Play Therapy Donegal

The Importance of Play

Play is essential in enabling children achieve developmental milestones, acquire an emotional vocabulary, develop secure attachments, communicate with others, and negotiate the normal ups and downs life. It is through play and creativity that children best express themselves, therefore improving their relationships and ability to make sense of their world and their experiences. The importance of Play within children’s lives is communicated so beautifully by Garry Landreth, founder of the Centre for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas when he states, “Fish Swim, Birds Fly and Children Play”. (Landreth, 1991)


The UNLOCK Programme utilises play in many ways such as facilitating effective communication with the child, developing social skills and relationships, helping children with sensory processing and self-expression skills. Children may experience problems with feelings or behaviours that cause disruption to their lives and the lives of those around them. Play Therapy provides a child with an opportunity to ‘play out’ their thoughts, feelings and problems just as, in certain types of adult therapy, an individual ‘talks out’ their difficulties. Deirdre uses the therapeutic powers of play to help children prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development. Play permits the child to communicate with adults nonverbally, symbolically, and in an action-oriented manner. She uses approaches, interventions, media, and activities that are appropriate to the age and developmental stage of the client.

Children enter into a dynamic therapeutic relationship with the therapist that enables them to express themselves, explore and make sense of the world in which they live, and resolve any difficult or painful experiences through the medium of play. Any child/adolescent can benefit from Play Therapy. It promotes self-confidence, imagination, creativity, concentration, communication, problem-solving skills, self-esteem and most importantly happiness in the child. Play Therapy is suitable for children as young as two to three years old and there is no upper age limit.