Play therapy australia



Play Therapy Australia is a lead training organisation and has been training professionals in play therapy for over 25 years. We offer 1 day workshops through to a clinical training program. Our training is held in Australia and Asia and now accessible via distance learning.

About Play Therapy

“Play is a child’s language and toys are their words” – Garry Landreth

Play Therapy is a means of creating a relationship with children or young people, in which play is the primary way in which they communicate (wilson 2000). Similar to adult counselling the aim of this experience is to bring about change in the child’s world.

In Non-Directive Child-Centered Play Therapy, the therapist enters the world of the child, following the child’s lead, developing a safe place and a relationship of trust. It is here the child can express thoughts, feelings, experiences and behaviours through play, as the child’s natural language.

Conventional talking therapies maybe inappropriate for children as it is often difficult for children to talk about how they feel and how things have affected them. In Play Therapy, toys are their words and play is their language.

We see the child’s behaviour as being a symptom of something deeper. Through the therapeutic relationship we are able to work with children to support their emotional and psychosocial development, fostering their innate potential for inner growth and healing and enabling them to gain some sense of balance and control in their lives.

Play allows children to re-enact frightening real life events through the use of toys, this narrative is often unaccessible to the child on a verbal level, this re-enactment is important because it provides a way for children to control in fantasy what is unmanageable in reality.

Through play and the safety of the therapeutic relationship children can begin to make sense of their experiences and are free to transform a past experience or event. From this experience children gain an increased understanding of self, their world and past experiences, which nourishes the development of new neural connections within the child’s brain. Through this process children develop an understanding of self, social, emotional, relational, and problem-solving skills and strategies, gaining psychological insight all which leads to healing, self discovery and growth.

About Play Therapy Asia

Play Therapy Asia is our international training body. We offer workshops and training for professionals working with children and families and our clinical programs for mental health professionals. Our clinical program meets the requirements for registration as an international registered play therapist with AAPT (Australian Play Therapists Association).

About Play Therapy Advantage

Play Therapy Advantage is a not for profit organisation who reaches out to children and families in need of counselling services. We offer reduced fee service to those in need. Early intervention services include individual play therapy, group play therapy and filial family therapy.


Research has found Play Therapy to be an effective therapeutic approach for a variety of children’s difficulties including:

  • Adjusting to family changes
  • Making friends
  • Excessive anger, fear, sadness, worry and shyness
  • Aggression and acting out behaviours
  • School difficulties
  • ADHD and ADD
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Social adjustment issues
  • Separation anxiety
  • Sleeping and eating difficulties
  • Self concept and self esteem
  • Trauma
  • Grief and loss
  • Autism (other than severe autism)
  • Chronic illness/hospitalisation/surgery
  • Physical symptoms without any medical cause
  • Bonding and Attachment
  • Foster, adoption and identity issues
  • Prenatal and birth trauma
  • Selective mutism
  • Near death experiences

Research and Evidence Based Research for Child Centered Play Therapy:

For evidence based research on the effectiveness of Child Centered Play Therapy, the following excellent book is available:

Child Centered Play Therapy Research: The Evidence Base for Effective Practice by Jennifer N.Baggerly (Author, Editor), Dee C. Ray (Author, Editor), Sue C. Bratton (Author, Editor).