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How Play Therapy Can Help Children Recover From Trauma

on in The Counselor's Cafe
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Research is ongoing, but many studies have shown that play therapy helps increase engagement, process trauma in safe space, and reduce manipulative cognitions. Primarily, Release Play Therapy and Structured Play Therapy have been used in the treatment of trauma victims.

Safe and Secure Environment

A vital part of using play therapy in trauma cases is creating a sense of safety and security in the sessions. Many times, a trauma victim will feel defenseless, so creating a safe environment empowers the child to relax.

Speaking the Child’s Language

In a session of play, the child is able to speak using a language they understand - play. The child is able to act out their stories and communicate their emotions through the use of play. Play also a great tool for children with verbal limitations.

It is important to note that research on this subject is ongoing, but there is evidence of significant improvement for PTSD, depression, and other difficulties in children ages 3-17.

Looking for more?

Here are a few resources we recommend for both parents and counselors:

1. A Terrible Thing Happened

2. Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma

3. Kids Need to Be Safe: A Book for Children in Foster Care (Kids Are Important)

At Garrett Counseling, we have a team of counselors highly trained in the use of play therapy with children. If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

If you are a counselor seeking continuing education for play therapy, our own Ashley Garrett is a Registered Play Therapy - Supervisor (RPT - S). Contact her today to learn how she can help you with your continuing education.