Different therapies explained


This month I will be briefly introducing to you the different therapies available, specifically the ones that work hand-in-hand with play therapy.

I understand how overwhelming it can be to have your child attend one type, let alone two. Just remember the specialities are different and different techniques and mediums are used. Therefore each therapy addresses a different need and therefore seeing the child as a whole.

Play Therapy: Play is the child‰Ûªs natural way of communication and a medium by which to sort out his world and make sense of it. While playing, the child can project his situation, express his feelings and bring it to the surface where he can acknowledge, experience and master it. Children who benefit from play therapy:

  • Children who need to adapt to change in their situation, like moving to a new house, going to a new school, divorce of parents or receiving a sibling.
  • Children who have trouble handling a traumatic experience.
  • Children with unresolved grief after the loss of a family member, friend or pet.
  • Children who have trouble making friends, who are shy and withdrawn in group situations.
  • Children experiencing anxiety and stress.
  • Children being the victim of being bullied or the bully themselves.
  • Children with aggressive or disagreeable behaviour.
  • Children, who bite their nails, suck their thumbs or wet or soil their beds or clothing.
  • Children with psychosomatic symptoms (stomach-aches or headaches without a medical reason).
  • Abused or molested children.
  • Hyperactive children.

Occupational Therapy: Occupational Therapists use scientifically chosen meaningful activities to assist diverse clients with a range of problems to maximise their functioning. This empowers them to be as independent as possible and to experience dignity and quality of life at work, at home and at play. (OT Council, 2001)

Children who benefit from occupational therapy:

  • Children whose development is behind, eg. not reaching milestones within reasonable time.
  • Children whose gross motor co-ordination is weak ‰ÛÒ they may find it difficult to do simple activities, like buttoning a coat, cutting or their hand writing may be untidy or slow.
  • Children who have sensory or concentration issues ‰ÛÒ these children may appear fussy or find it difficult to focus.
  • Children with poor visual perceptual skills have, for example, difficulty with reading, spelling or mathematics and often reverse letters.

Speech Therapy: Speech Therapists assess, diagnose and treat communication related disorders. Specialized tests are used to diagnose the nature and extent of impairment and to record and analyse speech, language and auditory perception problems. All impairments are addressed through development of an individualised treatment plan, tailored to each child‰Ûªs needs. Children with the following problems may benefit from speech therapy:

  • Delayed receptive and expressive language development. These children may exhibit inadequate development of vocabulary and grammar required to express and understand thoughts and ideas. Older children may have difficulty in understanding written language and communicating what they have learned.
  • Auditory perception problems and inadequate listening skills. These children may have problems in following age appropriate instructions and learning to read and spell.
  • Articulation and phonological process disorders. Children with these problems may replace or omit sounds in their speech resulting in poor intelligibility.
  • Stuttering is characterised by the inability to produce words fluently. This may include sound, syllable or word repetitions, pauses and sound prolongations.

Neurotherapy: Neurotherapy is biofeedback for the brain. Brainwaves can be monitored by placing sensors on the scalp, which registers the electrical signals happening inside the brain. Brainwaves carry messages to and from all parts of the body through the nervous system. During Neurotherapy nothing is put into the brain, the sensors merely monitor the brain‰Ûªs activity and the client is then given visual and auditory feedback with specially designed computer programs. Children and adults who experience the following will benefit from Neurotherapy:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Anger and Rage
  • Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Migraines and Headaches

Herewith a more in-depth look into Neurotherapy:

I hope you find this informative.