Connecting Kidz

Mari Corbin Play Theraphy
Mari Corbin
Address Moreleta Park,
Telephone 083 234 3851
E-mail E-mail


What is Play therapy?

Young children usually do not have the verbal or emotional ability to verbalise a traumatic experience, but are able to do so through the process of play - indeed this is their natural medium of communication.

Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, children use play to communicate at their level and at their pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened as play allows them a safe psychological distance from their problems. It is a healing process which provides children with a nurturing environment in which to express themselves. In addition, the therapeutic relationship is often curative in itself.

The aim of Play therapy it to assist children to cope with emotional stress, to improve their level of emotional maturity and to allow them to understand muddled feelings and upsetting events.

Who can benefit from play therapy?

Play Therapy can be useful for any child of 4 years and above. It can help your child to become aware of feelings and how these feelings manifest in behaviour.

Play therapy can address issues related to:

• Self concept & self esteem
• Social interaction difficulties eg. sibling rivalry, bullying.
• Relationship with family members and friends
• Adapting to new situations (such as a new school or family set-up).
• Symptomatic behavior (stomach or headaches, anxiousness, depression, bed-wetting etc.)
• Trauma (such as divorce, sexual abuse, the death of a parent, burglary etc.)
• Fear, anxiety & nightmares
• Aggressive behaviour
• Shyness
• Grief

Treatment focuses on facilitation of high self-esteem, emotional awareness, expression of emotions, assertiveness and communication skills. Parents are also assisted to be part of this treatment.

How can play therapy help my child?

Play therapy will help your child:

• deal with painful emotional issues,
• achieve some congruence with regard to thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
• feel good about themselves.
• accept their limitations and strengths and to feel okay about them.
• change behaviours that have negative consequences.
• function comfortably and adaptively within his/her environment.
• maximize the opportunity to pursue developmental milestones.

How can parents participate in play therapy?

The parents or caregivers play a very important role in therapy as they are such an important part of the child’s world. They are able to support the child in his process of becoming a stronger person. The therapist works closely with the parents or caregivers and empowers them by means of guidelines to understand and deal with the child.

What is the process?

The therapist begin by meeting with the parents (first consultation FREE) so that I can get a sense of the child’s history and an understanding of your concerns. The meeting will also provide me with a picture of the kinds of stresses the family have been through and this will help me understand the context in which your child’s difficulties have formed and allow me to help your child make sense of it all. The meeting will also allow you to get a sense of me and to decide if you feel comfortable with choosing me as your child’s play therapist. I also provide you with more information as to how play therapy may be employed to help your child.

More about the therapist

Mari Corbin obtained her Honours degree in Psychology in 2005 and her Masters degree in Play therapy in 2007. She worked voluntarily for 4 years at the Tygerbear Social Work Unit for Traumatised Children and Families. She practised as a Play Therapist in private practice at Jan van Riebeeck Primary School and St. Cyprians Preparatory School in Cape Town from 2008-2014. She is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a Counsellor and Pyschometrist in Independent / Private Practice. Mari is also a member of the Play Therapy Association of the Western Cape.

Registered with the Board of Health Care Funders (BHF). Costs of treatment are claimable from standard medical aid scemes.

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