Play Therapy is designed to help children learn and grow healthily in a self-directed way. It’s most helpful for children from about 3-12 years old. During a typical session, the therapist will encourage the child to discover healthy ways to express themselves and their emotions using a language every child understands: play. Though it’s designed to be mostly self-directed, the therapist will be present and involved, both to supervise and direct.
This type of therapy is effective – and even more so when the parents or caretakers are involved. Trauma, behavioral problems, and crisis can all be dealt with effectively using Play Therapy, which teaches healthy coping mechanisms and helps the child work through their complex emotions. It can also be a sensitive and effective way to teach a child how to cope with grief after a loss, feelings of abandonment after a divorce, and similar struggles.