What is Play Therapy?
Play Therapy makes use of a child’s normal communication and learning processes (play), to help them express what is troubling them when they aren’t verbally able to express those thoughts and feelings. Most commonly used with children ages 3-12 years (but also found to benefit younger children, teens and adults), Play Therapy has been found to help a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral and learning problems. Play therapists strategically utilize play activity to help children express difficult thoughts and feelings, learn more adaptive behaviors when emotional or social skills deficits are present, promote cognitive development and provide insight and resolution to inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking.
What to Expect?
At the first session (intake), the therapist will meet with the parent(s)/care giver(s) without the child present. The purpose of this session is to discuss the child’s developmental, behavioral and social history, the reasons for coming to counseling, and to set goals for treatment. This is done without the child so that parents may speak freely about the difficulties the child is encountering without having to worry about censoring information that may wound little egos.
In follow-up sessions, the therapist will greet you and your child in the lobby and ask parent if there is any new information or progress that needs to be shared. If you have new information to share (what info should be shared at this time will be reviewed in the parent intake), you will come back to the office to speak privately and briefly with the therapist while your child waits in the waiting room. Typically, this takes (at most) around 10 minutes. You will then go to the waiting room, while child comes back to the playroom with the therapist. At the end of the session, therapist will let you know how session went. As the child does have confidentiality rights, the information shared with you at the close of sessions will be provided with the child’s consent and will include: if your child was engaged and cooperative during session, the general topic explored, any skills/tools taught to the child, and any homework that may have been assigned.