Play therapy is a therapeutic approach used to assist children to express their emotions, thoughts and feelings through the use of toys, games and art materials. This type of therapy allows for the child’s natural medium of communication to be used to communicate with Charlene, the therapist. Through play the child learns about himself, his environment and his experiences. This enables children to work through trauma and emotional stress. During play the child feels in control and secure, and this therapeutic approach allows the child to make sense of their own world.
Play therapy gives the therapist, Charlene Wessels an opportunity to enter the child’s world. By playing with specially selected materials, and with the guidance of the therapist, Charlene Wessels, the child is given the opportunity to play out his/her feelings, bringing these hidden emotions to the surface where she/he can face them and cope with them. The toys which are used for play become the child’s words and the play becomes the language. Play also allows the child to work though his/her emotions in a non-threatening way and allows a safe psychological distance from his/her problems. Play therapy is generally used with children aged between 3 and 13 years of age.