Play Therapy

Play Therapy can help children with emotional, behavioural and mental health problems:

Over several issues we have published articles discussing how Play Therapy can be used.

Play therapy – sand play

Play therapy – layering

Play therapy – hide and seek

Play therapy – for children with intellectual difficulties


Children with intellectual disabilities and their families experience more stressful situations of everyday life, including social neglect, educational limitations and substandard care difficulties, than families and children with typical development. Because of this, the children are more likely to develop symptoms of mental disorders. Therefore, it is of importance to introduce appropriate methods of support and treatment, such as Play Therapy, as soon as possible. The playroom, equipped with sand trays and figurines, dolls, puppets, art materials, clay and musical instruments, provides an opportunity for a wide range of expression.

A ten-year-old boy with learning difficulties and IQ scores below normal came from a family affected by divorce and alcoholism.  He presented an aggressive attitude towards his environment, especially to his mother. In Play Therapy his feelings were expressed by a spontaneous and free play which was accepted and reflected by the therapist.


He started with sand trays in which he played out dangerous and helpless situations. His figurines, such as soldiers or wild animals, were besieged and died in a trap. He played in silence without eye-contact with the therapist. After several weeks he provided some changes in his sandplay, allowing the figurines to defend themselves and he started to talk with the therapist.

After another few sessions, he introduced new figurines, who were able to influence their environment and he expanded his play to new materials such as clay and paint. He became more spontaneous and talkative. During the last sessions his sandplay became more vivid and his figurines were able to protect themselves.

The outcomes of Play Therapy are measured by changes in the Strengths  and Difficulties (SDQ) scores, in this case successfully, showing a reduction in total difficulties from 20 to 15.

Based upon the work of Joanna Kruszyńska-Buryta –

a Certified Practitioner of Therapeutic Play Skills.