Client Centered Play Therapy / Child Centered Play Therapy

Client Centered Play Therapy is a unique subset of play therapy where the counselor will often allow the client to take the lead during the session/play. The counselor will typically only offer short responses that allow the client to continue freely playing or short questions needed for clarity. The goal is for the counselor to maintain a relaxed, open tone and enter into play only when invited.

Basic Principles

Client Centered Play Therapy often follows a few principles. An article in the National Institute of Health: National Library of Medicine defines this principles as:

  • Form a warm, friendly environment with the client
  • Accept the client
  • Establish an environment that fosters permissiveness
  • Recognize and reflect back the feelings expressed by the client
  • Recognize and respect the client’s ability to solve problems
  • Allow the client to lead the sessions
  • Recognize that therapy takes time
  • Establish limitations

How Does Client Centered Play Therapy Help?

Client Centered Play Therapy has been shown to help decrease symptoms of concern and increase “overall functioning”. It can be especially helpful for children who are experiencing divorce and separation anxiety, as well as client’s recovering from grief or trauma.

Garrett Counseling & Client Centered Play Therapy

This approach is used by many of the counselors on our team. Hear from a few of them below:

“Beginning with a person-centered/client-centered approach allows me to get a better understanding of my client and their needs. This allows me to determine additional therapeutic approaches that could be beneficial for each client’s unique needs.” – Leah Simmons, MS, LPC-S, RPT-S

“By utilizing a Client Centered Therapy approach, I am able to give the client the ability to have authority in their treatment and assist them with change.” – Caroline Allen-Ross, MS, LPC

“With a client-centered approach, the client and I work together to create a plan for their treatment. I find this approach empowers the client to alter their thoughts and actions and create change in their life.” – Holley Fenn, EdS, LPC

“The client-centered approach allows the client to guide their sessions free of judgment. It also enables them to develop coping skills and create change in their lives.” – Rashada Smith, LPC, NCC

Schedule An Appointment

If this sounds like something that you or your child could benefit from, contact our office to learn more information or schedule an initial appointment. With offices in Albertville / Boaz, Huntsville, Jacksonville, Jasper, as well as online options, our team is here to support you!

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