Benefits of Play Therapy
Play therapy allows children to use toys, art and other play materials to express thoughts and feelings. The Therapist uses play to communicate with children about their lives while helping them explore alternative behaviors and attitudes. Play therapy can be an effective tool for a therapist to facilitate positive expression and exploration while working through complex problems.
What to Expect from your Therapist
A warm, friendly relationship is established and the therapist focuses on seeing things from the child’s point of view. Accepting the child for who he is while remaining open-minded throughout the session the child is able to freely express his/her feelings. For example, play therapy has proven to be effective with abused children. Medical health professionals and published authors, Dr. Chan and Dr. Patricia Leff contend that patients express themselves better through actions than through words. A professional play therapist facilitates “learning how to use play to express, explore, and work through their difficulties” (p.170). Recent research suggests that 71% of the children referred to play therapy will show a positive change.
Your First Visit
Parents can describe the process before the first visit with the help of the Therapist to help get rid of children’s fear about coming to counseling. The Therapist will introduce Play Therapy on the first visit.
Getting to Know Play Therapy
Children should wear comfortable play clothes since, at times, play may include sand or paint. It’s time to have fun and things might get messy! Parents and children can learn more about play therapy and what might happen in play sessions in the Child’s First Book About Play Therapy by Marc Nemiroff and Jane Annunziata, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Chan, J., & Leff, P. (1988). Play and the abused child: Implications for acute pediatric care. Child Health Care, 16(3), 169-176
Webb, N. (1991). Play therapy with children in crisis: A casebook for practitioners. New York: Guilford Pres