Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

Children and Play Therapy Tampa | Brandon Florida Mental Health Counseling

Children and Play Therapy

Children require therapy as well, especially to deal with issues that are affecting their day to day lives. A form of therapy aimed specifically at children, Play Therapy hopes to encourage the child to explore those events from their lives that are currently impacting their current circumstances. The location is usually picked by the child, for this kind of therapy and they are engaged not only through play, but through language as well, Through counselling, counselors can help the child to communicate repressed thoughts, deal with unresolved issues and undergo personal growth.

Why is the concept of ‘play’ so integral to this form of therapy? Research shows that Play is essentially important for children who have experienced prior trauma. Effects a child experiences because of trauma can be found in the nonverbal locations of the brain. These include, amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus and brain stem, at the same time the location for where people deal with issues resides in the frontal lobe of the brain. Because of this, a child suffering from trauma might not be able to indicate that they have a problem. Play Therapy utilizes physical as well as role-playing activities that have proven to be widely successful in moving these memories from the nonverbal areas to the frontal lobe area of the brain.

How Can Play Therapy Help?

A child who is suffering from adverse personal issues might result in acting out in several different ways. Parents, even if they want to, cannot help or engage with the child at this point of time. This is where Play Therapy becomes important. Specially designed to communicate with children suffering from personal issues, Play Therapy helps them to resolve those problems to become emotionally strong. Although this treatment may benefit people of all ages, it is primarily designed to engage with children under the age of twelve.

The therapy room is specially designed to create an environment where a child can feel safe and secure, and be able to release their feelings in an effort to resolve them. The therapy room is also known as a playroom, and it is filled with toys. But these just are not any toys, they are toys designed to better understand how a child is feeling, as he engages with the items around him. The interaction the child has with these toys serve to provide as symbolism for what the child is feeling. In this manner, the therapist learns about aspects of the child that the child would otherwise not have been able to express by themselves. At the beginning of Play Therapy, the children are free to play as they wish, but as time goes on – the therapist might start to introduce specific items in an effort to better gauge how the child is feeling. Play Therapy can help the child to better improving by developing their social skills, teaching them how to make positive decisions, encouraging the expression of emotions, creating new patterns of thought and behavior, and through teaching the child that it is important to express how they are feeling and communicate with others.

Play Therapy for Adults

Play therapy can also be used to treat issues faced by teenagers and adults. By adulthood, most people have lost their ability to playfully explore themselves. Play therapists are trained to help adolescents, adults, and even the elderly relearn the values of play. Playful exploration has been proven to enhance both cognitive and physical behaviors, and there is a significant amount of research from the fields of neurophysiology and molecular biology that supports play therapy as a valid therapeutic technique for those past childhood. A growing number of organizations and experts are dedicated to play research and advocacy, believing that play is important for people of all ages.

Play therapy can be used to treat (in children or adults):

  • Dementia
  • Grief and loss
  • Posttraumatic stress (PTSD)
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity
  • Mood issues
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Developmental issues
  • Arrested emotional development

Collaborative Therapeutic Services (CTS) seeks to maximize clients’ options by offering a variety of services, hours, locations and service providers with diverse specializations. We offer evening & weekend appointments. Have questions? Contact Us Here or Call 813-951-7346. Locations in Tampa & Brandon.