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"Enter into children's play, and you will find the place where their 

minds, hearts, and souls meet"

                                                                                                       Virginia Axline

Person-Centred Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a developmentally sensitive form of psychotherapy specifically suited to children as it enables them to communicate through their primary means of and creativity.

The therapeutic relationship that develops between child and therapist facilitates the child's ability to explore and express both creatively and verbally, not only their thoughts and feelings, but also their perception of relationships and life experiences.


All of our play therapists are fully qualified and registered with either the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT), Play Therapy UK (PTUK), the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), or the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS).


Why is play therapy useful for children?

As adults we might use our words to talk to a person we trust about the things that are troubling us. So it is understandable that we assume children can do the same. However, the ability to put words and meaning to feelings is a complex neurological task that develops only gradually throughout childhood, meaning that often children are left feeling the intensity of their emotions but without any means of communicating how they are feeling. This can often result in behaviour changes that are concerning to parents and teachers. Play therapy provides children with a means of expression for their too big feelings.


What changes can I hope to see?

The reason for a child's referral to play therapy varies, and so the hoped for outcomes will also vary. In the assessment phase our therapists work closely with parents, and teachers to capture the specific difficulties the child is experiencing and the reason for their concern. The outcomes will vary depending on the presenting difficulties of the child. If a child has become withdrawn, depressed, or shut down, then a positive outcome might be that the child is noticeably happier, more motivated, and engaging in new activities, or it may be that they are more independent and less clingy. Whereas, if a child is referred because they have become more reactive and aggressive, or prone to emotional outbursts then a positive outcome might be that the child is calmer, less aggressive, and is getting on with friends and adults better. 


How do I make a referral?

Child in Mind accepts referrals from schools (through our school therapy service), local authority teams, fostering and adoption agencies, regional adoption agencies. We do not currently accept private referrals from parents. 


If you are concerned about a child you know please complete our referral form and return via secure email to

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