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 4-14 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 your child is free to choose to play in almost any way he or she feels at a particular moment. Marianna follows your 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. Although, Play Therapy is a dynamic and process oriented approach rather than goal oriented, some amount of direction can be implemented depending on the child’s progress. Similarly, elements of other types of therapy, such as CBT, Gestalt or Psychoanalytic can be integrated as well.
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.
Marianna also uses Filial Therapy to support parents and caregivers and assists them to strenghten their relationships with children, parenting skills, understand their children better, collaboratively explore the parent’s reactions to challenging events, decrease the levels of stress in the family. By Filial Therapy Marianna supports parents to conduct special play sessions with their children, supervises and guides them to eventually become the primary agents of change of their child’s behaviour.
Once, the referral for your child to attend play therapy is received, Marianna will discuss the benefits of play therapy for the child with her supervisor. The initial parent meeting is organised to explore the parents ongoing concerns, expectations and your child’s needs. Upon meeting your child, Marianna will also therapeutically communicate why he or she is attending ‘special play time’. Marianna provides safe space for the child to express his or her worries, concerns and feelings about their experience and reflect on these. If necessary, Marianna coordinates with other professionals and agencies, such as schools, practitioners, or social services. Therefore provide the best support and promote your child’s wellbeing as a team.
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 your child as he or she is and therefore helps to develop appreciation for play as well as for himself or herself. 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. 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, bereavement, single parenting, substance abuse in the family, domestic violence, aggression, selective mutism, difficulties with relationships, giftedness, low self esteem and stress.