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Some children benefit from more structured directive play therapy rather than child-centred play therapy. In this approach, the therapist takes a more active role in guiding the play therapy session. The therapist may provide specific toys, materials, or activities to address the child's specific issues or goals. The therapist uses techniques to help the child explore specific issues, learn new skills, or achieve therapeutic goals. The therapist may offer interpretations, teach coping strategies, or provide guidance during the play.

Directive play therapy is not about ‘normalising play’ or teaching masking. Directive play therapy is a complex therapy process that engages the child within the sphere of their interests and their developmental strengths to continue to support their capacity for engaging with resilience, autonomy, happiness and joy within their social and physical environment.

A birds eye photo of a young child dressing a baby doll.
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