Enter into children’s play and you will find the place where their minds, hearts, and souls meet.
Play is a biological need. Play helps us learn appropriate social interactions. Play is used to help the child feel accepted. Play and emotions go hand in hand.
Play Therapy is a developmentally appropriate way of working with children by using the child’s natural form of communication – play – to solve problems. Play is used to help children gain insight, learn and practice more effective strategies to deal with feelings and emotions, gain new social skills and practice positive communication without the child sometimes even noticing! This is done through therapeutic play, games, sand tray and even art.
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy differs from regular play as the play therapist helps children address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them. Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play can provide a safe distance from problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their current development.
What does Play Therapy help?
Play therapy helps children:
- Become more responsible for their behaviors and develop more successful strategies to manage emotions
- Develop new and creative solutions to problems
- Develop respect and acceptance of self and others
- Learn to experience and express emotion
- Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others
- Learn new social skills and relational skills
- Develop self-efficacy and a better assuredness about their abilities
Play therapy aims to help a child’s growth and development and teach them skills regarding everyday life problems (i.e. divorce, school issues, adoption or foster care placement, sibling problems, attachment, ADHD, anxiety or even depression). Play Therapy can also be offered from a Christian perspective, please speak with your therapist about this desire if you choose.