Helplink Mental Health
Counselling, Education & Information

Play Therapy

Play Therapy Galway & Mayo Play Therapists by Helplink


Play Therapy in  Galway and Mayo with Helplink, is for children aged 3 to 10 years old.
For older children aged 10-12, we offer our Creative Therapy service and a Youth Counselling service.


Play Therapy allows children the time and space to work out what may be troubling them; supporting each child to fulfill their full potential.

Most importantly, it allows them to express their feelings through their most natural method of communication – PLAY.

We believe play is one of the most important vehicles for children to know and accept themselves and others.


Play Therapy Dolls Helplink


Our Galway and Mayo Play Therapy and Creative Therapy appointments are 45 minutes long.

The appointments are non-directive and non-investigative in nature. This means, the child leads the sessions and the therapist follows. In addition, the rooms Helplink provides hold the play therapy ‘tool kit’ which includes:

  • sand
  • clay
  • puppets
  • role play
  • art materials
  • therapeutic stories
  • creative visualisations
  • music/movement

Play Therapy Helplink


We want to make sure that all children feel comfortable at our sessions. Due to this, we encourage the child to express the negative or difficult emotions through their actions. The therapist is able to track and observe what is happening and gently guide the session when necessary. The therapist provides the space which allows the child/young person to play as they need to.  As a result, our sessions have as little limits as possible but as many as is necessary for physical and emotional safety.

Please Note: all play/creative therapy sessions are confidential. Therefore, details of the sessions shall only be disclosed in line with child protection procedures.


Galway Play Therapy Room

Galway Play Therapy Room

Who is this play therapy for?

We believe at Helplink that any child over the age of 3 years can benefit from play therapy. This type of therapy nurtures creative thinking, builds self-esteem, confidence, resilience and much more. Furthermore, play therapy can be specifically used to support children with any emotional or behavioural difficulties. Ones who have suffered bereavement/loss, suffering with anxiety. Also, it can help children who are having any family issues. Naming only a few, there are a wide range of benefits for children from Play and Creative Therapy.

Creative therapy is for older children aged 11 to 15 as above this service can assist these children across multiple areas. At this time appointments are only available in Galway City and Castlebar, Mayo.



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Our 8 year old son attended play therapy with Denise Gordon for 8 sessions and starting week 3 we noticed changes in his confidence, self-esteem, and social skills. After every session he was skipping from happiness. He loved the sessions with Denise. He has lost all the anxiety he had before, has been able to establish more friendships and has learned to calm down much quicker. My son has formed better relationships with his little brothers too. In our opinion Denise has had a great influence on him and we would bring him back to her if an issues arises

Anonymous Helplink Testimonials 25th June 2019

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I did just want to drop you a quick line to say thanks for all the work you did with our son this year. He is much more content, and has none of the issues he had when we first made the referral. He still experiences big emotions, but seems better able to manage and understand them, and even better still he can now say he is proud of himself which is not something I expected. This was something he never said before and would shy away from, but he has grown in confidence over the last number of months.

Parent of an 8 year old Child Helplink Testimonials 13th July 2018

Our Play/Creative Therapists


Helplink Play Therapist Anne Cahill

Anne Cahill: is a graduate of St Nicholas Montessori College Ireland & has many years experience working with children. She holds a primary degree in Education & Training (NUI, Galway) along with a Post Graduate Diploma in Practice Based Play Therapy, awarded by NUI Galway & the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy (QQI Level 9). Anne is a member of Play Therapy Ireland & her work is guided by Play Therapy International’s Ethical Framework. Anne is supervised, insured & Garda Vetted



Helplink Play Therapist Karel DalyKarel Daly: Karel qualified as a Play Therapist and Psychotherapist from the Children’s Therapy Centre (CTC) (Diploma in Play Therapy & Psychotherapy)in2011. She is a accredited member of the Irish Association of Play Therapy and Psychotherapy (IAPTP). Karel’s experience includes working with children with Autism, Anxiety, Behavioural problems and children who have experienced trauma, abuse, bereavement and loss. She also has extensive experience in dyad work with parents and children.  In addition this this she has completed a two year programme in Systematic Constellation Therapy, incorporating the traditional teachings of Bert Hellinger. Karel has also completed the Principles of Art Therapy Certificate with CTC.



Fee for appointments:

If either parent/caregiver is working the fee for one appointment is 65 Euro*

However, if both parents/caregivers (or if lone parent) are (is) unemployed or full-time students one appointment is 45 Euro

Please note: if you want to cancel or postpone your appointment you must do so 48 hours in advance. Consequently, a cancellation fee may apply.