Play Therapy is a great option for young children and builds on the way they naturally explore and interpret the world. Through playful interaction, adapted games, role playing, movement and music, therapeutic toys, sand tray, and art activities, children are able to work through challenges, learn self-regulation, and build skills for leading a happier life. Many of the play activities I introduce allow the child to explore intense emotions and practice new behaviors in a safe environment while still having fun. This typically leads to a positive experience in therapy where the child is engaged and open to trying new things.
During play therapy, some of the work we do will be driven by the child, letting them take the lead on what we explore. Because children are still learning to express feelings and describe experiences, they often find a way to work through these issues by using toys or by acting out situations. It is important that parents are an active part of the therapy process, so a brief parent check-in at the beginning and end of each session is typical. Sometimes parents will be invited to play alongside their child during a session, giving us the opportunity to practice new skills together and to “teach” the parent what they have learned.
For more info on play therapy, please visit http://www.a4pt.org/page/PTMakesADifference