Play Therapy for helping children who have been traumatised

Play Therapy for helping children who have been traumatised

InPsych October 2013In her article “Working with Children who have alleged sexual abuse”, Helen Kambouridis, a psychologist who specialises in working with children, talks about how Play Therapy is an appropriate treatment for the child: click here to read the article, published on the APS (Australian Psychological Society) website in October 2013.

When sexual abused has been alleged by children, the first and primary concern is for the child’s safety.  Once this is taken care of and the child is in a safe and stable home environment with safe, consistent carer(s), the child can begin treatment to help them recover and heal from the experience.  For these children, Kambouridis promotes the use of Play Therapy, stating clearly and unequivocally that “Traditional talk therapy will not meet this child’s needs” (see article).

To add and support Kambouridis’ views: Play Therapy allows the child to play out trauma and painful feelings at a distance, in bearable doses of fantasy and role play where appropriate.  In this way, children “tell their story” through play rather than in words.  This retelling of their experience is critical to their healing and recovery.

In addition to healing and recovery, Play Therapy helps the child develop their inner strength, and other resources that will support them in this time and beyond. Critically, Play Therapy helps traumatised children regain a sense of control, trust in the world, and a sense of safety.

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