What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is an effective therapy for children under the age of 12 who experience a variety of issues. Even though, children may sometimes appear like miniature adults, their brains are not fully developed and they cannot communicate in ways many adults can. Children are able to use the toys as their words and the play as their language. During play therapy, the therapist uses various techniques to engage the child in play to resolve internal conflicts associated with problematic behaviors/experiences and help them express their thoughts and feelings in a healthier, more productive way. Toys in the playroom are carefully selected to help facilitate a safe therapeutic environment focused on the child’s healing process.
What should I expect when I take my child to play therapy?
Most children enjoy play therapy as they feel like they are playing for the therapeutic hour. However, some children may feel tired after a session, as their minds and bodies may have worked through emotional stressors or problematic symptoms. Sometimes the therapist may ask you to bring a change of clothes as the child may use paint or engage in sand play. It is important that you, as their caregiver, is actively involved and keeps the therapist up to date with any changes in the child outside of therapy. Typically, every 3-5 sessions, the therapist will meet with the child’s caregiver to update them on the child’s progress in therapy. Sometimes caregivers are invited into the therapy room with their child to learn strategies to help their child’s behavioral issues or repair ruptured relationships.
How long will my child’s counseling last?
There is no set time frame a child will attend therapy. Just like individual therapy for an adult, play therapy is a process. Some children experience quicker results than others. The child’s progress and length of time in treatment is dependent on the presenting issues, the child’s support system and the child’s attendance in therapy.