Play Therapy

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” – Froebel.

The Windfall Centre’s team of BAPT registered Play Therapists® provide short and long term programmes of Play Therapy for  children and young people and we involve caregivers and other family members in an inclusive and flexible approach that recognises that every child experiences their world through a complex network of relationships.

Given that one out of every ten children in Wales will experience a mental health difficulty, and that half of all mental health problems in the UK begin by the age of 14 (National Assembly of Wales, Children, Young People and Education Committee, 2018), alongside the compounding impact of Covid 19 on mental health in Wales, we are so pleased to be able to offer this effective and robust treatment model for children, young people and their families in mid and West Wales.  Please see our research page for supporting studies and literature to underpin this model.

Play Therapy is a proven and effective modality supporting clients of all ages facing a vast array of challenges and adversity. These may include experiences of abuse, trauma, bereavement and loss, domestic violence and family breakdown.

Play Therapy is effective due to the combined effects of the communicative and healing powers of play and the acceptance and containment embedded in the client’s relationship with the Play Therapist.   The child leads the play and the Play Therapist follows, providing safety and containment, regulating and supporting the child’s self expression through the symbols and metaphors of play. Sometimes a more structured approach supports the child to explore specific concerns, or provides a safe space for moving on if the child has become stuck in their play.

Children express their feelings and communicate their experiences through play. They can work through trauma and try out different ideas and solutions for their dilemmas and  gain mastery and confidence through play. Children do this naturally as part of their developmental journey, but when circumstances overwhelm the child’s resources, making them feel anxious and unsafe, they cannot ‘play it out’ without the support and skills of an empathetic and skilled Play Therapist who understands the developmental and mental health needs of the child. The in-depth therapeutic relationship promotes positive change in the child by supporting them to help themselves whilst expanding their capacity and resilience.

Our team of BAPT registered Play Therapists® work closely with parents/carers and we offer attachment focused interventions that attend to the parent & child relationship. See the information section: Filial Therapy and Working with Families.

We also work closely with professionals, offering advice and support to school staff, social work teams and others working for and on behalf of children at risk.  Our team is trained to work with the developmental and mental health needs of children and young people. Our work is underpinned by intensive training, high levels of clinical supervision personal therapy and rigorous continuing professional development.

The Windfall Centre Play Therapy team are accredited members of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) which is an organisation recognised and accredited by the Professional Standards Association (PSA). BAPT Play Therapists® are trained to Masters level and have to maintain annual records of clinical supervision and professional development.

Toy cat and kittens