Garrett Counseling Blog
What Parents Need To Know About Play Therapy
Often times, what we discover in our conversations with parents is that they do not fully understand what play therapy is or how it may benefit their child. We want to help parents be better equipped to make decisions and help their children.
What is Play Therapy?
The Association for Play Therapy defines Play Therapy as “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychological difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.” What that means for you as a parent, play therapy is a time where the child engages in play with a trained counselor who can help the child express their emotions through the play. This is different from other forms of therapy because the child is helped to understand and solve their problems.
Why Choose Play Therapy?
A simple reason to choose play therapy is that play is a child’s language. Play therapy increases self-expression, self-knowledge, and self-actualization. It has also been shown that play therapy helps relieve stress, improve coping abilities, and regulate emotions. In play, children are able to express emotions they are not able to express verbally.
Is Play Therapy Right for My Child?
Play therapy is shown to help most in children who are between the ages of 3 and 12. Play is shown to help in cases of:
- Anger Management
- Grief and Loss
- Divorce and Family Division
- Crisis and Trauma
- Anxiety & Depression
- ADHD & Hyperactivity
- Learning Disabilities
- Conduct Disorders
How Does Play Therapy Help My Child?
Play therapy helps children in a variety of ways. It has been shown to help children learn to be responsible for their behavior, increase problem solving skills, improve social skills, express emotion, among other benefits.
Are Parents Involved in the Sessions?
The most successful outcomes from play therapy are seen when the parent or caregiver is actively involved in the process. Because every case is unique, your counselor will communicate with you and will advise you on when to become involved in the sessions.
Please take a moment to watch this video, it is geared to help parents better understand play therapy.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive guide to play therapy. If you would like more information about play therapy or would like to see if play therapy is an option for your child, please contact us today!