Play therapy is to children what counseling is to adults. Play therapy utilizes play, children’s natural medium of expression, to help them express their feelings more easily through toys instead of words. Play therapists often use the phrase, “Toys are the child’s words, play is their language.”
Below are 2 videos, one for parents and one for children that explain more about the process.
Play therapy is defined as:
“A dynamic interpersonal relationship between a child (or person of any age) and a therapist trained in play therapy procedures who provides selected play materials and facilitates the development of a safe relationship for the child (or person of any age) to fully express and explore self (feelings, thoughts, experiences, and behaviors) through play, the child’s natural medium of communication, for optimal growth and development." Garry Landreth (2012).
When a child is participating in play therapy, the play therapist will also meet with the parent(s) and/or caregiver(s). Effective intervention is a joint effort between the child’s family and the play therapist. This will include suggestions for parenting and other components of the child’s needs for the joint goal of a successful outcome.
Typically I see children between the ages of 3-10