Play therapy is a therapeutic method and tool for children with emotional and social difficulties caused by trauma, mental illness, or certain developmental delays.
We use the natural language of children – the language of play – to help children develop and improve self-expression and communication skills, emotional regulation, self-esteem, social skills, creative problem-solving, stress management, and self-control.
Risks and Benefits of Play Therapy
Since children often discuss or re-enact unpleasant life experiences through play, they may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness while in play therapy. This is part of the healing process.
Play therapists offer opportunities for children to process emotions healthily and constructively. Play therapy has numerous benefits, including better relationships, coping skills, increased self-esteem, and reduced feelings of distress.
Would my child benefit from play therapy?
Play therapy is not appropriate for every child. However, kids can generally benefit under the following circumstances:
- Adjustment difficulties due to divorce, changing schools, remarriage, losing a loved one, relocating, etc.
- Social difficulties (such as troublemaking, disrespecting others, anger, and school problems)
- Trauma (such as abuse/neglect, witnessing domestic violence, scary medical procedures)
- Developmental Disorders (such as Autism, ADHD, and learning disorders.)
Play Therapy Can Improve:
- Social Skills
- Self Esteem
- Problem Solving Skills
- Coping Skills
- Emotional Healing
- Behavioral Issues
- Family Relationships
What is the first appointment like?
Generally, we ask that you attend the first appointment alone (without your child present) so that we can discuss your child's struggles, strengths and decide if play therapy is appropriate for your child's needs.
The second appointment is when the therapist will meet your child. Typically, children like to have their parent or guardian stay in the room with them during this appointment. As children build a relationship of trust and warmth with their therapist, they usually get more comfortable attending sessions alone (while their parent or guardian is in the waiting room).
Your child's play therapist will check in with you periodically to get updates on how things are going at school and home and collaborate with you to best meet your child's needs.