If you have heard the term play therapy but are unsure what it means, this post will cover the basics and why it may be an excellent option for your child.

play therapy

What is Play Therapy?

It is a type of counseling in which play is used to help children communicate their emotions. Activities might include:
• Creative expressions
• Roleplaying
• Storytelling
• Stuffed animals
• Arts and crafts
• Water play
• Sand tables
• Creative movement and dance
• Music

Why Play Therapy Helps

Play therapy allows a child to transmit their emotions, thoughts, values and perceptions in an environment where they feel safe to explore. It enables them to investigate feelings and thoughts that they cannot verbalize.

How Might Play Therapy Benefit a Child?

Before the session, the counselor will have a particular objective in mind, but based on the information given to them by the child, those goals may change during a therapy session. Possible goals include:
• Taking responsibility for one’s actions
• Improving creative problem solving
• Learning problem resolution
• Enhancing communication skills
• Learning self-responsibility
• Boosting coping skills
• Eliminating anxiety
• Practicing respect and empathy for others

Is Play Therapy Used With Adults?

Most sessions involve children. Therapists may also use it with adults with learning disabilities and seniors with dementia-like conditions. They sometimes use it if a person has unresolved childhood trauma or is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Who Invented Play Therapy?

Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers are responsible for creating client-centered therapies, but Clark Moustakas advanced the field of play therapy in many ways. Yet, The Children’s Trust Hour was the first to allow children to play without giving them specific instructions, and it is the standard used today by therapists worldwide.

If you think therapy would benefit your child or a special needs adult you care deeply about, reach out to us. We would love to help you implement a program and firmly believe that you will see rapid results, especially in younger people because their minds are highly moldable. Contact American Behavioral Clinics today for a free initial consultation.

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