Play Therapy

Hand in Hand are delighted to announce that we are now able to offer Play Therapy in our new Cancer Support Centre in Loughrea, County Galway. Play Therapy will be available through Hand in Hand for families throughout Ireland affected by childhood cancer. The new service is available for children affected by childhood cancer, either their own diagnosis, or the diagnosis of an immediate family member. Children use play to communicate, and play therapy assists them to express and work through their feelings.

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy allows a child time, and space to play out and express their feelings through their most natural method of communication; play. Sessions, by appointment only, are 40 minutes long and are non-directive and non- investigative in nature, whereby the child leads the session and the therapist follows. The new playroom within our centre holds the play therapy ‘tool kit’ which includes sand, clay, puppets, role play, art materials, therapeutic stories, creative visualisations and music/movement.

The aim is that when the child feels comfortable they will begin to express the negative or difficult emotions through their play, the therapist is able to track and observe what is happening and gently guide the child when necessary.  The therapist provides the space which allows the child to play as they need to with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary (for physical and emotional safety). All play therapy sessions are confidential, details of the sessions shall only be disclosed in line with child protection procedures.

Denise Gordon, Hand in Hand’s play therapist,  is a graduate of N.U.I.Galway and the Academy of Child and Play Psychotherapy. She has completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy (NFQ: Level 9), holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Practice Based Play Therapy (NFQ:Level 9) and is a Parent Child Attachment Play Practitioner. As well as this Denise has completed her Degree in Arts with Children Studies (NUIG, NFQ: Level 8). Denise has also attended training in Theraplay (Level 1) and Didactic Developmental Psychotherapy & Parenting.

For more information please contact us on 091 880 360 or email