Who For?

When Might Play Therapy Be Appropriate?

Play Therapy might be suitable for a whole range of children and adolescents (3-16 years) who have emotionally-based problems of behaviour and adjustment, for example:

  • attachment difficulties
  • failure to thrive
  • telling lies
  • wetting, soiling, smearing
  • eating disorders
  • sleeping disorders
  • psychosomatic problems
  • immature behaviour and/or pseudomaturity
  • inappropriate emotional responses
  • elective/selective mutism
  • undue withdrawal, temper tantrums, violent outbursts
  • lack of affection, difficulties with relationships
  • chaotic and messy, or unnaturally ‘fussy’
  • self-harm, hurting animals or smaller children
  • school refusal
  • sexualised behaviour, sexual acting out

The child may have experienced or be experiencing the effects of:

  • inadequate parenting
  • a disrupted lifestyle
  • a significant loss through death or family break-up
  • a severe accident or illness
  • physical disability
  • developmental delay
  • a family member with the disability or illness
  • abuse and/or neglect
  • other known or suspected trauma

For play therapy to go ahead, the child must have some current stability in their home life and a parent/carer who is willing to support the therapy.


Connections Counselling Ltd (Registered in England: No.4361171)  
8 Grafton Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 3HA, UK 
Tel/Fax +44 (0)7050 694775/6  
© Nina Rye 2001-2006

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