Play Therapy and Drama Therapy

Our play therapist, Lucie Wild

Play therapy allows children and young people to express their emotions safely using creative distance. This can be achieved through using masks, role play, toys, puppets and stories. These techniques also enable children and young people to develop positive socialisation skills, self-esteem and emotional literacy. Play therapy takes place at school for some students on a referral basis. Reasons for a referral can include:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Emotional behavioural and social needs
  • Looked after children
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Child Protection cases
  • Divorce and separation
  • Refugees
  • Challenging behaviour
  • Withdrawn or isolated behaviour
  • Building resilience
  • Reintegration following exclusion from school

Sessions can take place in individual or small group sessions as one-off sessions or part of a longer programme.

The Play therapist that we use at Pitcheroak are professionally trained on accredited MA courses and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Play therapists are required to practice in accordance with the BADth code of Ethics and Equal Opportunities Policies, and undertake regular supervision with registered supervisors.

Currently our Play therapist specialises in using Play to enhance communication skills, self-confidence and self-enablement. Our therapist uses creativity to find expression without necessitating verbal or cognitive interpretation. It uses play, story-telling, movement, voice work, music, role play, art, puppetry, mask work and talking to explore emotions, feelings and thoughts. It is non-intrusive, child led and gentle.

Our drama therapist, Chyla Young

Dramatherapy is a form of psychotherapy that use the arts within a developing therapeutic relationship between therapist and client to facilitate changes in emotional, physical, social and mental well-being. Drama skills may be a by-product of the therapeutic process but are not the main aim. Dramatherapy can be a communicative, social and an expressive way of interacting and engaging with others. Everyone has the potential to respond to and be involved in Dramatherapy as the sessions are client led. Uniquely, dramatherapy allows clients to work at a ‘dramatic distance’ which can allow for deeper exploration of inner worlds.

Sessions take place between a client and a registered Dramatherapist under the code and ethics as stated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

A typical Dramatherapy session will begin and end in a ritualised manner with a repeated beginning and ending for familiarity and safety. The sessions will be client led and interventions can use all art forms and a variety of styles of play. Dependent on where the child is developmentally, the sessions will progress through sensory, rhythmic and dramatic play. This enables the child to work towards individualised therapy goals in social, emotional, relational, behavioural, physical and sensory areas.