Play is the child's language

and toys are the child's words

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a method of counseling that allows children to "play-out" their feelings and difficulties within a safe environment. The sessions are uniquely tailored to the child's developmental level and personal needs. Play therapy focuses on empowering the client by allowing the child to be in charge of the activities, play themes, and ultimately the outcome. Through this process the child is able to develop effective problem-solving skills and a sense of self-efficacy. 

"Play Therapy is based upon the fact that play is the child’s natural medium of self-expression. It is an opportunity which is given to the child to 'play out' his feelings and problems just as, in certain types of adult therapy, an individual 'talks out' his difficulties." 

- Virginia Axline

Common Issues Addressed in Play Therapy

  • Anger & aggression

  • Depression

  • Low self-esteem

  • Grief / Loss

  • Anxiety

  • Family discord

  • Divorce reaction 

  • ADHD symptoms

  • Bullying

  • Crisis, trauma, abuse

  • Academic problems

  • Social difficulties

Benefits of Play Therapy

According to the Association for Play Therapy:

"Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including: children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters.

 

Play therapy helps children:

  • Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.

  • Develop new and creative solutions to problems.

  • Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.

  • Learn to experience and express emotion.

  • Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.

  • Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.

  • Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities."