Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is a specific form of evidence based therapy for children. Play Therapy is non directive which means the therapist doesn’t tell the child what to play with or how to play. Play Therapy utilizes play, childrens’ natural form of expression, to support children to express their feelings and to better understand their internal and external worlds. Toys are childrens’ words and play is their language.

Why choose Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is the perfect modality for children who are unable to verbally tell their story due to their developmental stage, their experiences of trauma or family stress. Play Therapy makes use of a child’s natural tendency to “play out” their reactions to challenging life situations. Play Therapy is not the same thing as just playing at kindy, school or home. Play Therapists have completed specialised post graduate study and are specifically trained to provide an environment of acceptance, empathy and understanding. Through the relationship with the Play Therapist, the child will feel understood. When children feel understood, their challenging behaviours often decrease. Children as young as 2 years old are able to engage in Play Therapy programs. Play Therapy is appropriate across different cultures and languages. Play Therapy can be modified for children who have pre-existing diagnoses and disabilities.

The Benefits of Play Therapy

Play Therapy has many benefits. Play Therapy allows children to gain an understanding of their world and to express their emotions. This process often dramatically improves behaviour that parents, caregivers and teachers are finding challenging. Play Therapy can help with a range of social, emotional and behavioural concerns and specific goals are formulated for each child at the start of the process.

How is Play Therapy delivered?

Play Therapy is portable and can be delivered on site in kindergartens, schools, community centres, consulting rooms and in homes. Play Therapy sessions can range from 30 to 50 minutes depending on the child’s needs. To get the best results, Play Therapy sessions are recommended weekly at the same place and time as predictability helps children to feel safe and secure.

What is Filial Therapy?

Filial Therapy is a form of Play Therapy where the Play Therapist teaches a person of importance to the child, like a parent, carer or teacher, the skills and relational attitudes of Play Therapy so that the adult can conduct dedicated Play Therapy sessions at home or school and can subsequently become the main agent of therapeutic change. Through Filial Therapy, caregivers are introduced to the inner world of the child. Filial Therapy training and Filial Therapy ongoing supervision can be provided in a number of different formats. Please talk to the Play Therapist about what suits your particular needs.

Outcomes of Filial Therapy programs include:

  • increased parental acceptance
  • improved self esteem of the child and parent
  • decrease in overall parental stress
  • decrease in child behavior problems
  • an improvement in the adult-child relationship
  • an increase in overall parenting skills

How to access Play Therapy and Filial Therapy

Play Therapy and Filial Therapy can be delivered in a range of settings. Connected Self is an approved NDIS provider and Play Therapy can be accessed using this funding where appropriate. Private sessions are also conducted on site at Connected Self (Adelaide CBD)

Please contact our friendly reception team on (08) 8232 2438 or email for more information.

Courtney Weir Adelaide Play Therapist

Courtney Weir
Clinical Psychotherapist and Play Therapist

Courtney loves working with children, young people and their families. Courtney has a gentle, compassionate and non-intrusive relationship style. She believes that every person who comes to therapy already has the strengths and resources they need inside them to be able to meet and grow through their challenges.

Courtney uses a range of modalities when working with children and adults such as non directive counselling, Child Centered Play Therapy, Filial Therapy, Marte Meo Therapy, Circle of Security Parenting and person centered counselling. Courtney has special interests in attachment theory, neurobiology and developmental trauma in childhood. Courtney has worked in Family Mental Health, Specialist Foster Care/ Child Protection and Family Violence services in South Australia and Victoria.

When she is not working, Courtney loves baking, reading, attending yoga classes and spending time with friends and family.