Play therapy is an experiential form of counseling that helps children bridge the gap between experience, thinking, and the concrete and abstract. Adults process through their experiences by talking about their thoughts and feelings with others. Children, however, are not developmentally able to fully talk about their experiences with understanding. Instead, they act out their thoughts and feelings through play. Therefore, play therapy focuses on experiencing because children use toys, games and art to express what they cannot say with words. By accessing a child's feelings and fantasies through play, therapists can help deal with the antecedents to behavioral, emotional, and psychological issues at the forefront.
The power of play can also be used to help strengthen the parent-child relationship while enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. Play therapy sessions replicate the natural and healthy interaction between parents and children using an approach that is fun, physical, personal, and interactive. These sessions help to create an active and emotional connection between the parent and child, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and relationships that are both positive and rewarding.
Types of Play Therapy:
1. Sand Tray: Sand tray therapy is a well-researched and highly effective modality that helps children quickly access deeper aspects of themselves. During a typical play therapy session, miniatures are placed in the tray, creating a story or anecdote that help me investigate the child's deeper emotions and thoughts.
1. Sand Tray: Sand tray therapy is a well-researched and highly effective modality that helps children quickly access deeper aspects of themselves. During a typical sand tray play therapy session, miniatures are placed in the tray, creating a story or anecdote that help me investigate the child's deeper emotions and thoughts.
2. Expressive Arts: This includes drawing, painting, utilizing clay or even dance and movement.
3. Bibliotherapy: Using books to explore and teach topics.
4. Imaginary Play
Monica Rodriguez, Aimee Metzger, Brittney Schultz, Rachelle Coffey, Caitlin Michalski, Lindsey Day, Kelly Kolimas, Anthony Penton, Harley Hess, Zamzam Zaman, Brooke Huackabay, Theresa Kerner
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."