when a child plays, they express thoughts and feelings that would otherwise remain hidden.
play therapy can help address a child's behavioral, cognitive, and emotional challenges.
licensed play therapists use play therapy to help children process their experiences and develop more effective strategies for managing the world.
With play therapy the therapist helps the child work through the issues that are creating problems. Play therapy works as it is an extension of the natural way children communicate, which is through play. It is through the play that children learn how to alter behaviors, express their feelings in an appropriate manner, solve problems, and communicate with others. Children learn to discover alternative solutions, rehearse solutions in order to use in their lives, and master issues for the long-term.
Play is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. It expands self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-efficacy. Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego (Landreth, 2002). In addition, play allows us to practice skills and roles needed for survival. Learning and development are best fostered through play (Russ, 2004).
The first session is conducted with the parent(s) alone
in order to gather a history of child behavior.