Play therapy is a special, therapeutic approach for working with children, adolescents, and their families and care providers. Play is the language children use to express themselves. Usually, children have not developed the cognitive or verbal skills that adults use to discuss their feelings in the traditional therapy format. Structured therapeutic play is a safe container for children to express the concerns and issues they are struggling with. Some of the benefits of play therapy include:
- Children can work through their problems using play.
- Children can communicate their ideas, feelings, and experiences nonverbally.
- Children can re-create and then resolve events, such as divorce, trauma, abuse, or the death of a parent or family member in play.
How Does Play Therapy Work?
A qualified play therapist is able to guide the play of children in ways that are therapeutic and healing. Parents, family members, and care providers are often included in this process. Having all members included allows the therapist to observe and interpret the full range of relational dynamics that are important to the child or adolescent. The play therapist is then able to enter into the child’s world and, from there, offer appropriate suggestions and interventions.
Children Learn What They Live
If children live with hostility,
they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
they learn to be shy.
If children live with tolerance,
they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement,
they learn confidence.
If children live with praise,
they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness,
they learn justice.
If children live with security,
they learn faith.If children live with approval,
they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance, and friendship,
they learn to find love in the world.
Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph. D.
Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching
them what counts is best.
Thank-you sooooo much for helping me. I had fun and I learned a lot.” – Female, age 11