Many children need support in emotional
literacy. Others have behaviour or mental health problems at some
stage that prevents them from fulfilling their full potential.
Some studies indicate that 20% of children
have some form of psychological problem (Venables
(1983);Rutter, Cox et al (1975); Jeffers & Fitzgerald (1991); Porteous
and that 70% of these are helped through the use of
psychological based therapies such as play and creative arts.
The 1999 British government survey estimated that 10% of children have a
mental health problem. It is likely that similar statistics apply
It is also essential to realise that mental
health, like physical health, is as much about prevention as cure.
There are a number of approaches to play
therapy. One of the most effective is called non-directive. This is based upon principles
developed by Virginia Axline.
Practitioners of play therapy and therapeutic
play use a Play 'Therapy Tool-Kit'
Further explanations may be found in:
that therapeutic play and play
therapy can help - a short check list - 'Do you know a child who .......?'
This short article on the PTUK web site is a very useful guide for parents, carers
and other lay persons who may be worried about a child's emotional condition
and the desirability of referral for play therapy.
The Play Continuum
shows how different
applications of play can deal with a spectrum of children's emotional,
behaviour and mental health problems.