The non-directive play therapy is a form of counselling that uses play to communicate with and help especially children, to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges. This is thought to help them towards better social and emotional growth and development. Play therapy can also be used as a tool of diagnosis.
A play therapist observes a child playing with toys of it’s choice (play-houses, pets, dolls, sand-box, etc.) to determine the cause of the disturbed behaviour. The objects and patterns of play, as well as the willingness to interact with the therapist, can be used to understand the underlying rationale for behaviour both inside and outside the session. According to the psychodynamic view, the children will engage in play behaviour in order to work through their interior obfuscations and anxieties as long as the therapist acts non-directive. In this way, play therapy can be used as a self-help mechanism, as long as children are allowed time for “free play” or “unstructured play.”