Play Therapy in Action
Sunshine Play Therapy


Empowering children through therapeutic play in a safe environment in the Manchester area


Sunshine Play Therapy in Action


All services provided in play therapy follow the Axline principles:


  • Develops a warm and friendly relationship with the child.
  • Accepts the child as she or he is.
  • Establishes a feeling of permission in the relationship so that the child feels free to express his or her feelings completely.
  • Is alert to recognise the feelings the child is expressing and reflects these feelings back in such a manner that the child gains insight into his or her behaviour.
  • Maintains a deep respect for the child’s ability to solve his/her problems and gives the child the opportunity to do so. The responsibility to make choices and to institute change is the child’s.
  • Does not attempt to direct the child’s actions or conversations in any manner. The child leads the way, the therapist follows.
  • Does not hurry the therapy along. It is a gradual process and must be recognised as such by the therapist.
  • Only establishes those limitations necessary to anchor the therapy to the world of reality and to make the child aware of his/her responsibility in the relationship.

Virginia Axline (1969) based her approach on the person-centred philosophy of Carl Rogers.



Sunshine Play therapy can help children with lots of different issues including:


Behavioural, social, emotional difficulties

Communication difficulties e.g. selective mutism

Looked after children (LAC)

Separation / bereavement




Delayed development

Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)

Exclusion from school

Unauthorised absences



The Sunshine Play Therapy 'toolkit'

We have a range of resources and activities that we can offer your child during a play session. This 'toolkit' is standard practice, based on Violet Oaklander's approach who was influenced by Axline. These resources include:



Arts and crafts

Puppets and masks

Dressing up

Role play


Dance and movement

Creative visualisation

Therapeutic stories

As your child leads each session, they choose their own resources and therefore may not use all the activities in the toolkit.

Telling stories in the sand.


Contact Sunshine Play Therapy by email:


Updated 2018