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We offer both individual and group Play Therapy sessions, with additional parental / caregiver support throughout Northern Ireland, in our Belfast, Newry and Derry Centres. It all starts with a 1 hour consultation, arranged at a time to suit you.

1. Take a 1st Step

At The Play Therapies Centre we offer a free telephone consultation to discuss whether Play Therapy might be appropriate for a child.

If so, at The Play Therapies Centre   a referral form will need to be completed.

If the referral form is completed by a professional, a discussion with and verbal consent is required from the parents/caregivers to progress with the referral and release any identifiable information to The Play Therapies Centre.

2. Your Easy Consultation

The Play Therapies Centre offers an extensive 1 hour consultation to parents, caregivers, and professionals without the child present.

Parents and carers are the most important adult in their child's life. It makes sense for them to be actively included in the therapeutic process of play therapy. They play a vital role in accurate assessment, effective treatment planning and successful outcomes.

The aim of this meeting is to gather information relevant to the child's difficulties and to discuss the process of play therapy.
One hour is allocated for the consultation/intake meeting. You as the professional involved have the opportunity to discuss in detail the concerns you have for the child and explore the child's experiences and difficulties. The therapist can also provide parents with support. The intake session also provides the you with an opportunity to learn more about the way the therapist works, training and qualification.

3. Play Therapy Sessions

Individual Play Therapy: Individual Play Therapy is a one to one form of psychotherpy for children aged between 3 and adolescence. These sessions, facilitated by a Play Therapist, are held in our special play rooms which are equipped with a wide range of toys and creative materials. Sessions take place on a weekly basis for 45 minutes. The number of sessions required depends on the nature and complexity of the presenting problems, however, a minimum block of 14 sessions (including consultaion/intake meeting plus one review meeting) are recommended to begin with. It is important to note that play therapy is not a quick fix solution. Some children can respond well to short term intervention.

Children can talk freely about what goes on during the play session; parents and professionals are asked NOT to ask the child about their session. Professionals are involved in the play therapy process alongside parents/carers. You will be asked to attend regular reviews about the child's progress in which general information will need shared about the child's needs, feelings and what he/she may be communicating.

Attendance at Trust meetings and reports are at a separate charge.

Group Play Therapy: Group Play Therapy sessions can be very effective with siblings or with small groups (2-4) of children who share similar interests or life experiences. This can help with their emotional and social development. Group Play Therapy can be a very cost effective therapeutic technique. Coming together in a group can be a very effective way for people to both be challenged by- and also receive support from, individuals who share similar experiences to them. The group may offer advice and help a person see their difficulties in a new light. Sometimes the realisation that one is not alone in ones problems can be healing on its own. Typical groups we run are:

  • Anxiety
  • Social skills
  • Dealing with Loss
  • Children dealing with a parent with addiction
  • Children dealing with separation/divorce

We run groups regularly when there is enough people. Usually there are around 4- 6 people in a group depending on complexity.

4. Parental Support

Parents/caregivers are an essential part of the child’s therapeutic process. We schedule regular review meetings during the child’s Play Therapy process to help keep you up-to-date with their overall progress.

We have capacity to support parents with therapeutic parenting skills and in strengthening the parent/child relationship, particularly if there is any attachment issues. Referrals can be made direcly by professionals for these sessions.

A review is held with yourself as a professional alongside the parents/carers after the agreed number of sessions to give them general feedback on play sessions to date.

As part of this, there is a re-assesment as to whether you feel the child could benefit from attending further sessions.

We also have specific services for you:
One to One Parental Advice sessions - The opportunity for individual time with one of our qualified therapists looking at therapeutic parenting.

Group Therapeutic Parenting Sessions – 1.5 hours per week over a period of 8 weeks. Ideal for kinship carers or parents undergoing assessment.

Day workshops (9.30am – 4.30pm) - Tailored for parents, this is 7 hours of intensive assistance. Ideal for kinship carers or parents undergoing assessment.

Art Psychotherapy – a psychological method of holding parents or carers to assist in dealing with their own historical trauma when talking therapies have proved difficult. Parents and carers with a history of trauma require additional support.

Complimentary Therapy for Parents – a holding space for parents who are going through very stressful life events. These sessions aim to contain a parent/carer through a period of distress/uncertainty. Ideal for kinship carers or parents undergoing assessment.

5. Consultations and Advice

The Play Therapies Centre also provides standalone consultation & advice to professionals. We offer support and advice in relation to parenting issues and child development. These consultations can take place on a one-off or regular basis.