What is play therapy?

Play therapy is a special process that focuses on children’s need to express themselves through the use of play and toys.  In this process a wide variety of toys are made available to children to encourage the expression of emotional concerns. A trained play therapist interacts in play to the point that the child allows, and throughout this play, the therapist can pick up on the child’s needs, challenges, and points of encouragement.

Why play therapy for children?

Developmentally, children do not communicate in the same way as adults.  Children are unable to understand and talk about their feelings the way adults do and this makes adult therapies inappropriate in meeting children’s special needs. Children can recreate, in play, the experiences that are part of their anger, fears, sadness, or frustrations currently influencing their behavior.

What happens in play therapy?

Through the play therapy process with a trained play therapist who provides a safe and understanding environment, children create play that resembles the emotional experiences they are struggling with internally. Play becomes a language, and toys the words through which children communicate.

How can play therapy help my child?

Through the play therapy process, children can change their personal view of events in the world and begin to better enjoy their interactions with others. When facilitated by a trained therapist, play becomes focused on emotional purposes. Play therapy is helpful for treating a wide variety of issues including: trauma, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, aggressive behaviors, somatic issues, and adjustment issues.