What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is a type of treatment which uses play to guide change, encourage growth, and help children overcome their own difficulties. We use the natural language of children, play, to meet treatment goals.
How Does Play Therapy Work?
Play therapy promotes the connection between a therapist and a child in a safe, contained environment. Using toys, art, sand, and other expressive modalities we encourage children to express their own experiences, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This gives children distance from the problem to explore, rehearse and master new ways of behaving, interacting, and coping. We hold and validate your child’s emotional experiences. Fantasies, fears, aggressive urges, and emotional needs are explored through the play.
Benefits of Play Therapy
In the playroom, your child can practice different roles or behaviors. For children who struggle to express themselves with words, play can be a powerful vehicle for healing. Time in the playroom can deepen self-exploration, enhance problem-solving, and increase joy. Play therapy can change the interactions between you and your child.
Children often show improvements in development and emotional regulation. Also, the relationship between the therapist and your child is unique and can provide a corrective emotional experience following difficulties in previous relationships.
Who is Play Therapy for?
Play therapy is useful for all ages, but especially children 3 through 12. It is most effective when parents and families play a role in the process. We will work closely with your family to decide how you should be involved. That could mean you actively participate in sessions and receive coaching from us. Other times, your child might benefit from individual time in the playroom, with therapist-parent check-ins to carry gains over in the home. We may suggest different strategies you can use at home to help.
How Long Does it Take?
Play therapy sessions are usually weekly, for 10-20 sessions. Length of the treatment depends on the goals and progress of the child.
We can help your child learn to handle her feelings and express her thoughts while supporting your connection and bond with your child.