What is play therapy?
Using a child’s primary communication method, play therapy incorporates games, activities and play to help address and resolve a variety of problems. Play therapy allows children, ages 3-12 years of age, to learn about themselves, and explore relationships and the world around them in a safe and confidential setting with a trained child specialist.
How does Play Therapy work?
“Toys work like a child’s words, and play is the child’s language.”(Landreth, 2002) Through the analysis of play, trained professionals identify concerns and weaknesses. After rapport and trust is established, a therapist can help to facilitate change. Play therapists help develop a child’s insight, effective communication skills, healthy emotional expression, problem solving skills, and relational skills. Additionally, therapists work on rational thought processes, behavior modification, resolve internal and external conflicts, and help promote healthy solutions. Through this process children learn to identify and cope with difficult emotions and behavioral issues.
Play therapy is used for a variety of mental and emotional health conditions including anxiety, depression, anger management, grief, loss, divorce, trauma, and child abuse. Additionally, play therapy can be used to treat behavioral disorders including, ADHD, spectrum disorders, social skills development, learning disabilities, conduct disorder and oppositional defiance.