Non-directive and directive play therapy can support children to process past trauma and make positive emotional, behavioural and developmental progress.
Non-directive play therapy
A therapy method used to help children communicate their inner experiences with toys and play. It allows the child to feel safe and build a relationship with the therapist in a stable, reliable environment. The child can start to express their experiences and interpretation of the world through play. Simple modelling and reframing techniques can be demonstrated by the therapist to show the child new methods to manage emotional and behavioural challenges. This type of play therapy is often used for assessment purposes as it allows the child to create through play their interpretation of the world.
Directive play therapy
A therapy method used to support children to process past experiences, reframe emotional and behavioural challenges, and learn new skills. Unlike non-directive therapy, it has a clear aim of supporting a child with a challenge. For example, non-directive play therapy may be used with children who have difficulty socialising with peers to teach the child – through modelling and play – appropriate peer communication skills. This method of therapy can be used to address challenges with social relationships, antisocial behaviour, understanding emotions, dealing with loss and trauma as well as other applications.
The limitations of non-directive and directive play therapy are that as a stand-alone therapy, although the child's challenges may be addressed within the play therapy environment, this may not generalise to other settings such as home and school. Play therapy can be paired, or followed up with an individual support package to meet the child’s needs.
Directive and non-directive play therapy can be delivered in the child’s home, school or at our clinic.