What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is comprised of several treatment methods that apply the therapeutic benefits of play. Play therapy is a psycho-therapeutic approach primarily used to help children ages 3 to 12, as well as some adolescents, explore and express repressed emotions and thoughts through play.

Why We Use It

The neuroscience behind this involves the nonverbal and communication centers of the brain; children affected by trauma may find it difficult to let other people know that they need help. The role-playing activities associated with play therapy have been essential in bringing forth memories in children who have experienced stressful events or past trauma.

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What to Expect Going Forward

Interviewing the Caretaker

Families play an important role in successfully utilizing play therapy for children. After conducting an initial intake interview with the parent or caregiver, and often, a separate interview with the child, the child therapist will make an assessment prior to starting therapy.

Involving the Family

Following an assessment, the play therapist will make some preliminary decisions about how and when to involve some or all members of the family in the play therapy. At minimum, the child therapist will need to maintain regular communication with the child’s caretakers; managing the treatment to resolve problems as they are discovered and to monitor the overall progress of the child.

Additional Treatment

In some cases, a child therapist may require supplementary therapy for adults who play a significant role in the child’s life. It may also become necessary to coordinate treatment with doctors or other health care professionals to ensure that the child is able to receive the full benefit from the treatment developed. Ultimately, the child’s welfare sets the parameters for the treatment required.

Home Life Integration

It is sometimes necessary to involve the parents or caretakers directly in the treatment by modifying how they interact with the child at home. Other options may also include involving the whole family in family play therapy. Whatever the level of involvement, family members generally have an important role in the child’s development and healing.

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Is A Play Therapist Right For You?

The interaction between problems a child is demonstrating and their family life is always complex. Children sometimes develop problems as a way of expressing that there is something wrong in the family. Conversely, the family may become distressed because of the disruptive nature of child’s problems. Regardless of the situation, in every case, children heal faster when everyone works together as a family.

Get in Touch Now!

Do you think play therapy might be a good option for your child or family member? Contact us to schedule a free consultation.