Child Centred Play Therapy
Child Centred Play Therapy (CCPT) is a developmentally appropriate form of counselling and psychotherapy for children aged 2.5 to 11-12 years. It is a modality used by specially trained child mental health professionals in order to work and communicate effectively with children with a range of emotional, social and behavioural issues.
CCPT Further Explained
Have you noticed how some children, when asked how they are feeling, shrug or give a seemingly shallow response? In many cases it is not because the child lacks desire to share or connect on a deeper level but rather they lack the verbal and cognitive skills necessary to do so.
Children communicate and express themselves far more naturally through play and it is from this premise Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) was developed. CCPT is a non-directive therapeutic approach which uses a child's natural ability to communicate through play and creative expression to process, express and make sense of personal challenges as well as provide insight into their strengths, interests, fears, worries and aspirations.
In much the way adults use counselling to make sense of and work through their thoughts, feelings and difficulties, children use CCPT to 'play out' and makes sense of their worries, frustrations and fears.
Using words to accurately express and process one's thoughts and feelings requires a high level of skill which most children aren't fully capable of until their preteen years (around 10 to 13 years). Therefore, asking a child younger than this to work through complex issues and feelings using "their words" may be like asking an adult to do the same in a second language in which they are only semi fluent. Children may be able to say enough to convince us they understand our question and do not wish to elaborate, when in actual fact they do not have the skills to accurately express themselves using words to the depth they otherwise would if using the universal language of children which is self-initiated and non-goal orientated play.
CCPT provides a therapeutic avenue where toys become a child’s words and their play a symbolic expression of their inner world so that, when playing, children are able to tell their stories, process their feelings, resolve complex issues and master new skills with the help of their therapist.
If you would like to explore whether CCPT is right for your child or a child you know please contact Clare.