Play therapy allows the natural language of the child “playing” to communicate their emotions and frustrations to the trained therapist. By addressing children’s problems in the clinical play therapy setting, children find healthier solutions to their dilemmas. The play therapy setting, with its child-centered, non-judgmental approach, allows children to reframe the way they think and feel toward their concerns, and most importantly, how they communicate their frustrations (Kaugars & Russ, 2001).
Play therapy differs from regular play that may take place at home. One of the biggest differences is that the trained therapist is able to strategically utilizes and assess play to help the child express and process deep feelings and inner conflicts. The play therapist, through a non-directive approach, allows the child to gain insight into his or her feelings, as well as to develop their problem-solving skills. In play therapy, toys are like the child’s words and play is their language
Today’s research highlights the benefits of play therapy in addressing the following concerns:
- Developmental delays
- Selective Mutism
- Adjustment to Divorce
What Does Play Therapy Look Like?
Play therapy is basically exactly what it sounds like. A trained child therapist allows a child to play and observes their actions and words. Play can tell them a lot about a child, including what they’re thinking about and how they think in general. A relaxed child will be able to open up more, and play is an excellent method of relaxation.
Therapists trained in play therapy analyze different types of play and what they each mean in terms of the child’s development and emotional state. Through observation, a therapist can help them deal with loss, abuse, and stress in a healthy and positive way. Even some of the most troubling issues can be addressed with play therapy. Lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, and mastered with this therapy to equip children with lifelong coping and problem-solving strategies.
Why Choose New Horizons for Play Therapy Services?
Our certified mental health professionals are skilled in working with children, and one of our child psychologists is specifically trained in play therapy. We will work with you to make a specific treatment plan for your child, so they can begin the road to recovery and peace. For more information about play therapy and how it works, call or email us today.