Play therapy is a unique approach to resolving issues and working towards personal goals that can be applicable and beneficial to all ages and stages in life. Most commonly used in counseling for children, play therapy allows the client to communicate and navigate through the therapeutic process in a more creative and nontraditional way.
Often times, children lack the self awareness or vocabulary to adequately express when their emotional needs are not being met or when they need help from a parent or teacher.
As a result, children may act out with negative attention-seeking behaviors, withdraw from their peers, worry excessively, regress emotionally, or show other symptoms to indicate that they are struggling.
Children have a natural tendency to learn, express themselves, and relate to the world through play. When paired with an experienced clinician, children can learn to identify feelings, build social skills, learn and/or improve coping skills, gain self awareness, and achieve other goals set by the therapist and the child’s family by utilizing therapeutic play.
Play Therapy Counselors
A child therapist that uses play therapy creates a nonjudgmental environment where they may use games, art, puppets, or other toys to help the child identify their feelings, talk about family stressors, or bring up other issues that they would otherwise not express. Play therapy is a highly effective treatment modality which removes the direct pressure to speak, found in more traditional psychotherapy. When children are able to use their most natural means of communication, play, they are more likely to participate in treatment and express themselves with greater ease.
About Play Therapy
Play therapy differs significantly from unstructured play in how it meets the unique needs of each child. The therapist strategically chooses games, toys, or other tools to shape and model desired behavior or new skills. Participating in play therapy is a great way to help children build confidence, work through emotional challenges, reduce behavioral issues, learn problem solving skills, and learn to express their feelings and needs in the home, school, or other social settings.
If you would like to speak with a therapist about using therapeutic play in child counseling, or if you need assistance in determining if your family might benefit from play therapy, call or email today.