Ann Tichelaar Swerdfeger

Registered Psychotherapist

Call: #519-520-3080



Does Play Therapy work?

Yes! By relying less on language, play therapy is a developmentally sensitive treatment modality and is particularly appropriate for people who have experienced trauma. Play is experiential and allows memories to be expressed and explored non-verbally, so that they can eventually be integrated into a more verbal narrative

Who benefits from Play Therapy?

Children who are dealing with:

  • parental conflict
  • have experienced abuse
  • have been adopted, or are in foster care
  • loss
  • been hospitalized
  • witnessed domestic abuse
  • being bullied/ or bully
  • present with delays in social/emotional development
  • Mental Health Illness (self, sibling or a parent)
  • difficulty expressing feelings, thoughts with words

What happens during therapy?


Therapy may be different depending on the goals for therapy and the needs of the person. Within therapy, there are many theories and techniques used.  Each has benefits but some prove more advantageous than others depending on needs and interests.  I could therefore use a number of interventions and techniques to support your family.


These could include: Client Centred/Non directive, Cognitive Behaviour Play Therapy, Sand Tray, Puppetry, Theraplay, Filial, Guided Imagery, Narrative and Art


Medication vs. Therapy


Medication cannot solve mental and emotional problems alone. Therapy is needed in order to address the source of distress and behaviour patterns. Check with your medical doctor and see what’s the best treatment for your child, teen or self.

What will your child gain from

Play Therapy?

1. That the world can be safe, consistent and predictable

2. Feelings (positive and negative) are acceptable

3. To trust and build connections with other people

4. To be creative and resourceful in confronting problems

5. Develop a greater capacity to cope

6. To experience behaviours and feelings of control/mastery

7. To develop an internal source of evaluation

8. To be more self directed, responsible and autonomous

9. To develop an enhanced sense of self and become more self-accepting

For yourself: do you ever wonder when further help might be warranted?

Some signs that you might be ready:

  • You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness
  • Your problems don't seem to get better, despite your efforts and help from family and friends
  • You find it difficult to concentrate on work/school assigments or to carry out other everday activities
  • You work excessively, expect the worst... or are constantly on edge
  • Your actions such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs or being aggresssive are harming you or others. 


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