Jogo Behaviour Support Blog


What is Child-Centred Play Therapy? Monday, 3 April 2023



What is Child-Centred Play Therapy?

Child-centred Play Therapy (CCPT) is an evidence-based approach used to address children's emotional and behavioural difficulties.  CCPT is a non-directive, non-judgemental, and child-led therapeutic approach that allows children to express themselves freely through play.

It is based upon the fact that play is the child’s natural medium of self-expression and is an opportunity for the child to ‘play out’ their feelings and problems just as, in certain types of adult therapy, an individual ‘talks out’ their difficulties (Virginia Axline, 1947).

Children and young people may not have the language, cognitive and emotional development to put feelings into words about experiences and difficulties that are impacting their well-being.  Therefore, talking therapies may be inappropriate.

Landreth (2012) wrote a fabulous quote that encapsulates this self-expression perfectly “Toys are children’s words and play is their language.” 

Why is Play Important?

In play, children learn about themselves, others and their world.  Play is considered a right for all children, everywhere, to achieve their optimal development.

The UN Convention (Article 31) recognises that free play is not an optional extra for children: it is fundamental to their physical, social, mental and emotional development and intrinsic to their health and happiness in the present moment.

How Does Child-Centred Play Therapy Work?

In CCPT, the Play Therapist creates a safe and nurturing environment where the child is free to play with a wide range of toys and materials.  The Play Therapist acts as a facilitator, providing unconditional positive regard, empathy, acceptance and understanding without attempting to direct or control the child’s play. 

The child is gently encouraged to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences through their play.  The Play Therapist responds with warmth and acceptance, reflecting the child’s play and emotions back to them non-judgementally and entering their world. 

However, when the child feels safe with the Play Therapist, they will begin to express and explore their emotionally meaningful experiences.  This cannot be rushed or made to happen; this is the child’s time, it goes at their pace and developmental level, and this must be respected (Landreth, 2012). 

It is a bottom-up approach, which aims to rebuild the child’s internal belief systems rather than their cognition.  This process takes repetition and time.

Key Benefits of Child-Centred Play Therapy:

There are many benefits to child-centred play therapy, and I believe these are important.

Empowerment and Self-Esteem

CCPT provides a safe and supportive space where children can explore their feelings, experiences, and inner world, which can help them to feel more confident and empowered.  When children are allowed to express themselves freely through play, they gain a sense of control over their environment and emotional state.  This can increase their self-esteem and help them to develop a stronger sense of self-worth.

Emotional regulation

Play is a natural way for children to release and regulate their emotions.  Through play, children can process difficult emotions such as anger, sadness, and anxiety in a safe and healthy way.

CCPT helps children to identify and express their emotions and how to manage and regulate them in a healthy way.  This can lead to a reduction in emotional outbursts and an increase in self-control.

Healing and growth

CCPT provides a space for children to heal from emotional wounds and grow emotionally.  Children who have experienced trauma, loss, or other significant life changes can benefit from CCPT as it helps them to process their experiences in a safe and supportive environment.  By expressing their feelings through play, children can begin to make sense of their experiences and move towards healing and growth.

Improved communication and social skills

CCPT can help children to improve their communication and social skills.  Through play, children can practice social interactions, learn to express themselves in a healthy way, and develop empathy and understanding towards others.  As children learn to communicate and interact more effectively, they may experience improved relationships with peers, parents, and other adults.

Increased resilience

CCPT can help children to develop resilience, which is the ability to bounce back from difficult experiences.  By learning to regulate their emotions, express themselves effectively, and build healthy coping strategies, children can become more resilient and better equipped to face future challenges.

In Summary

Child-centred Play Therapy has been proven to be highly effective and a powerful tool for helping children overcome emotional difficulties, build resilience and develop healthy coping strategies. 

It provides a safe and supportive space for children to express themselves freely through play, which can lead to improved self-esteem, emotional regulation, communication skills, and resilience.

If you are concerned about your child's emotional well-being, consider seeking out a qualified CCPT therapist to provide support and guidance.

Written By Esther Schencks BSc, MA

BAPT Registered Play Therapist®


Axline, V., M. (1947) Play Therapy.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin

Landreth, G., L. (2012) Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship.  (3rd ed.) New York: Routledge.


Jogo Behaviour Support 8th Annual Conference  Sunday, 19 February 2023


Jogo Behaviour Support Annual Conference 2023

It’s that time of year again when Jogo Behaviour Support is busy in the background organising our Annual Conference – Support for Social, Emotional and Mental Health Issues, Developing the Environment for Learning.  

Why Attend our Conference?

Attending our conference can be an excellent way for you to gain valuable insights into managing social, emotional and behavioural issues presented by children and young people.  Our conference offers an opportunity to learn about the latest research and practical solutions for supporting positive behaviour and creating a safe and inclusive learning environment.  Our ethos is to support you so that you can support children and young people to flourish and thrive. 

Benefits of Attending:

1.    Learn from the experts in the field.

These experts have years of experience and knowledge that can help you to develop effective strategies for managing challenging behaviour and encourage the passion for learning in our children and young people.

One of our keynote speakers - The Real David Cameron- comes with a wealth of knowledge, from Head of Education in East Lothian to the President of the Association of Directors of Education Scotland.  He regularly works with schools alongside some of the most influential people and best practitioners in the world of education and training.

Jonathan Newport, our second keynote speaker, is an educator with over 25 years of experience.  His work in SEND schools has been commended by the DFE.  He is a highly respected speaker and trainer who is recognised internationally for his work on developing and supporting positive behaviour, ethos and culture.  He is the managing director for learning & development at Team Teach. 

2.    Network with like-minded professionals.

Our conference is hosted at the impressive Sedgebrook Hall, set in the heart of the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside.  Our delegates will be offered refreshments and lunch in this picturesque Victorian Manor House surrounded by breathtaking views.  This is an excellent opportunity to network with like-minded professionals who are working in the same field, where you can share ideas, discuss challenges and gain new perspectives. 

If that hasn’t convinced you to attend, look at this fabulous feedback from last year’s conference.

My last word on the conference is that it is an excellent way to gain valuable insights and practical solutions for managing social, emotional and behavioural issues presented by children and young people.  By learning from our keynote speakers, workshops and networking with like-minded professionals, you can develop effective strategies for supporting positive behaviour and creating a safe and inclusive learning environment. 

Read more about our conference keynote speakers, workshops and book your place here:

By Esther Schencks, BSC, MA

BAPT Registered Play Therapists®

Book Review - The Jolly Christmas Postman Wednesday, 21 December 2022


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Christmas Breakfast Granola  



Christmas Breakfast Granola


This yummy recipe from Women and Home magazine is a great way to start the day.



·        300g oats

·        6tbsp maple syrup

·        2tbsp vegetable oil

·        1tbsp honey

·        2tsp cinnamon

·        2tsp mixed spice

·        1tsp vanilla extract

·        1tsp sea salt

·        70g pistachios

·        75g dried apricots, chopped

·        75g dried cranberries

For The Nuts:

·        70g pecans

·        70g hazelnuts

·        1tsp maple syrup

·        1tsp mixed spice

·        gold edible glitter spray (available from Sainsbury’s)



·        Heat the oven to 180C. Mix the oats, syrup, oil, honey, pistachios, spices, vanilla and salt, and put on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for 20 mins, then leave to cool.

·        Meanwhile, combine the pecans, hazelnuts, maple syrup and mixed spice, then roast on a separate baking tray for 15 minutes. Leave to cool, then spray with gold glitter.

·        Combine the granola mixture, nut mixture, pistachios, apricots and cranberries. Store in an airtight container.


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