What is Creative/ Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is the therapeutic use of play and creative arts. It is a form of psychotherapy/ counselling for children, teenagers and adults that facilitates expression through creative media as well as talk. Many people, especially children, do not readily have words to explain their circumstances, feelings and reasons behind their behaviour but easily express themselves through creative media and play.


Creative/ Play Therapy offers a space to freely express their feelings of sadness, anger, etc without a need for explanation, explore different outcomes and feel in charge of their created worlds. This increases a sense of confidence and self-worth, facilitates healing and finding healthier coping and communication strategies. Creative/ Play Therapy provides emotional support during times of stress, offering a safe space to make sense of difficult events.


The therapist offers a large selection of creative and play material from which clients choose as they feel is right for them. These include art materials, sand play, clay, small figures, puppets, instruments, drama and movement props, visualisations, etc. The client is enabled to use these resources to express him/herself, externalise what could not be put into words and gain new insights and ways of coping. The therapist accepts each client as s/he is and facilitates free expression, without pressure or expectations.


A client’s actions and conversations are not directed except to keep safe boundaries or if it is deemed therapeutically beneficial.

Play and Creative Therapy does not provide nor require medication. It has however been shown to be highly effective for developmental disorders that are traditionally treated with medication, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as it allows children space to develop greater self-regulation of difficult emotions and respond to life situations with less overwhelm and greater capacity to stay connected and cooperative.


Who is Creative/ Play Therapy for?

Children and people of all ages have benefited from addressing difficult feelings, experiences and behaviours through creative therapy. While talking is of course part of this type of therapy, many people find it helps them to express themselves creatively, externalise what’s inside and gain greater insight into what is going on for them than words alone could accomplish. Play Therapy works particularly well with children of all ages as it uses their natural language of make-belief and pretend. Play engages children, offering opportunities to express themselves in a way that is safe and, with the help of accepting and attuned reflection, creates new insights and understanding.

It has been shown to be very effective with children, teenagers and adults who are experiencing a variety of emotional, social or behavioural difficulties:

  • Social exclusion/ difficult relationships/ Bullying 

  • Communication problems

  • Emotional and self-esteem problems

  • Abuse experiences

  • Underperforming/ poor academic achievement

  • Concentration/ attention

  • Separation/ divorce

  • Anger, aggression, violence

  • Stress , anxiety, phobias, social withdrawal

  • Loss/ bereavement,

  • Nightmares/ bedwetting

  • Coping with developmental difficulties: ADHD, Developmental Delay, Selective Mutism, ASD, Communication issues, PDA, etc

  • Attachment difficulties

  • Substance misuse/ self-destructive behaviours

  • Going into Care/ Adoption


Play Therapy (a form of Child Counselling/ Child Therapy/ Child Psychotherapy) and Creative Therapy (a form of Adult Counselling/ Adult Therapy/ Psychotherapy) and Clinical Supervision/ Creative Supervision is provided by a trained and experienced Accredited Play Therapist, Janine Nehrig. Janine is a member of Play Therapy Ireland PTIrl, the Psychological Society of Ireland PSI and the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists, Accredited Register, accredited and regulated by the UK government Professional Standards Authority PSA. Clinical Supervision is further accepted by the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists IACAT. ARCH Creative and Play Therapy Centre is located in Limerick City, County Limerick, Munster and is within convenient reach of nearby villages and cities such as Abbeyfeale, Adare, Annacotty, Askeaton, Ballina, Ballybrophy, Ballycahill, Ballyhahill, Ballyhea, Ballylanders, Birr, Borrisoleigh, Broadford, Bruff, Bruree,  Caherconlish, Cappagh, Cappamore, Castleconnell, Charleville, Clarecastle, Cloonlara, Croagh, Croom, Crusheen, Dolla, Doon, Dromcollogher, Ennis, Ennistymon, Fedamore, Foynes, Glin, Grange, Hospital, Kildimo, Kilfannane, Kilkishen, Killaloe, Kilmallock, Kilmurry, Kilrush, Lisnagry, Milford, Mitchelstown, Montpelier, Murroe, Nenagh, Newcastle West, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Newport, Newtown, Patrickswell, Quin, Rathkeale, Roscrea, Shannon, Sixmilebridge, Tarbert, Templemore, Thurles, Tipperary Town, Toomvara, Tulla, Tullamore, County Clare, North Tipperary, South Tipperary, County Kerry, County Cork, Munster. 

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