WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY?
Play Therapy is a method of counseling children through the use of toys, games, art and other types of play to help them process the struggles and relationships that they encounter in their lives. Children do not have the ability to verbalize their thoughts and feelings in the same way that adults do. For a child, play is the language and toys are the words. Through therapeutic play, children are able to interact and communicate in the way that is most natural for them.
WHAT IS A PLAY THERAPY OFFICE?
The Play Therapy office is the child’s world during therapy. It is equipped with therapeutic toys so that children have the freedom to express all of their emotions in a safe place with a trained therapist.
WHAT HAPPENS IN PLAY THERAPY?
Trained therapists work with children to assess and understand the meaning and metaphors of their play. The therapist helps the child express their feelings, cope with difﬁcult emotions, modify their behavior, and develop problem-solving skills.
WOULD MY CHILD BENEFIT FROM THIS TYPE OF THERAPY?
Play Therapy is especially beneﬁcial for children ages 3 to 12 years old, but may also be appropriate for older children. The belief that play is essential for the health and happiness of all people is shared by many who work in the medical and mental health professions. Research shows that Play Therapy can be effective for children struggling with life and family stressors related to separation or divorce, death, grief and loss, chronic illness and hospitalizations, trauma, abuse, natural disasters and other stressful life experiences. It is used to help with anger management, anxiety, aggression, ADHD, attachment issues, conﬂict with family or peers, deﬁant behaviors, depression, low self-esteem, poor social skills and school problems.
WILL I BE INVOLVED?
The role of the parents in a child’s healing process is very important. A child’s problems can affect and disrupt the whole family. Play therapists communicate regularly with parents and caretakers to discuss ways to support the child in their progress at home and sometimes by involving family members in the play therapy sessions.