“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
The therapy process:
An intake is completed with the parents where history and symptoms are documented, and the goals of therapy are developed. At the next session, the child is brought in to explore the office and work on establishing a rapport with the therapist. For therapy to work the child must feel safe and secure. We use a variety of tools such as games, dolls, puppets, books, and clay.
Regular Play vs. Play Therapy
The trained therapist makes therapeutic play different from regular play in the following ways:
- The therapist’s total attention is on the child and the way the child plays with the toys chosen, the dialog the child has during play and whether the play is energetic, passive, aggressive, etc.
- The therapist understands the symbolic communication of the play.
- The therapist puts words to the feelings shown during the play.
- The therapist facilitates healing.
- The therapist assists in discharging emotions through play.
- The therapist encourages the child to practice skills repetitively in a safe environment.
- The therapist teaches the child positive coping skills.
Benefits of Play Therapy
Play Therapy reduces anxiety about traumatic events in the child’s life such as illness, death, parental conflict, separation, and divorce.
Reduces the effects of trauma when abuses have taken place,
Treats childhood depression,
Promotes higher emotional intelligence,
Reduces sleep problems, and
Treats behavior and school problems
We find it a conflict of interests to be your child’s therapist and make judgments regarding child custody. We will work with parents to assist with co-parenting issues to create a healthier environment for your child. We will write a report, but we will rarely testify.