Is Your Child Dealing Anxiety or Trauma?
Play therapy is a research supported and theoretically grounded play-based approach to empower children to explore and express their feelings, and subsequently to develop more effective ways of coping with and communicating their feelings, wants, and needs. The practice of play therapy requires extensive specialized education, training, and experience. A play therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has earned a Master’s or Doctorate degree in a mental health field with considerable general clinical experience and supervision.
Play is a child’s language and toys are their words.
Children bring unique strengths and needs into the therapeutic relationship. While most modes of therapy for adolescents and adults center around talk, healing for children is often most effectively achieved using the language of childhood: play. Play therapy is the use of therapeutic play techniques to actively explore and address the needs and concerns of a child client in a developmentally meaningful way. In play therapy, the therapist and child may use a sand tray and toy figurines to create a representation of something the child is afraid of, a playhouse and family of dolls to explore family relationships, or a game to learn impulse control and social skills.
Through these and other play therapy tools, the therapist assists the child to learn, process, heal, and grow. Play therapy is often the most appropriate mode of therapy for children between the ages of 3 and 12, and can be employed to address a broad range of issues. If your child is dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression, grief, sleep problems, poor impulse control or behavioral issues, fears or phobias, separation or divorce, trauma, difficulty with social skills or issues related to experiencing abuse, or a host of other concerns, play therapy may help. Play therapists also can give you coaching and guidance on how to deal with your child’s difficulties.