Play Therapy for Children
Children who have experienced considerable change in their lives, or who have survived traumatic events need to express and understand their feelings. Play therapists help children address and solve their own problems, learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem solving skills and learn new ways of relating. Through the therapeutic use of play, children are given the opportunity to express their feelings naturally, and safely, thus enabling the healing process to begin. When a child is helped in this way, a clear message is sent: receiving help is okay. Play therapy allows children to internalize this nurturing message and learn healthy self-care skills that carry over into adulthood. Play provides a safe psychological distance from problems and facilitates developmentally appropriate thoughts and feelings.
Children are usually referred to play therapy to solve problems and deal with issues that are troubling the child. Often, children have used up their own problem solving tools and express themselves in negative ways, such as acting out at home, with friends, or at school. By using a play therapy setting, children find healthier solutions and learn new ways of coping with their issues.