What is Play Therapy?
Play is the natural language of children (and adults). Children discover their world through experimentation and the best way to do that is to play. Play 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 and instead gives insight as to 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. Thus it is a partnership between the Therapist, child client and parents/guardians.
There are many ways “to do” Play Therapy. Each Play Therapist has their own style of therapy with the child client. Some theories, techniques and approaches include:
Attachment Focused Play Therapy
Child Center Play Therapy
Experiential Play Therapy
Trauma Informed Approaches to Play Therapy