Play Therapy Process

There are four key stages in the Play Therapy process.

  • Initial Intake / Consultation
  • The Child's First Play Session
  • Weekly Sessions
  • Review

Initial Intake / Consultation

The parent or guardian meets with the play therapist for an initial intake / consultation session without the child. Parents are the most important adult in their child's life. It makes sense for parents to be actively included in the therapeutic process of play therapy. Parents play a vital role in accurate assessment, effective treatment planning and successful outcomes.

The aim of this meeting is to gather information relevant to the child's difficulties and to discuss the process of play therapy. An hour and a half is allocated for the consultation. The parent has the opportunity to discuss in detail the concerns they have for the child and explore the child's experiences and difficulties. The therapist can also provide parents with support. The intake session also provides the parent / carer with an opportunity to learn more about the way the therapist works, training and qualification.

As a parent you may feel frustrated, discourage or powerless, as your child grows he or she will encounter stressful events that may lead to emotional or behavioural difficulties.


The Child's First Play Session

When the play therapist meets with the child they structured story / explanation of play therapy for child.

When the child comes for play therapy the parent waits in the designated waiting area during the play therapy session this provides emotional safety and support for the child as they may need to check in with their mum or dad / carer / guardian.

Weekly Sessions

Play therapy sessions are generally weekly for 1 hour. The length of time your child attends Play Therapy depends on the issues: a minimum of 6 - 10 sessions are recommended to begin with. It is important to note that play therapy is not a quick fix solution

Children can talk freely about what goes on during the play session; parents are asked not to ask the child about their session.

Parents are involved in the play therapy process, you will be asked to attend regular reviews about your child's progress in which general information will need shared about your child's needs, feelings and what he/she may be communicating.


A review is held with parents halfway through the agreed number of session to give them general feedback on play sessions to date.

Towards the end of the agreed number of sessions, this will assess whether you feel your child could benefit from attending further sessions.

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