Play Therapy

 “Every child is unique and special but sometimes they experience problems with feelings or behaviours that cause disruption to their lives and the lives of those around them” 

 IAPTP Website

 What is Play Therapy?

•Children often find it difficult to express themselves verbally and so traditional talking therapies can be difficult for them. Play is a child’s natural way of expressing themselves.

•Play therapy is a therapeutic method of Psychotherapy for children aged 3 and upwards that explores a child’s natural means of expression to help them cope in their world.


•It is a clinical therapy aimed at supporting mental health needs and development difficulties of all young children & adolescents.

•Play enables the therapist and child to develop a trusted relationship which is consistent with helping a person gain mastery over a situation or trauma they have experienced.

•As well as supporting developmental milestones, the therapeutic intervention is done at the child’s pace using non-directive or directive therapy.


Play- a child’s natural way of expressing themselves

•Play naturally helps children develop physically, socially intellectually and emotionally.

•Play is innate from birth it incorporates senses, use of body and role play relationship, stories skills and games, identity as well as decision making.

•During play children experience their own power by connecting with the core self.

•The cognitive, emotional and interpersonal process in play leads to problem solving and creative thinking.

•Play therapists can also teach children how to play.


When would a child come to play therapy?

•Adoption or foster care support


•ASD behaviour

•Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

•Bedwetting/ soiling problems


•Domestic violence

•Eating problems

•Excessive shyness


•Learning/ Developmental problems

•Low self esteem

•Parental conflict, separation or divorce

•Persistent anger, worry, sadness or fear which hinders the daily life of the child

•Preoccupation with sexual behaviour.




Yvonne O’Neill, Play Therapist 

Yvonne O’Neill’s Qualifications include, BA. Social Care Practice DIT, Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy CTC, and Diplomas in Psychology & Counselling from NUI Maynooth.   Yvonne is currently completing her MA Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy and Play Therapy for Children and Adolescents. Yvonne is a PAM of Irish Association of play and Psychotherapy.  Yvonne has spent the past 17 years working with Children and Families in the community and Residential Settings.   She has worked for the Probation Service, Department of Education, HSE, South Dublin County Council and has used Play Therapy in a joint initiative with a Public Health Nurse Team. At present Yvonne maintains her work with the HSE in Social Care and works at Sensational Kids as a play therapist.

To book an appointment, phone Sensational Kids on 045 520900

or phone Yvonne on 087 4124600 or email