What is Play Therapy
What is Play Therapy?
Most childhood upsets will resolve themselves without therapy. It’s when they don’t that play therapy can be used to offer children a safe, non intrusive, and natural way to quicken recovery from common and major traumatizing events. Seeking therapy for a child does not indicate failure as a parent, but often indicates a deep concern and love for the child.
Through the play therapy process children can change their personal view of events in the world and begin to better enjoy their interactions with others.
Indications that a child may benefit from Play Therapy with a trained therapist:
- Low Self-Esteem
- Excessive anger, worry, sadness, or fear
- Behavior which is immature for the child’s age
- Continued school problems
- Behaviors which interfere with making and keeping friends.
- Problems eating, or sleeping
- Difficulty adjusting to family changes
- Excessive shyness or low social skills
Children like to play. They are often unable to understand and talk about their feelings the way adults do and this makes adult therapies inappropriate in meeting the special needs of children. Play becomes therapeutic to children as they give expression to their experiences and emotions. A benefit of play therapy is that children can create therapeutic play at their developmental level. The relationship with the therapist also allows children a sense of security when recreating emotionally stressful experiences.
During the play therapy process, children create play that resembles experiences that they are struggling with, internally. These experiences sometimes cannot be expressed verbally. Children will select special toys to include in their play and use those toys to recreate issues that represent emotional conflicts. Beginning with this expression the child’s play evolves until the child gains a sense of understanding and comfort over the situation.
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