Play therapy takes many different forms, but is always aimed at meeting a child where they are at. What that means is relating to a child at the level of expression they are most comfortable with, and using indirect techniques to help them express their feelings. Some kids can convey a lot through expressive arts, such as story-telling, drawing, and music…others may benefit from being challenged by therapeutic games that are fun and elicit information about the child’s inner world. For some children, even using the computer or playing video games can reveal a great deal. Through play therapy therapists are able to observe how a child views him or herself, how they communicate, the ways in which they regulate their emotions, navigate family and peer relationships, handle social situations, and protect themselves. Through interaction in play therapy, a therapist can help a child improve their self-esteem, gain control over their feelings, and modify their behavior. Play therapy is of particular value when children are having trouble speaking about a troubling event, or if the child’s maturity requires non-verbal means of communication. Although play therapy is routinely used with children ages 2 through 12, whether or not to use play therapy is based on the presenting issue, as well as the maturity level of the child. Sometimes, play therapy is helpful as an adjunct to another type of therapy, such as CBT, parent consulting, or psychotherapy.
Play Therapy is used for:
Anxiety, depression, ADHD, sibling rivalry, refusal to go to school, bullying, divorce, adoption, power struggles, temper tantrums, communication, and unexplainable fears