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  • Ready, Set, Play Therapy!

    Childhood can be a time of great wonder and joy. But for some, childhood is fraught with ugly family or school situations that overwhelm and depress developing psyches.

    Adults who are having trouble in their lives can often get help by speaking with a trained therapist. But young children can find it difficult and even scary talking to anyone about their intense emotions and deepest fears.

    This is where play therapy comes in.

    What is Play Therapy?

    Play therapy is a therapeutic approach that helps juveniles delve into and openly express repressed thoughts or emotions through play. There are very few rules imposed on the child during these sessions, as this encourages them to freely express themselves without the fear of repercussions.

    When is Play Therapy Used?

    Children that have witnessed stressful or tragic events in their lives are candidates for play therapy. These events could be something like domestic violence in the home, abuse, experiencing a sudden loss of a loved one, experiencing an illness or serious injury themselves, or any other type of family crisis.

    Play therapy has also been shown to help those dealing with social problems such as anxiety or depression, as well as academic struggles such as learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder. And finally, those on the autism spectrum could also profit from play therapy.

    How Does Play Therapy Work, Exactly?

    A parent will first take part in a parent consult with the therapist, who will collect some basic info about the child. The therapist will then begin meeting with the child. During sessions in the playroom, the therapist allows the child to use play as way to express their thoughts and feelings. Generally speaking, play therapy sessions occur weekly for an average of 20 weeks, and each of these weekly sessions typically last 30-45 minutes.

    Choosing a Play Therapist for Your Child

    Look for Registered Play Therapist (RPT). This means they are specifically trained in early childhood development, attachment, and the use of play as a form of communication. Take some time to get on the phone with each potential therapist and ask some questions. You may also want to meet with them in person to get a sense of their energy and personality.

    If you have a child you think may benefit from play therapy and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.