What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is a type of therapy that allows children to speak in their own language. Children struggle to be able to articulate feelings, emotions, and experiences. Through play, children are able to change the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of the concern to provide resolutions. The language that children speak is play with their use of words which are toys. Play therapists are trained to assess and understand a child’s play and teaches coping strategies to deal with difficulties, which provides healthier solutions. The toys can provide a safe distance from the child’s feelings that the problem can then be expressed and explored. When a child is in play therapy they can develop problem solving skills that allows them to grow, communicate and relate with others, modify behaviors, and express feelings. Play therapy allows children to learn from an adult and teach an adult about what is happening in their mind and in their inner world. Play therapy can be utilized with all ages but the most beneficial ages range from 3 to 12.
“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” – Friedrich Froebel
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Why Play Therapy?
Sometimes children start misbehaving or acting out because they have drained their own problem solving tools. Play therapists are trained to be with the child in a unique way that honors their developmental level and allows the child to express themselves, cope with emotions, understand and accept themselves and others, resolve their own difficulties, and develop successful/creative problem solving tools through play. A unique, trusting, and safe relationship is formed and the therapist provides a safe space for the child to naturally explore life’s challenges, and provide a corrective emotional experience that allows for healing. Play is a way for a child to express what is troubling them when they are unable to verbally express their feelings and thoughts. In the playroom all problems and concerns big or small can be challenged and lasting resolutions can be learned to implement into lifelong strategies. Therapy give your child the ability to expand self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-efficacy.