Play Therapy

We offer an affordable, community based Play Therapy Service in collaboration with qualified Play Therapist, Joanne Gibbons from Play Therapy Westport.

The service is available to children aged 5-12 years from our catchment area of Westport, Newport and Louisburgh; and the cost is €20 per session. The remaining cost is subsidised by the Centre with the help of kind donors & fundraising. The service involves a commitment to one-to-one weekly 45 minute sessions for 12 consecutive weeks.

Please note there is a waiting list for this service.

If you would like to access this service for your child please call 098- 24419 or email We can also accept referrals from teachers and other professionals once parental consent has been given.

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy can be effective for a broad range of growing issues for children, including:

  • Emotional difficulties such as aggression, depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and withdrawal.
  • Behavioural problems
  • Developmental difficulties such as sleep problems, poor communication, bedwetting and eating problems.
  • Learning difficulties
  • Loss or bereavement
  • Family breakdown
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Problems with socialising

Play Therapy helps children understand muddled feelings and upsetting events that they haven’t had the chance to sort out properly. Rather than trying to find the words to explain how they are feeling and what is troubling them, children use play to communicate at their own level and at their own pace, without feeling interrogated or pressured.

How can Play therapy help my child?

Play is vital to every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. It helps make learning concrete for all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult.

Play Therapy helps children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult experiences to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways.

The outcomes of Play Therapy may be general e.g., a reduction in anxiety and raised self-esteem, or more specific such as a change and improved relations with family and friends.