Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

Initially developed around 1900, today it refers to many treatment methods. All apply the therapeutic benefits of play. Play therapy differs from regular play. Therapists help children address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world. Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn new ways of relating. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and facilitates developmentally appropriate expression of thoughts and feelings.

How does Play Therapy work?

Children are referred for play therapy to resolve their problems. Often, children have used up their own problem solving tools, may misbehave or act out at school or school. Trained mental health practitioners use play therapy to assess and understand children’s play. Further, it is utilized to help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems. By confronting problems in the clinical play therapy setting, children find healthier solutions. Play therapy helps children change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve concerns. The most troubling problems can be confronted and lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered and become lifelong strategies.

Who benefits from Play Therapy?

Play therapy is the treatment of choice in mental health, school, agency, developmental, hospital, residential, and recreational settings, with clients, especially children, of all ages.

Play therapy is especially appropriate for children 3-12 years. Play therapy helps children:

  • Become responsible for behaviors.
  • Develop creative solutions.
  • Develop respect for others and self acceptance.
  • Learn to experience and express emotion.
  • Cultivate empathy for thoughts and feelings of others.
  • Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
  • Develop self-efficiency and better assuredness about abilities.