We provide services to children ages 3 to 10 using Play Therapy.
What is Play Therapy?
Child play therapy is a way of being with the child that honors their unique developmental level and looks for ways of helping in the “language” of the child – play. Licensed mental health professionals therapeutically use play to help their clients, most often children ages 3 to 12 years, to better express themselves and resolve their problems (Association of Play Therapy).
Why Play Therapy?
Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002; O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983). Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings (Gil, 1991). In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language (Landreth, 2002).
How does Play Therapy work?
Play therapy is utilized to help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems (Moustakas, 1997; Reddy, Files-Hall, & Schaefer, 2005). By confronting problems in the clinical play therapy setting, children find healthier solutions. Play therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns (Kaugars & Russ, 2001).
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Children who are experiencing sadness, depression, grief, anxiety, and other issues can often benefit from counseling. The most natural way for therapists to engage with kids is through play, because play is the language of the child. Play is how kids best relate with others, communicate, and integrate their experiences.
Play therapy is generally scheduled one time per week, with each weekly session lasting about 50 minutes in length. Parent sessions with and without the child will also be an integral part of a children’s therapeutic journey.
Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach that creates a space in which children utilize toys and other materials to process their feelings and experiences and resolve internal conflicts. Through play kids can learn emotional regulation, adaptive behaviors, as well as emotional and social skills.
Play Therapy can be used to treat such things as: