play therapy

DIR-Floortime therapy: Refurbishing the relationship with your child through play

In our latest blog, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist Zuzana Camm, tells us about DIR-Floortime therapy, and how it’s become her life mission to help parents who are finding it hard to connect with their child.

To make an appointment with Zuzana or speak to her about your concerns, please call us on 0208 6737930.

Messy play: ideas to shake up playtime and help your child’s development

With the warmer weather on its way, now is a great time to get stuck into some messy play in the garden. It’s great fun to do and helps your child’s development in so many different ways at the same time.

Helping children to express their angry feelings

Children communicate through play. They are not capable of talking about their feeling like adults. They work things out by playing.

According to the Association for Play Therapy “Play Therapy is more then working out feelings. It can provide a corrective emotional experience needed for healing, promote cognitive development and provide insight. The child can get help in resolving inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking”

As a play therapist I see children who struggle to express their negative feelings, for example, anger. When a child has a lot of anger and has difficulties with expressing it, it is possible there is something wrong in their inner world.

Filial therapy - a special kind of play therapy

At the beginning of 2013 I attended an 'Intensive Filial Therapy' training course. I found this fascinating because as a play therapist I believe that parents play an important role, not only in their child’s emotional development, but also as experts on their children they can greatly contribute towards therapeutic change. One of the wonderful things about Filial Therapy is that sessions are transferred from the play therapy room to the family home and therefore therapeutic skills and strategies can be used across family daily life.

Introduction to Play Therapy Video

This video by the British Association of Play Therapists introduces the core skills of a play therapist and how play therapy is used to help children.  If you think your child might benefit from play therapy then do get in touch with us.  You can find out more about play therapy on our Play Therapy page or at the British Association of Play Therapists website

The DIR Floortime™ Therapy Approach

This summer three members of the CT team attended a DIR Floortime™ Therapy Approach seminar presented by Jake Greenspan and Tim Bleecker, to learn about this ASD therapy programme which some of our clients follow.

What is Floortime Therapy?

In DIR, D is for ‘Developmental,’ I is for ‘Individual Differences’ and R is for ‘Relationship-based.’  Floortime therapy is different to other ASD programmes that ‘condition’ or train a child to respond in sociable ways. Instead, Floortime follows the child’s lead, using what the child enjoys and plays with to help them learn vital social skills, such as two-way communication.  If that means getting down on the floor to play with a ball or a car, that is what the adult does. The parent/teacher or therapist will play with the child and add the learning on to this. They may use sensory toys, swings and physical games, symbolic toys such as stuffed animals or ‘little world’ people depending on the play ability of the child.

The Role Of Messy Play

Getting messy helps us process confused thoughts and feelings

There is a connection between psychological and physical ‘mess.’  When our thoughts and feelings are confused or chaotic, this can spill over into our physical lives.  The opportunity to express these thoughts and feelings through the use of physical materials helps us to make sense of the chaos and gives us the chance to reorder things within our minds.

The importance of play

The importance of play cannot be underestimated.  Natural and spontaneous play with parents and friends is crucial for a child's development.  Through play, your child will enhance his or her social interactions and start to develop recognition of their individual strengths.  Play provides endless scope for a child to make sense of their world, to consolidate new learning and to try out different perspectives.   In their imaginary worlds, children get to make the decisions that count, and explore the consequences of different actions.