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with Martin Ledvinka

"Playing together spontaneously allows children to feel their emotions, to express them through the activity of play and to integrate them into their own life story."


Feeling safe and accepted regardless of limitations, problems or special needs... this is the key to opening the full potential of every human being. Through actual action/emotion we seek a sense of belonging and awareness of self. The space of spontaneous play allows children to perceive their own feelings, express them through the authentic activity of play and thus integrate them into their own life story.

Healing Game is a program for supporting the potential of children with specific and individual needs. Its theory is based on the concept of developmental psychology of the Canadian scientist Gordon Neufeld and his concept of attachment, as well as the concept of nervous system regulation in the context of the child-adult relationship of the American psychotherapist Lisa Dion. Actual play itself can take various forms, as it always depends on the individual child, the topics s/he brings up and the way in which s/he projects them into play. But each time, what’s the same is that by playing together, we create a space where the child can express himself/herself spontaneously. Through our relationship within the play, he or she can experience a sense of security and competence in relation to the theme that runs through the play. From the safety of play, we can experience different ways of dealing with the topic, how to feel (or not feel) it, how to relate to it. By playing freely together, we find a way to feel our own emotions and touch the wounded places within us. Not to hide them from ourselves. Only in this way can children be whole, true and safe, and only in this way can they blossom into their full potential.


Martin Ledvinka
Free-play Facilitator

In my work I focus mainly on playing with children, for whom play is not obvious and easy. I play with children who are unconventional, have behavioural challenges, are emotionally unpredictable, aggressive or perhaps anxious. The principle of the program is based on the simple premise that play is children's most natural way of interacting with the world, allowing them to be authentic and in touch with their emotions. In play, I follow children into their world. I build the connection, seek for understanding, encourage the child's authentic play, and help them feel the emotions that emerge. Play is not for real but emotions always are. If there are two of us, we can change the context in which we perceive them, we can feel differently, not be consumed by the emotion, but simply experience it and feel safe. Through spontaneous action, I help children integrate experiences or feelings that are pressing or painful for them. But in play we rejoice no matter what the issue at hand and that’s the miracle.

Healing Game is a program of individual long-term work. In addition, I also work with groups of children in schools, nurseries and other institutions or run group play sessions for parents and children. For more information about the program and other spontaneous play offerings, visit


MICHAL ŘEPA (preschool teacher)

For my work, Martin's playing with children has a clearly diagnostic role, both individually - I observe temperament (often hidden), emotions, motor skills, etc., as well as in groups - here I see the dynamics of the group, cooperation, mutual relations, roles... In terms of play as therapy, I see here the unique role of play for letting off steam and for fearful children the opportunity for safe contact. What I admire about you, Martin, is your patience and I like your approach to children, which is sometimes too "soft" for me.

RHEA (her son had been working with Martin for over two years)

Martin began work with my son age 9years after I was struggling to know how to help him. I knew he had some attachment difficulties and there were also concerns about neurodevelopmental problems. My son struggled to relate and to play, and felt unsafe in his body having had a major operation when he was 5yrs old. Martin engaged my son in play sessions very skilfully. His reflections to me as a parent helped me to also understand some new perspectives that I hadn’t considered and I began to adopt some new practices at home e.g with massage, -something that he had never previously been open to receiving. I believe the work Martin did with my son enabled Him to be more open in his relationship with me and also to feel more at ease in himself. My son for the first time was able to start participating in martial arts classes, something that he continued for many years to come. Martin has an amazingly open attitude and aptitude for this kind of work as well as a true depth of compassion and capacity for empathy which was what my son truly needed, having tested so many other professionals to their limits. I believe he has a natural talent for this kind of work with children and would highly recommend him. Unfortunately our work ended prematurely due to covid and my son then having grown so much older, but I feel my son’s experience with Martin has left him with some very valuable deep knowledge that will help him as a resource, as he goes forward in life.

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