Marianna Kassai is a Play Therapist registered with BAPT and BACP and works at The Private Therapy Clinic, London. Marianna studied psychology related to child education and wellbeing at UCL and graduated as a Play Therapist at The University of Roehampton.
Marianna works with children aged 4-12 and her area of competence is facilitating therapeutic process using Play as a medium to assist the client towards growth.
Marianna uses non directive play therapy approach where the child is free to chose to play in almost any way he or she feels at a particular moment. Marianna follows the child’s lead, reflects on what the child communicates either verbally or though play to help him or her to make sense of his or her experience.
Among many benefits play has for children, communication and self expression using carefully selected therapeutic toys and resources supported by a trusting relationship in a safe environment is the main feature of play therapy.
Once, the referral for the child to attend play therapy is received, Marianna will discuss whether play therapy is the right approach for the child with her supervisor. The initial parent meeting is organised to explore the parents ongoing concerns, expectations and the child’s needs. Upon meeting the child, Marianna will also therapeutically communicate the reasons why the child is attending ‘special play time’, she provides safe space for the child to express his or her worries, concerns and feelings about their experience and reflect on these.
Play Therapy and how does it work
We can not take away the child’s hurt, but what we can do is to restore the child’s capacity for growth and development. As it is difficult to live with buried experiences, sometimes children need therapy to help them to deal with sudden trauma, shock, or helplessness before they are able to process their experience fully.
Marianna provides safe and confidential space for the children to express their concerns through play and communicates that she is able to carry the burden with them. Marianna accepts the child as he or she is and therefore helps them develop appreciation for their play as well as themselves. In non directive Play Therapy, children learn that their feelings can be safely expressed and explored without being deliberately taught how to in a safe confidential environment and trusting relationship with Marianna. The Play Therapy process helps children to change perspectives on their challenging life events and therefore eliminates suffering related to these. Changes of perspectives later translate into the child’s behaviours and attitudes.
Marianna has an experience of direct therapeutic service in school settings and working with families in private households internationally. She works with children who face challenges related to trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, anxieties, chronic medical illness, abuse, loss and separation, divorce, single parenting, substance abuse in the family, domestic violence, bereavement, aggression, selective mutism, difficulties with relationships, giftedness, low self esteem and stress.