What is Non-directive Play Therapy?

Non-directive Play Therapy enables children to explore their feelings, to express themselves and to process, master, make sense of and rework difficult early and life experiences and associated emotions that continue to impact on their everyday emotional wellbeing and functioning using the safe metaphor of play and their own pace in a non-threatening, warm, confidential and accepting environment. Children who are enabled to form an emotional vocabulary are less likely to need to act out such feelings because they can verbalise, master and contain these emotions.

Play Therapy sessions normally take place at a frequency of one per week at the same time and place each week excepting school holidays in order to build consistency and predictability. Each session lasts 50 minutes.

About me

I am a registered Social Worker and BAPT registered Non Directive Play Therapist. As a newly qualified Social Worker I worked in Cairn Mhor’s houses supporting children and young people for 4 years. Upon completion of a Post Graduate Masters level Play Therapy intensive training course I took up position as Cairn Mhor’s Play Therapist full time and have 6 years’ experience in post. As well as providing play Therapy to the children and young people Cairn Mhor look after I also take referrals from other organisations involved in the wellbeing of children and provide training within and out with Cairn Mhor.

Who can benefit from Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is an effective intervention for children with a variety of presenting difficulties including:

  • Children and young people who have been abused, neglected or traumatised;
  • Those who have experienced loss through bereavement, family breakdown or separation from culture of origin;
  • Children who are ill, disabled or who cope with carers or siblings with disabilities;
  • Those who have witnessed violence or the abuse of substances;
  • Children who have emotional or behavioural difficulties (e.g. depression and/or aggression) arising from their experiences.

For further information contact British Association of Play Therapists at www.bapt.info
Gary Gaffney, Play Therapist – Cairn Mhor Childcare Partnership Limited

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