Tiptoes Child Therapy Services

Play Therapy Information

Models of Play Therapy

There are a number of different models of Play Therapy practiced in the UK. The model employed by Tiptoes is Non-directive play therapy (NDPT), which is a child-centred approach.

NDPT is often mistaken as an easy therapeutic option and ‘over-simplified’ by practitioners. The term 'Non-directive' does not mean that the therapist is 'non-interventionist' or simply observing the child's play, indeed they are actively involved, particularly in the use of Rogers core conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard, whilst remaining sensitive to the child's experiences.

NDPT is based on the work of Carl Rogers and later Virginia Axline. This model was taught at York University by the author and play therapist Virginia Ryan.

The Impact of Trauma and Harm

Trauma and harm impacts on how children view and relate to the world. The outcomes of such negative experiences are often seen in the child or young persons behaviour that can cause problems for those caring for the child or those around them.

We believe that the child's behaviour is not the problem, but the child's answer to the problem.

Play Therapy is a developmentally sensitive therapeutic intervention that enables children and young people to make sense of, and overcome their experiences through the reduction of the impact of associated feelings, thoughts and physical sensations, which leads in turn to adaptations in their behaviour.

Play therapy is a child-centred intervention that is often wrongly assumed to only consider the referred child. Indeed, whilst the child has their weekly sessions the child's wider support networks are actively involved in the process.

Why Does Play therapy Work?

  • Reduces anxiety about traumatic events in the child's life
  • Facilitates a child's expression of feelings
  • Promotes self-confidence and a sense of competence
  • Develops a sense of trust in self and others
  • Defines healthy boundaries
  • Creates or enhances healthy bonding and attachments in relationships
  • Enhances creativity and playfulness
  • Promotes appropriate behaviour