What is play therapy?*

Play therapy is an established and recognized method of helping children to express themselves through the use of play and toys. Children are encouraged to play in an environment that is safe and understanding. They are given access to a wide variety of toys to encourage the expression of emotional concerns.

Why play therapy for children?

Children cannot communicate with words as adults do. The method children use to release their emotions and sort out their experiences is through play. Through play children can recreate the experiences that are a part of their anger, fears, sadness, or frustrations. They can create therapeutic play at their own developmental level and recreate emotionally stressful events with the care and support of their therapist and in a safe environment.

How can play therapy help my child?

Through play therapy children can change the way they see and react to events that happen in their world. When children recreate their frustrations or disappointments and then are able to change the way they experience these events through play, they begin to enjoy more of their play and this translates to them enjoying and feeling more comfortable with life events.

Play Therapy is an evidence-based treatment approach for children as young as 1 year old that helps to identify and resolve children’s problems. Play therapists recognize play as a child’s first language and a safe avenue for children to express thoughts and feelings that would otherwise remain hidden. Therefore, the play therapy process builds on the child’s normal communication level by creating activities and an environment for children to communicate in a safe, comfortable, and playful manner.

At its core, play therapy is a powerful and effective tool that gives children a voice and allows them to make sense of their world. Engagement in this type of therapy has multiple benefits including resolution of distress, empowerment of the child, enhanced self-esteem, improved social skills, and behavior modification. My play therapy work addresses a wide range of issues, including:

  • Parent/Child relationship
  • Trauma
  • Attachment difficulties
  • Adoption
  • Abuse and Neglect
  • Bullying
  • Foster care
  • Grief and Loss
  • Divorce
  • Abandonment
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Behavioral concerns
  • Life transitions
  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Family conflict
  • Low self-esteem
  • Communication issues
  • Mood instability
  • Impulsivity
  • Parenting concerns
  • Identity issues
  • Sensory issues
  • Self-harm behaviors
  • Phobias or fears
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Eating issues
  • Social skills difficulties

For additional information on the benefits and process of play therapy, please visit www.a4pt.org.

*information found on this page has been adapted from www.a4pt.org