Children under 5 years of age are usually unable to express their feelings verbally, not yet having the language skills development. Play is the natural medium of expression for the young child. The Play Therapy setting is unstructured which assists the child to play freely hence expressing themselves unimpeded by social norms or parental expectations. The parent/caregiver is then part of this process which allows the therapist to observe and make sense of the meaning of the play. This is then spoken about, and processed during the session. Being present in the therapy allows the parent/caregiver the opportunity to understand the meaning of problematic behaviour and reflect on appropriate means of handling the child.
Common presenting symptoms include:
Play Therapy (5-12 years)
This age corresponds with developmental progress which requires the child to adapt to moving out from the family into the school environment, pre-primary school and commencing formal schooling. Children in this age group may struggle in adapting in many areas. Play therapy provides a safe space where problematic situations, feelings and behaviours can be explored and addressed in a non-threatening manner. Some common difficulties in this age group include:
Gwyn Choles obtained her undergraduate training through Unisa and then completed the Masters in Educational Psychology degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1998. Practical clinical experience was gained at the Tara H Moross hospital in the child, adolescent and eating disorders Units. She has been in Private Practice on the East Rand since 1998...