If you’ve never heard much about it, play therapy can seem a bit mysterious.
Maybe your child’s pediatrician or school has recommended play therapy for your son or daughter.
Or maybe you’ve heard it mentioned and wondered if it might be a good fit for your kid.
As adults, the thought of playing during therapy is curious.
How can playing games or with toys be therapeutic? What’s the purpose?
Children, particularly those between ages 3 and 12, are developmentally very different from adults, so many of the approaches that work for adults won’t be productive in a therapy setting.
Before you schedule your child’s first appointment, here are nine things to know about play therapy:
- Play therapy differs from regular play and requires a specially trained therapist to facilitate the sessions. Look for a therapist registered with the Association of Play Therapy
- There is more than one type of play therapy, and your child’s needs will determine which approach will work best
- Play therapy is natural for children — they’re in their element, surrounded by toys and activities suited to their developmental stage
- Toys can act as a child’s words, and they can communicate through play, which is especially helpful if what they need to communicate is emotionally too difficult
- Your child can work out problems through play, including but not limited to stress, trauma and behavioral concerns at home or school
- Play therapy can provide your child a new pathway to grow, learn, heal and thrive
- Your child can develop respect and acceptance of themselves and others
- Play therapy can help your child learn appropriate ways to experience their world, express emotionsm and develop empathy
- Play therapy can strengthen the bonds between children and their parents or other caregivers
Taking your child to see a therapist can feel overwhelming. We make it easy and will walk you through each step.
If he’s between the ages of 3 and 12, play therapy can be a highly effective way of helping your child cope with existing problems and build resilience for the future.
If play therapy sounds right for your child, shoot us an email below and we’ll get you and your child working towards building a better, less-stressful life.