Learning about Play Therapy
What is play therapy?
Play therapy is a special time when children use dolls, puppets, art materials and sandplay to communicate or play out how they feel. In play therapy, toys are like the child’s words, and play is the child’s language. Counselors use play therapy to help children to become more successful in their worlds through sharing their stories, expressing what is troubling them and learning new ways of relating to others and to themselves.
Who can use play therapy?
In the process of growing up, most children experience difficulty adjusting at one time or another. Play therapy sessions benefit children who need a little extra support in facing the demands of their days, in the classroom, with peers and at home. Play is also valuable for children facing challenging times or situations in their lives such as divorce, death or illness in the family.
Why does play help?
The playroom is a unique place in the world of a child where they decide how they will use their time. Sessions are a place where the child can share their stories with an adult who is focused just on them. In play therapy, children find a safe and supportive place to express their fears, anger, sadness or frustration. In this way children become more free of the concerns they carry and are more able to develop and carry out successful strategies in their lives.