What Is Play Therapy?
Play therapy differs from regular play. Play therapy builds on the natural way children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world. Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem solving skills, and learn new ways of relating. Since play is fun, it is easier for children to confront what is bothering them.
How Does It Work?
Children are brought into play therapy to resolve problems. Often children have used up all of their problem solving tools and may be acting out at home or at school. We use play therapy to understand children and help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems.
Who Benefits from Play Therapy?
Children of all ages can benefit from play therapy but it is especially appropriate and effective for children ages 3-12. Play therapy can be used for concerns such as anger management, family dissolution, trauma, mood disorders, learning disabilities and conduct disorders.
Play therapy helps children:
●Become responsible for behaviors
●Develop creative solutions
●Develop respect for others and self acceptance
●Learn to experience and express emotion
●Cultivate empathy for others
●Learn social skills
●Develop assuredness about their own abilities
Who Practices Play Therapy?
Play therapy requires extensive specialized education, training and experience. Play therapists minimally earn a Masters degree in mental health and have considerable experience and supervision. Play therapists with advanced training may earn the Registered Play Therapist (R-PT) credential from APT, the Association for Play Therapy. For more info visit their website at www.a4pt.org.
How Long Does Play Therapy Take?
Sessions usually last 60 minutes and are held weekly. Research suggests it takes an average of 20 play therapy sessions to resolve problems. Some children improve faster and serious or ongoing problems take longer to resolve.