Play therapy is a form of therapy that has been specially developed for the treatment of children who (due to major events and / or problematic personality development (are at risk of) stagnating in their development. Through play, the child can express himself and - in relation to the therapist - can feel better and develop again.
Play therapy is suitable for children from 2 ½ to 12 years. Young people with a low intellectual disability function at a somewhat younger development level, which means that play therapy can often connect well. For this target group, registrations up to and including 16 years are possible. But play therapy can also help adults who cannot speak well (about their problems); or who have difficulty 'feeling'.
When processing nasty events such as loss, trauma, illness and the like.
It may be unclear what is going on, but your child has been feeling uncomfortable for a while. Your child:
Feelings and thoughts are played out from the play in the playroom. In the playroom there's a sand table, there are animals, clay, a dollhouse, a castle, hand puppets, lego, animals, board games, books, stuffed animals, paint and cloths and much more.
The play therapist listens very carefully, looks at the play and often also plays along. By staying close to the play and following it closely, the therapist tries to understand the difficulties. New possibilities and solutions are discovered by playing. Problems are getting smaller and the child feels better and better!
From a natural development, play is the means by which children express themselves. That is why play therapy is a logical form of therapy for most children. However, it may happen that a child or young person does not play, or cannot express himself sufficiently from the game. I have been trained to assess whether play therapy is actually the right form of therapy for your child. To be sure that play therapy fits your child as much as possible, your child will first have two observation sessions. Following the observations, there is also an official indication and associated game therapeutic treatment plan.
Every child and his / her trajectory is unique. There are therefore usually no standard number of sessions. Some children have done enough work with 5 sessions and can continue. Other children are not (long) ready with 15 sessions.
A careful estimate of the number of sessions required can be made after the observation sessions have been completed and will be discussed with you while reviewing the treatment plan. During the interim evaluation that is scheduled after 6 sessions, the duration of the treatment is discussed again.
In my playroom, young children from 2 ½ are already welcome. These children can first get used to the play group together with parent (s) / caregiver (s). When the child is used to space - and to me as a new adult; can start the game therapy process. Children from 3 years of age are often large enough to go through the first phase of 'getting used to and getting to know' independently.
Parent guidance is the guidance of parents / educators of a child who is in play therapy. Parental guidance is a fixed part of a play therapy process. You can count on a minimum of 3 meetings. Namely the initial interview (after the observation sessions), the interim evaluation and the final evaluation. For therapy courses that last longer than 10 sessions, 1 or 2 more sessions are added. This light but powerful sensitive form of coaching aims to make the therapy to the child as successful as possible. Parents / caregivers have a crucial role to play in helping their child to let that which is experienced and healed in the therapy room also exist outside the therapy room.
There are also opportunities for conversations with / guidance to teacher and / or Internal Supervisor at school.
Since January 1, 2015, the municipality of Amsterdam is responsible for almost all forms of youth assistance. These municipal duties are laid down in the Youth Act.
Play therapy is often indicated when there have been concerns for some time. In many cases where parents, school and other social workers no longer know. After a referral from the family doctor or the Parent and Child Team of the municipality, play therapy falls under my municipality's reimbursement. I work as a subcontractor with Child and Youth Psychologist Merijn Merbis. I chose this because I consider it important to be able to continue to look at a child in a broad team context.
Do you not have a referral? Or do you want - for whatever reason - not to go to your doctor or the Parent and Child Team? You are welcome to contact us to discuss the options. If you are additionally insured, there is a reasonable chance that you may be reimbursed part of your health insurance.
I am a member of the Dutch Association of Play Therapists.