Information for Schools
How can play therapy benefit your school?
Play Therapy in schools can positively contribute to the overall emotional well-being for pupils and staff. Having a pupil in class who is not able to enjoy their education and reach their full potential can be both upsetting for the child and their family as well as disruptive and concerning for the teacher and the child’s classmates. Pupils who are happy and have a positive emotional well-being are more receptive to teaching and learning, increasing their chances of achievement and academic attainment.
Play Therapy benefits both the child and the teaching staff by facilitating improvements in several areas. The British Association of Play Therapists (2004) highlights the following as benefits of Play Therapy in a school setting:
- Reduce emotional, behavioural and social obstacles to learning;
- Help children to build healthier relationships with teaching staff and peers;
- Improve adaptation in the classroom;
- Enhance communication skills and emotional literacy;
- Address the needs of at-risk children;
- Support and advise teaching staff.
Why have Play Therapy in Schools?
- Teachers and support staff have a unique perspective on children in their care and are often the first to recognise when a child is having difficulties;
- School provides children with a familiar and safe environment;
- Setting therapy within the school environment and during school hours allows for professionals and families to work together effectively and results in less disruption to the pupil’s day than provision outside of school.
What do I offer?
- A free consultation allowing schools to meet with me to find out more about Play Therapy and how it could be of benefit to the child and school;
- A free parent interview following an accepted referral;
- Evidence-based results in via SDQ forms (Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) at the beginning and followed up regularly;
- An end of therapy report, including strategies and recommendations where appropriate;
- Consultation and help to look for appropriate funding bids.
How schools can help
- Play Therapy in a school setting requires a consistent, dedicated private room that is accessible at the same time and day each week;
- Prompt communication about any significant events or changes within the child’s life that may affect their ability to attend Play Therapy;
- A referral form, parental consent and a completed questionnaire is required.
Sessions are confidential, I can talk about themes that have emerged from the therapeutic play sessions but not the actual content. This is to maintain the child’s trust and feelings of safety in the therapeutic relationship. If a safeguarding issue arises I will follow the Schools safeguarding policies and procedures.