As a Play Therapist I follow eight principles created by Axline for non-directive Play Therapy.
- The therapist develops a warm and friendly relationship with the child.
- The therapist accepts the child exactly as they are.
- The therapist establishes a feeling of ‘permissiveness’ to enable the child to express themselves completely.
- The therapist is alert to recognise and reflect back the child’s feelings in a way that enables insight into their behaviour.
- The therapist respects the child ability to solve his own problems, make choices and to institute change.
- The therapist does not direct, but rather, allows the child to lead the way.
- The therapist does not hurry the process, follows at the child’s pace.
- The therapist establishes only those limitations required to anchor the therapy in reality and to make the child aware of his responsibility in the relationship.
(Virginia, M. Axline: Play Therapy@ 1989)
The therapist would offer protected space, for the child to express themselves physically and verbally through play. The sessions will be fully confidential, what happens inside the rooms stays inside the room.
If the child decides to share what happens it is their choice but they shouldn’t be made to talk, the only time the therapist would talk is if the child was at harm or anyone else.