Play Therapy for Children
Play therapy helps children express what is bothering them when they do not have the words or verbal ability to adequately express thoughts and feelings.
Through play, children are able to work through what is troubling them. We are able to help children learn healthier and more adaptive behaviors.
According to the Association for Play therapy, the definition of play therapy is as follows:
“Play therapy is the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development (APT, 2015).”
The Association for Play Therapy has an extensive body of evidence based research to support the effectiveness of play therapy. You can read more at this link.
The relationship that develops between the child and therapist during sessions provides a repairative emotional experience lending to healing and strengthening the child’s sense of self.
In support of a child’s growth and healing in play therapy, we work very closely with parents and often other family members in order to facilitate positive shifts in the parent–child relationships and the whole family dynamic.
Some play therapists use a very particular approach called Child Centered Play Therapy which is at least the theoretical and essential foundation for all play therapy. Over the years, other approaches to play therapy have developed out of that foundation including more directive or facilitative play therapy methods.