What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is exactly what it says on the label – play combined with therapy.  Therefore, it isn’t just play, but is assisted by having a therapeutically trained adult who ensures the play is safe and helps the person understand themselves more.

What ages is Play Therapy suitable for?

Anyone can benefit from Play Therapy.

What issues can Play Therapy help with?

From simply learning more about who you are and why to focusing on a specific issue such as depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, low self-esteem, bereavement, relationships with others, and anger, play therapy is versatile in helping with all issues.  It works from inside, building a strong ‘core’.  It’s almost like Pilates for your personality!

Play can offer respite from difficult moments and alleviate low mood.  Play Therapy offers insight into difficulties as well as solutions – often those found by the individual during their therapeutic journey.

What issues can EMDR help with?

EMDR can help with upsetting past life experiences such as an accident or traumatic event, mood issues such as anxiety, phobias and addiction amongst other things.

How do I know which therapy is best to choose?

If you are unsure which therapy might be suitable for you this doesn't matter as options will be discussed at the point of assessment (including whether therapy is not indicated as being helpful in such circumstances or where another service/therapy might be more/also suitable).

How long does Creative/Play Therapy/Body Trauma Therapy take to work?

Play therapy can assist with focussed issues such as anger or feelings about a difficult life experience as well as longer term, entrenched issues such as difficulties in sustaining relationships with others.  A short term intervention is normally a minimum of 12 weeks (including assessment).  Longer term therapy for complex issues can be from around 30-60 weeks depending on the issue.  Once an assessment is completed, an estimation of time needed will be given to enable you to choose if this is practically possible for you.

How long does Filial Therapy take to work?

Filial therapy equips parents/carers to work in an ongoing way on their relationship with their children.  The training can take around 10-15 sessions to complete and then parents/carers can continue to use the techniques on a longer term basis at home as/when required or as part of an established routine for some time.

How long does EMDR take to work?

Depending on the issue being address, EMDR can result in effective change within a short number of sessions.  After the initial assessment and some preparatory work, the processing aspect of EMDR will begin.  Progress can be evident within a few sessions but can required ongoing sessions for more complex work.  Once assessment has been completed the practitioner will be able to advise of the likely timeframe but this is dependent on individuals own brain and any unidentified linked past experiences to some degree.

How frequently does Creative/Play Therapy happen?

It is usually helpful to meet weekly, particularly with younger children as time seems to feel different at a young age but also to progress through the therapeutic process as a helpful rate.  However, it can be possible to meet fortnightly with young people/adults where there are time pressures or perhaps monthly towards the end of therapy as part of the finishing process.

How long is the assessment?

For children/young people - Normally the therapist will meet with a parental figure for an assessment session of 1-1.5 hours.  If Play Therapy is felt to be appropriate, a play therapy assessment with the individual child of around 2-6 sessions (depending on the type of issues) will be offered.  During this time the young person will have the opportunity to learn about how play therapy works and decide if it could be helpful to them.  Following another meeting with the parental figure we may agree not to proceed further or might set some goals to work towards.  These can be basic such as for the individual to feel less anxious about something specific or for them to act more confidently with friends, but it can be helpful to have a focus for the work and something we can measure progress by.

For adults - Normally the therapist would meet with an adult for an assessment discussion of 1-1.5 hours.  During this time, we will explore what has brought you to consider therapy and whether this medium might appeal to you.  We would then meet for up to four ‘trial’ sessions where you can see how the methods work in reality and explore whether this is the right style of therapy for you.  At the end of the agreed trial period we would review your experience of the process and decide if you want to continue and what timeframe would be appropriate.

How does therapy end?

Endings are very important, particularly with longer term work. Ideally clients will know several weeks before an ending that this will occur.  If you decide, for whatever reason, to cease therapy then it’s important to let the therapist know.  This would ideally occur during an appointment but if not then via the telephone.

With EMDR it is possible for work to be completed sooner than expected.  In this instance it can be agreed that further sessions are not required but ideally one follow-up session may be arranged to confirm that the benefit is being noticed in everyday life.  It is not helpful to finish without completing the process i.e. mid processing of a difficulty (even if the symptoms are significantly reduced).  If this happens it is possible for regression to occur.

How much do Space 2 Contemplate Services cost?

Fees vary between types of provision but as a general rule it costs around £55-90 per hour.  This includes art materials and specialist equipment, time spent keeping a record of sessions, supervision and specialist training as well as membership to relevant professional bodies, insurance and room hire.

Payment is currently required either prior to or shortly after meeting in the first instance and is then billed weekly or monthly in the case of longer-term work.

How frequent is therapy?

It is helpful to have therapy weekly at the same time/day for continuity but if this is an issue we can discuss this further to see what might work well.

What’s the point of having Therapy?

Some people might believe that it’s too late to do anything after a difficult life event.  Some people think talking can't help, some wonder if it can.  Others worry that talking may open the floodgates of emotions with no way to stop these.

Many people naturally recover from difficult events but sometimes our minds get a bit stuck and/or we can be left with emotional difficulties that influence our daily lives e.g. anxiety or anger.  We would like to leave difficult memories behind, but they seem to haunt us and get in the way.  At such times it can be helpful to have some therapy to move forwards.

Even the most resilient person can struggle with a challenging life experience and rather than considering it a weakness, it could be suggested that confronting the issue through therapy is a brave step.

Normal guidance would be to wait a few weeks after the event to see how you are feeling then.  However, a therapist can help you consider whether therapy might be helpful at this point in time.

When we are/were young, we all act(ed) out what we see/saw other people do and internalis(ed) ways of being that in hindsight may not have been helpful or productive. We grow/grew up thinking our childhood was ‘normal’ but as we get older we might begin to realise that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ and whilst families might have similarities and some helpful ways of being, we generally have had experiences unique to our own childhood and families.  Spending time reflecting on this and considering other ways to be can be really valuable and life-changing.

Where and when can we meet?

At present the therapist meets clients in Woodley, Berkshire, near the town centre.  There is parking nearby.   Depending on availability, this is on Mondays between 9.15am and 3pm or Thursdays from 9.15am - 5.30pm.  Occassional evening work is possible.  If may be possible to have shorter-term therapy at weekends but this is only in exceptional circumstances.

The therapist is also able to travel within Berkshire and the surrounding areas depending on availability but generally works out of the therapy room or online.