"Play is the child's language"
Play Therapy is a structured theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal
communicative processes of children. Therapists utilize play therapy to help children express what is
bothering them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts or feelings. In play
therapy, the toys are like the child's words and the play is the child's language. Through play
therapy children are helped to learn more adaptive behaviors when there are social or emotional deficits.
The positive relationship of trust that develops between the therapist and child, can provide a corrective
emotional experience necessary for healing. Play therapy allows the child to explore their emotions in a
safe environment. Through play therapy children learn to communicate with others, express feelings,
modify behaviors, develop problem solving skills, cope with trauma, and learn new ways of relating to
others. Even the most troubling problems can be confronted in play therapy.
Play Therapy is most appropriate for children ages 3 through 12 years or age. Some teenagers and
adults have also benefited from play techniques. Quite often it can take an average of 20 weekly
sessions to resolve the problems of the typical child referred for therapy. Some children improve at a
faster rate while other more serious problems may take longer to resolve. Play therapists must have
experience and expertise in this area of treatment.
PLAY THERAPY HELPS CHILDREN:
. Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies
. Develop new and creative solutions to problems
. Develop respect and acceptance of others
. Learn to experience and express emotions
. Learn new social skills and relational skills with family and others
. Develop increased self-esteem and more confidence in their abilities
. Learn how to cope with frustration and anger
. Learn how to emotional handle trauma
. Learn how to deal with divorce of parents
. Learn how to handle death or illness
. Variety of other emotional issues