Play Therapy

We are delighted to have Play Therapist Helen O’Brien working here at The Children’s Clinic. Helen provides play therapy for children with a wide range of emotional and behavioural difficulties such as bereavement, anxiety, anger, separation/divorce, bullying/bullied, self-esteem issues, trauma, learning difficulties.

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Play Therapy is a mode of therapy that helps children understand painful experiences and upsetting feelings. As play is a child’s natural form of expression, it can allow them communicate at their own level without having to put their feelings into words. Play allows the child to release needs, fears and wishes. It also helps them to address emotional and behavioural difficulties. My task is to build a trusting relationship with the child, showing them a consistent warmth, empathy and respect. I interact with them in their play, following their lead and help them to make sense of their world.


Play therapy can be very supportive

for children who have experienced:


  • Bereavement
  • Anxiety
  • Bullying (bully / victim)
  • Poor Social skills
  • Parental Separation / Divorce
  • Parental drug / alcohol addiction
  • Low self-confidence
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Depression
  • Defiant behaviour
  • Mood swings or inappropriate emotional responses


How Many Sessions Are Recommended?

Sessions are usually scheduled for 50 minutes, at a set weekly time. Some children benefit from 8/12 sessions, others may require longer interventions.

The specifics of a child’s treatment plan will be individually created based on their specific needs, and re-evaluated during parent/guardian consultations held regularly throughout the treatment.



My name is Helen O Brien. I hold a Higher Diploma in Non­Directive Play Therapy, as well as a BA (Hons) Degree in Psychology, a Montessori Teaching Diploma and a Life and Executive Coaching Diploma. I’m a member of the Irish Play Therapy Association and work according to their Ethical Framework.

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What will I need to do?

Your role is very important in supporting your child through the process. Although the sessions will be enjoyable, it is also likely that during the time with me they will face some important issues and emotions. This may be quite unsettling for them and sometimes things get worse before they get better. This may result in a behavioural change within home or school. We will meet regularly and I can guide you on how best to help and support your child.

Good communication between all of the adults involved in the child’s life is essential to achieve the best results. If you are unsure about anything, have concerns or questions, or would like more information, please do not hesitate to ask.

Some parents/guardians often delay seeking help because they worry that they will be blamed for their children’s behaviour. Feeling responsible for a child’s distress or problems is a normal part of caring. The fact that you have the commitment to start addressing the difficulty is a significant part of helping your child. Remember I am here to help – never judge.




If you would like more information you can visit the Irish Play Therapy Association website Do contact me on 0868157873, see my Facebook page at Helens Play Therapy or email I will be delighted to help in any way I can.




If you know a child whom you feel would benefit from play therapy, please contact me at or call me on 0868157873. I am happy to discuss any potential referrals over the phone.

Parents/Guardians can directly refer children to me.


Helen works with Children 3 – 12 yrs. She works here at The Children’s Clinic Cork on a Monday afternoon and a Saturday morning.

For more information on Play Therapy see

 For more information about Play Therapy or to book an appointment, you can contact Helen on 086 815 7873 or email her at