Play Therapy

play-therapy-image-smPlay can be fun and exciting, and it can also be an avenue for children to express their thoughts and emotions when they do not have the words. Play is one of the first forms of communication we have that doesn’t involve words, but involves actions that may represent what we are thinking and feeling. Children’s play can be full of information, and when they are provided an optimal environment within which to work, they can freely express themselves. With guided assistance they work to resolve negative emotions and stressors they are experiencing.

Typically, play therapy is unstructured, allowing the child to determine where they want to go in session and how they express themselves. Often, as with adults, once they are able to put words to what they are experiencing, they are better able to manage their emotions and reactions to stressors, and can better learn coping skills to utilize when encountering difficulties in the future. Play therapy can be utilized to develop effective coping skills, learn more about emotions and their meaning, and build confidence. Play therapy is most effective when parents are involved in parent support and guidance, which focuses on giving parents tools to better assist and support their child.