Play is the natural language of children (and adults). Children discover their world through experimentation and the best way in doing that is to play. Play also allows for creativity and to “take on” different roles. Thus, there is less judgment when children are allowed to play. Play is less dependent on language and cognitive understanding on what or how things work together.
Children/Adolescents do not always know what is wrong in their world. If they do know, they do not always have or know the words to express it. A Play Therapist is specifically trained to work/play with children in order to understand their world through play. This includes how or what a child is thinking, feeling and/or believing about something. This does not mean the Therapist puts ideas into the child’s head, but rather works/plays with the child to gain insight about their perspective.
There are many ways “to do” Play Therapy. Each Play Therapist has their own style of therapy with the child client. There are many theories and techniques; a few that may be used include Filial Play Therapy, StoryPlay Therapy, and SandTray Therapy techniques. Thus, it is the partnership between the Therapist, child client, and parents/guardians to come up with a plan that best suits the situation and child. It is vital for the Therapist to have an interactive relationship with the parent/guardian and other important people in their lives, e.g., school personnel, county social workers, Guardian Ad Litems, etc.
There are many reasons why a child would need to have Play Therapy. These are a few reasons with the possibility of others:
- Traumatizing events
- School anxiety
- County Involvement
This is brief explanation of Play Therapy. If you have more questions, please contact us for more information.