FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS THERE ANY RESEARCH TO SUPPORT THIS THERAPY?
Chilld Centered Play Therapy is a systematic and evidence based approach to counselling children . This form of Play Therapy has been in use for over 60 years and has a long history of efficacy in therapeutic work for children. It is well supported with extensive research.
Meta-analytic reviews (a powerful analysis that combines the results of many studies) of over 100 play therapy outcome studies (Bratton, Ray, Rhine & Jones, 2005; Leblanc & Ritchie, 2001) found that the overall treatment effect of play therapy ranges from moderate to high positive effects. The review by Bratton and colleagues was conducted on 93 research studies, finding a large treatment effect size of .8 and indicating that play therapy was effective across a variety of presenting issues. Non-directive approaches were found to yield better outcomes than therapist-directed play approaches. Additionally, positive treatment effects were found to be greatest when there was a parent actively involved in the child’s treatment. Click here for a summary of these studies.
HOW DOES PLAY THERAPY MELBOURNE DEMONSTRATE CULTURAL SENSITIVITY AND SAFETY?
At Play Therapy Melbourne we acknowledge that our clients come from many different cultural backgrounds, language, nationalities, religious groups. We work hard to promote cultural safety for clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and aim to demonstrate that we value diversity by accepting, respecting and welcoming the differences between and within cultures. Such an inclusive environment acknowledges differences between cultures, but does not value one over another.
Although only minimal research has been done in the area of Child Centered Play Therapy, and Group Therapy, and children of different cultures, those studies that have been done show promising results for its effectiveness.
The philosophy of all therapeutic interventions at Play Therapy Melbourne is to allow all children the freedom to be who they are, thus providing the basis for a culturally sensitive relationship. Clinicians strive to see the child’s point of reference and understand the meaning to the child without imposing beliefs or solutions on the child. It is exactly this accepting and respectful relationship that makes Play Therapy Melbourne therapies ideal interventions for children who are of a different culture to the therapist. Additionally, Play Therapy Melbourne has chosen toys and equipment with cultural diversity in mind.
HOW DOES PLAY THERAPY MELBOURNE DEMONSTRATE GENDER SENSITIVITY AND SAFETY?
At Play Therapy Melbourne we acknowledge that our clients come from many different gender identifications and sexual orientations. We work hard to gender sensitivity and safety for clients’ individual gender identities and sexual preferences and aim to demonstrate that we value diversity by accepting, respecting and welcoming the differences between and within groups. Such an inclusive environment acknowledges differences between groups, but does not value one over another.
The philosophy of all therapeutic interventions at Play Therapy Melbourne is to allow all children the freedom to be who they are, thus providing the basis for a culturally sensitive relationship. Clinicians strive to see the child’s point of reference and understand the meaning to the child without imposing beliefs or solutions on the child. It is exactly this accepting and respectful relationship that makes Play Therapy Melbourne therapies ideal interventions for children who are experiencing gender variation. Additionally, Play Therapy Melbourne has chosen toys and equipment with gender diversity in mind.
HOW DOES PLAY THERAPY WORK?
Understanding the neurological processes that lead children to experiences dysregulation we support children by facilitating deep emotional healing. In Child centered Play Therapy our Clinicians help to co-regulate the child's internal experience, so that the child can move towards uncomfortable memories, thoughts, and body sensations that are experienced as challenging. Our Clinicians work to help children find their 'authentic self'. Instead of looking at reactions as 'right' or 'wrong' we work with the child to help by increasing their understanding as to WHY they are reacting in a certain way. A child's journey towards their authentic self leads to a highetened self awareness and can help your child be better prepared to face future challenges as well as manage where they are at present.
The development of an authentic self is something that many adults even sometimes struggle with. We want children to be able to feel more comfortable with the following: Do we understand ourselves and more importantly, like who we are? Can we remain grounded, even feeling challenged? When we are feeling emotional, can we regulate our nervous systems and move towards the outcome we want? Our approach will help provide children with the tools they need to answer these questions.
WILL I BE IN THE ROOM WITH MY CHILD?
The answer is, it depends. We want your Child to start the Therapeutic process and this often means working with the Clinician on their own so the Therapist can support them to start connecting with their own nervous system. However we always privilege the Child. If your Child needs you to feel comfortable we will work with them in that space. Our aim is to have your child be able to participate with you waiting just outside the room. However, there may also come a time when your Therapist decides that you being in the room would be helpful to support your Child's progress. This will be discussed with you and your Therapist will make sure you are fully prepared to take part in a session.
HOW WILL I BE KEPT INFORMED ABOUT MY CHILD'S PROGRESS?
We like to meet with Parents every 5-6 weeks to discuss progress. At the time of our parent consult with you we will support you to identify specific goals. We track progress through various measures, but predominantly it will be these specific and defined goals that will help us measure progress. We believe in working collaboratively with Parents and supporting you to Parent the best way you feel is appropriate for you and your family. Your Clinician will work with you to help identify challenges and ways we can best support you and your Child through them. Out goal is to help you to find the way thato provide a supportive and nurturing environment with healthy limits and boundaries.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT CHILDREN WITH BIOLOGICAL OR NEUROLOGICAL BASED ISSUES?
Although play therapy can not ‘cure’ problems of a biological nature such as attention deficit and autism spectrum disorders, it can successfully be utilised as a highly effective intervention before diagnosis, for example, to rule out or determine if the child’s symptoms are transient, due to adjustment problems, emotional issues, or developmental delays. For children who have a diagnosis of a neurological or biological disorder, play therapy can help address the emotional issues that often occur in conjunction with these disorders making behaviours more extreme.
WHAT IS AT THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR WORK?
At Play Therapy Melbourne we work closely with the teachings of Lisa Dion through her Synergetic Play Therapy Model. We follow the principles advocated by Dan Siegel and Stephen Porges and his Polyvagal Theory. We use the lens of neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology to support a child to integrate their experiences and move through challenges.