Play therapy techniques – what happens during a session

As a non-directive play therapist, I use child-led techniques during my sessions so that the young person in question has free choice to interact with materials and activities as they wish.

Using non-directive play therapy techniques gives the child confidence and helps them to build trust in their therapist, who is required to enter the child’s world for the duration of the session, rather than the child being expected to step into an unfamiliar adult perspective.

During play, the child will express their deeper thoughts, with certain ideas and subjects taking precedence – this provides the therapist with valuable insight into how the child is feeling about things in their life that are affecting them.

Play therapy activities we’ll use

I offer a mobile play therapy service for your convenience, but every session will be conducted in the same private space, at the same time and with the same equipment every week.

I’ll provide a large selection of specially selected toys and activities, including:

  • Art and craft materials
  • Dressing up clothes
  • Sand play
  • Water activities
  • Clay
  • Toy animals and dolls
  • Play figures
  • Musical instruments
  • Puppets
  • Books

These toys will enable the child to express themselves without having to try to use the verbal explanations that come much easier to adults. The child will be able to choose and play with whatever they like to, using as many or as few of the resources as they wish.

What happens next?

During the session, I’ll follow the child’s lead, only joining in if invited to do so. I’ll observe the child as they play, reflecting back to them in order to allow them to process their thoughts and feelings. This also shows the child that they have my full attention throughout the session.


The content of the sessions remains confidential between myself and the child, so that we can build trust within our relationship – helping them to explore personal experiences without fear they’ll be discussed elsewhere.

However, play themes and a report of the child’s progress within the therapy sessions will be discussed with parents/carers at the review meeting.

If you’d like an informal, no-obligation chat about the different play therapy techniques and activities I use, or to find out more about the benefits of play therapy, please feel free to give me a call on 0330 900 0080.

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0330 9000 080

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