My mission is to encourage the unique development and emotional growth of children through the process of play therapy, a dynamic interpersonal relationship between me and the child/young adult/teenager.
My vision is to continually upskill and to provide the highest quality of therapeutic interventions to meet the individual nature of my clients needs.
Parents of a Teenager
Mother of a 8 year old boy
Hi, my name is Maria Ryan.
I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist who specialises in the use of play as a medium.
I qualified as a child and adolescent psychotherapist from the Children’s Therapy Centre, in Westmeath in 2008. This is Irelands leading training centre for play therapists and psychotherapists. Its co-founder and core trainer is Eileen Prendiville, author of contemporary books and chapters in the field of play therapy, co-founder and former directive of C.A.R.I.
I have since completed specialised training in Theraplay™ Training – Level 1 and working towards Theraplay™ Certification, sand tray therapy, trauma and group therapy. I have a special interest in working with young adults and teenagers. I am passionate about the rights of children and having their voice heard and respected.
I work in private practice in north Dublin and I also work in school settings.
I work with children, young adults, teenagers and adults using a combined method of play, creative arts and talking therapy. I incorporate an intrinsic parallel process of supporting parents, carers and professionals to understand the dynamics of the play therapy process and place huge emphasis on supporting the child’s environment, where possible, to create the most optimal conditions for therapy and an enhanced way of life, both for the child and their family and potentially their surrounding networks.
I am accredited by IAPTP and IAHIP and engage in critical continuous professional development practices which support and enrich my practice. I take great care in developing the vital therapeutic relationship upon which all healing is based.
If you need to contact me, please do not hesitate to do on the contact link.
Play Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses play to help unravel and help resolve mixed up feelings in children and young adults. Children with mixed up feelings can often exhibit disruptive and concerning behaviours and can cause distress to themselves as well as to those around them.
As adults we use discussion to get to explore our complex feelings. As children operate at different developmental levels and play is present throughout all these stages, it can be more useful to use play to help explore their thoughts, feelings and problems. Words can be useful, but when feelings become too big, too many and overwhelming, it can be very hard to find the words to explain this. Play takes the pressure from trying to find the words and encourages the language that children use every day: play.
So, how is play therapy different from play? The difference is in the relationship between the therapist and the client. This therapeutic relationship offers opportunities for healing and repair. The play therapist is an informed container of the child’s therapeutic work providing a unique understanding of the childs inner world.
Any child can attend play therapy. As part of the relationship the child gains a greater understanding of themselves and the world they live in. It helps make sense of their world.
Children who attended play therapy, have also shown growth in areas such as self concept, self confidence, resiliency, problem solving skills, communication, concentration and self esteem.
Teenagers who have attended play therapy found the mixed method of talk and play beneficial, particularly in the stuck moments where the words don’t and can’t come out.
I have also worked with adults who requested the mixed method as mentioned above. Sometimes, the words can’t be said and using art or creative means to access hard to reach emotions can be more gentle and healing at the same time.