressive when upset
  • Complaining of physical ailments, headaches, stomach aches

Play Therapy Helps Dealing With These Issues

  • ADHD
  • Anger Management
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Behavioural Issues
  • Coping Skills
  • Depression
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
  • Oppositional Defiance
  • Peer Relationships
  • School Issues
  • Self Esteem
  • Self-Harming
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Trauma and PTSD
All children can benefit from play therapy, it is helpful for difficulties the child is experiencing in school, family or the community. (Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy, 2014)
Playing is the natural action and the world that children live within, it is a method for them to learn and explore. Play Therapy utilizes play in a way that enables the child to process their world. Play therapy provides several different materials (music, movement, art, puppets, sand, dress-up, etc.) for the child to choose from. The child is the main focus of the therapy session, as play therapy is a child- centered approach, which allows the children to process negative life events in smaller, more manageable pieces. During play, children also are able to try out new behaviours or re-enact an experience and react differently. (Homeyer, L.E. and Morrison, M.O., 2008)


How many therapy sessions does it take to heal my child? How long is each session?
There is no specific number of sessions when it comes to therapy. We like to say to think about 3 sessions to form the relationship and review of goals after 8 sessions. Each session is 50 minutes.
Is Play Therapy covered by Insurance?

You may have an employee health care plan that has coverage for psychotherapy services.

If you are not sure you are covered, please check with your Insurance Carrier or with your Employer who would be able to assist.

We can provide appropriate receipts and documents for you to submit your claims.

How do I know if my child needs therapy?
You can review the signs and symptoms section for specific ideas. Often therapy is helpful when children have experienced large changes in the environment (i.e. divorce) or you are noticing behavioural changes in your child (i.e. more aggressive).
Do you provide Daycare/Baby Sitting services?
We are not a child care service. We ask that parents stay in the office while their child is in the therapy session. This is for safety reasons as well as when the session is over, it does not feel nice for a child to come out and have no one there to receive them.
Do parents/caregivers attend the therapy session with the child?
The sessions are individual, the child one-on-one with the therapist. We ask that parents stay in the office while their child is in the therapy session. This is for safety reasons as well as when the session is over, it does not feel nice for a child to come out and have no one there to receive them.
How old should children be to receive play therapy?

We offer services to:

Toddlers  (1 to 3)
Preschoolers (0 to 6)
Children (6 to 10)
Preteens / Tweens (11 to 13)
Teens (14 to 17)

We are dedicated to helping your child achieve wellness.

Play Therapy Techniques

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