What We Do

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.

Play Therapy has proved to be effective with people of all ages, helping to address adversity and trauma arising from many different circumstances. Children use play as their main communication to express their feelings and deal with emotional problems.

Playing with a skilled and qualified play therapist brings additional healing through the trust and acceptance embedded in the relationship between therapist and child.

Every child is unique and special so play therapy sessions at The Windfall Centre are non-directive; allowing the child to lead the play which the therapist follows closely; sometimes playing with the child (by invitation), sometimes carefully observing the child’s play and themes. Occasionally more structured activities are included to help children look at specific concerns or if they become stuck with a difficult problem.

Many of the children or young people we see experience problems with feelings and emotions that cause disruption in their lives and the lives of those around them. This may stem from challenges arising from abuse, trauma, bereavement and loss or domestic abuse. Or it may be the result of life events like family breakdown, a new sibling, or difficulties in school or with friends. Play therapy can help with all these.

Due to its emphasis on non-verbal communication and the child led process it is also ideally suited for young children or those from different cultures with different first languages as well as those with learning and sensory impairments.

We work closely with parents and carers from our initial meeting to regular reviews throughout the programme. Additionally, your child’s therapist may be available outside of session times to offer guidance and advice. Similarly, professional referrers are kept informed and involved.

I enjoyed it. I could do what I wanted and was listened to. I didn't think anything was bad.
I am happy now.
My child used to storm into school. Now she skips along the corridor. She is now making progress and learning.
Children's drawing of a rainbow

Filial Therapy

“It is not enough to love the children, it is necessary for them to be aware that they
are loved.” – St John Bosco.

Filial Therapy was developed from the play therapy model to help parents and carers build more satisfying and healing relationships with their  children. Like play therapy, Filial Therapy is effective for a wide range of difficulties.

It is especially beneficial in building strong attachment relationships, particularly in adoption and foster care and with children with learning or difficulties associated with the autistic spectrum. It is a flexible approach easily adapted to the individual needs of the family. The therapist works directly with the parents, supporting and empowering them in new ways to interact with their child and building their confidence as they practice their new knowledge at home.

Children respond to having the parent’s or carer’s undivided attention for a significant period of time, and parents and carers find renewed joy in their relationship with their child.

To be able to have support and understanding from such a wonderful place has been amazing. It has given me the skills to really help my children and to continue that after our sessions finished.
We found that our relationship and understanding of each granddaughter improved, as did their behaviour towards us... There was, and remains, a positive development of love between us.

Tele-Play Therapy

Our new Tele-Play therapy is Play Therapy over the internet. Using Tele-Play therapy, we can reach children and families where it is too far to travel to one of our centres, or when it is not possible to meet face-to-face because of Coronavirus perhaps, or for other reasons.

We are very pleased to be able to offer this new service and are expanding it by developing a virtual playroom as an exciting addition. Our therapists have trained to the advanced level in using Tele-Play Therapy and the British Association of Play Therapists has confirmed it as a valuable way of supporting children and families.

We are also offering Filial Therapy using this way of working. Sessions can be held by telephone, tablet or computer, making use of proprietary software including: Apple Face Time, Zoom Meetings, Skype or other equivalent software products.

As a new programme, we will be monitoring how well it works, and our focus, as always, will be on the needs of the children and families we see.

Specialist Counselling

“The day the child realises that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an
adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives
himself, he becomes wise.” – Alden Nowlan.

Our Specialist Counselling programme is primarily aimed at older adolescents and young adults. We recognise that this can be a hugely confusing time when young people are formulating their beliefs about themselves, their family and the sort of adult they want to be. Some may be struggling with unaddressed and unresolved childhood issues that are affecting their emotional and mental health.

In Specialist Counselling sessions the counsellor uses a range of skills, strategies and resources tailored to the needs of the individual young person. These are informed by a knowledge of the effects of trauma and current research into the development of the adolescent brain. Sharing some of this knowledge can help young people come to a better understanding of themselves, leading to greater self-awareness,
confidence and self-worth.

All sessions are confidential unless the counsellor becomes concerned about the safety or welfare of the young person or young adult, when a decision will need to be made about any action that may need to be taken.

Art Psychotherapy

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing.” – Marc Chagall.

Art psychotherapy can be beneficial for all ages and particularly for adolescents or young adults. It can help to address issues from bullying to body image, hard to control anger to exam/school/work stress, as well as the effects of grief and loss or abuse and trauma.

Using art materials, like paints, clay, paper cutting etc, and the process of creating something, helps to express thoughts and feelings, especially for things that may be difficult to put into words. It is not necessary to be ‘good at art’. The art therapist understands that this is the child’s or young person’s work and their process, and supports them without judging either what they do or how they do it. She will help the child or young person reflect and understand themselves better.
Everything that is said or done is kept confidential by therapist although, of course, the child or young person can tell anyone they like about the sessions if they want to. If, though, the therapist is ever worried about the child’s or young person’s physical safety she will to discuss this with the designated safeguarding person to decide if any action would need to be taken.

Coming to art therapy would mean coming on the same day at the same time for quite a few weeks. This helps to develop a trusting relationship between the child or young person and the therapist which makes communication easier. Our art psychotherapist is highly qualified and and has wide experience working with children and young people.