Frequently Asked Questions about Play Therapy


Here are just a few questions that are frequently asked.


How long does a Play Therapy session last?

Generally a Play Therapy session lasts for 50 minutes.  However sometimes depending on the needs of the child, the sessions may be shorter.


How many times a week?

Normally Play Therapy occurs once a week, at the same time and on the same day.  Though for some children it may be beneficial to undertake an intensive intervention for period of time, therefore they may have Play Therapy two or three times a week. 


How long will they need to go to Play Therapy?

This is dependent on the presenting needs of the child, an initial comprehensive assessment and ongoing reviews with parents/carers and other agencies involved with the child.  The Play Therapist will liaise with all parties including the child regarding the continued need for Play Therapy. 

Below are estimated guidelines for potential duration of work with a child or young person. Depending on the individual child, their experiences and the environment that they are now in the duration of the work may vary. Below is a rough guide to potential time frames based on historical experience.


6 -12 Sessions

A child or young person that has had no previous trauma and has highly supportive primary care givers and has a secure base. The child or young person has experienced a one off incident which is likely to be of low perceived threat to life, but distressing or 'stuck' enough that the child may benefit from therapy. The child functions well in most environments.

18 - 24 Sessions

A child or young person that has experienced trauma that is significant in nature, but not enduring throughout the majority of their childhood so far.  The child functions in a number of environments but has moderate difficulties. Appears to need further support to process their past experiences. The child is in a secure and safe environment and has primary care givers that are engaged and supportive.

36 Sessions to long term intervention

A child or young person who has experienced a history of trauma, insecure attachment and/or significant loss. The child is now in an environment that at least is consistent and safe enough for the therapeutic work to take place, although there may be issues that require parent/carer support alongside the therapy. The child or young person displays a high level of distress or withdrawal and difficulty functioning in a number of environments. Engagement of primary care giver is likely to impact on the number of sessions alongside the child or young person's previous experiences


Who can make a referral?


Referrals can be made by parents/carers, school staff, Social Workers, doctors, health visitors and other agencies.


Please complete the referral form

Their behaviour seems to have deteriorated now they are doing Play Therapy

Sometimes when children and young people start exploring their issues in Play Therapy, their behaviour may appear to get worse for a period of time.  This is quite normal and is often short lived.  It is generally a sign that they are engaging in the process of Play Therapy and working through the things that are impacting on them.  If you have any concerns, please speak to the Play Therapist. 



“Here's to the kids who are different, the kids with a mischievous streak; for when they have grown as history has shown it's their difference that makes them unique”


Author: Digby Wolfe


Job Opportunities

Click here for information