A new play therapy practice has opened in Prospect, this week.
Wildflower Play Therapy has opened to support children aged 2-12 and their families as childhood presentations of psychological disturbances have exponentially increased due to the pandemic.
Founder and Owner Pip Westwood who has a Master of Child Play Therapy and Bachelor of Psychology told Glam Adelaide that Coronavirus has caused children a massive amount of stress and anxiety.
“Kids are very intuned with what’s happening with their parents and around them, especially with uncertainty around jobs, homeschooling, constant lockdowns and for a while there not being able to go to the playground, kids wellbeing has been impacted,” says Pip.
“Wildflower Play Therapy is a safe and non-judgemental space for children to find therapeutic healing through play. Like our motto says: ‘Giving children the space to be, to see they can, and to become’. We are dedicated to getting to know each family’s unique situation and tailoring our approach to suit their needs and strengths.”
All children are welcome regardless of whether they have a diagnosis or just need some extra support.
“Wildflower see’s children across a spectrum of presentations from kids with autism, to some who have difficulty making friends, issues with anger or anxiety, those who struggle with regulating their emotions, some have experienced something hard like losing a loved one and they need some time to work through that, or they might have experienced something quite traumatic.”
Pip who has been working with children for quite some time claims there are therapeutic powers of play.
“Play is the natural language of childhood. Play allows children to express themselves where their language may not yet allow, whilst also bridging their language gaps, which can help families who are also seeking services from OT’s and Speech Pathologists.”
“Play Therapy is an evidence-based and developmentally appropriate way for children to work through their emotions and experiences in a safe environment using their natural language- play. Through the Therapeutic Powers of Play harnessed in Play Therapy, children can build their problem-solving skills, gain mastery over traumatic experiences, conquer their fears, work through their anxieties, grow their self-esteem, develop their social skills, learn to regulate their emotions, gain coping strategies and so much more.”
Pip explains play as a metaphor where children can have a safe place to work through their experiences and anxieties.
“They may not even be aware that they are healing. Play is a developmentally appropriate way to talk through and master what they’ve been through, children can express and begin to regulate their emotions and trigger deep healing.”
Parents of young children are recommended to monitor their child’s development. Pip spoke to Glam Adelaide about new research findings that claim there is a global developmental delay for children born during the pandemic. Children aged between newborn and 2.5 years have been recorded to have a delay in gross and fine motor skills as well as cognitive development. Pip expects a big demand in the coming years on getting these kids up to speed with where their non-pandemic counterparts were.
Pip says the holistic family-based treatment centre, can benefit children from any background.
“I am passionate about providing children and families with the means and opportunity for self-expression.”
“A typical play therapy session includes children coming into the playroom and choosing the play therapy resources and what they would like to play with. We have a sand tray, paint and craft supplies, market stall, kitchen, tent, sensory items, things that are helpful for anger relief – like an inflatable punching bop bag, puppets, a dollhouse and more. Kids can choose whatever method they like and they can project their emotions onto the toys.”
Wildflower Play Therapy is currently accepting new clients.
Each 45-minute session is covered in full by the NDIS for those who are self-managed and plan managed clients. Likewise, children and families involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) can have their sessions covered.
Children outside of the NDIS and CPS can have their sessions covered privately by the family.
“Consistency is key with kids, we recommend weekly sessions, typically for between 12-25 weeks, depending on the presentation,” says Pip.
Wildflower Play Therapy is located at 4/112 Prospect Rd, Prospect, SA 5082
Find out if play therapy is right for your family on the Wildflower website.