Play therapy is more than just play — it's a treatment method. Play therapy helps children express their feelings in a way that allows therapists to hone in on what's troubling them. Understanding different aspects of play therapy will help determine if it's right for you and your child.
Play Therapy Gives Children A Voice
Children's play therapy helps children show what they're experiencing. A young child may be unable to articulate what's causing their issue, but play therapy gives them the tools to show you. Children will interact with toys in a way that lets them work through their problems in a safe manner.
It Uses Techniques That Target Story Telling
The objective of play therapy is to help your child share what is bothering them. The therapist will choose toys geared toward allowing your child to act through their emotions. There will typically be dollhouses, puppets, action figures, and sometimes toy phones.
During a session, a therapist will suggest toys to play with or let the child decide which ones to use. The therapist will use toys to interact with the child and use techniques to help understand what's bothering your child. These techniques are focused on assisting the child play through their emotions.
In cases where your child may not be ready to share their story, some therapists use a one-way mirror to observe the child. This observation allows the child to play without pressure and enables the therapist to watch for any cues.
You May Receive Homework
The goal of traditional therapy is to have the client work toward understanding and healing their issue. This goal is typically accomplished through the client doing different exercises. However, young children may not be able to perform these tasks on their own. Your interactions with your child after therapy help accomplish the goal of healing.
As your child works through their issues with play therapy, they'll reveal what's causing their problem. The therapist may give you guided play sessions to do at home or ask you to change how you interact with your child based on what they're learning through your child's sessions.
Play Therapy Treats A Wide Range Of Issues
Children's play therapy doesn't address all possible issues a child may have, but it does address quite a few. These sessions benefit children with anxiety, attachment, bullying, trauma, and other behavioral issues.
If you feel child's play therapy may benefit your child, reach out to a certified play therapist and schedule a consultation. They will be able to see if play therapy will help.