How Play Therapy for Trauma Helps

Kids love to play. They may not love to talk to an adult about what has traumatized them. That’s where play therapy comes in. Play therapy for trauma is an effective method of therapy to help children deal with their healing. While your child plays, our therapist gains insight and eases your child to the other side of their trauma while having fun.

play therapy for trauma

What is Play Therapy

The first recorded use of play therapy was in 1909 by Anna Freud. Using this method, Freud was able to build a rapport with the child and bring subconscious thoughts to the surface. Using toys and games, a child uses their imagination to reenact scenarios they’ve seen or experienced. When this play is structured, the therapist is able to target specific circumstances surrounding the child’s traumatic experience. As the therapist gets to know your child, they will tailor the sessions to include specific games or other creative play to target specific needs or goals. Talk therapy in combination with play therapy for trauma is an excellent strategy to help your child work through the aftermath of trauma.

But How Does it Work?

Play therapy sounds great for my child, but how does it actually work? Great question! We don’t just put your child in a room to play. The counselor structures play with purpose. Depending on the child, it may take a session (or few) to build a trusting relationship with their counselor. As trust grows, your child will become more comfortable and express more thoughts and feelings. Many things can be accomplished through play therapy, but we’ll touch on just a few here in this list:

  • Your child can develop creative solutions.
  • Learn how to accept themselves.
  • Express emotion.
  • Discover social skills.

Play at Garrett

Our team at Garrett Counseling has the experienced professionals your child needs to help them work through their trauma with play therapy. Schedule your appointment today through our online form here, or call (256) 239-5662. For your convenience, we offer services in Jacksonville, Boaz and Huntsville.


How Therapy for Kids Helps with Anxiety

When normal fears turn into chronic anxious thoughts and behaviors, it gives cause to seek help. When you notice this with your child, you should consider therapy for your child as soon as you notice an issue developing. Therapy for kids can help teach a child coping mechanisms and avoid deeper ongoing issues.

therapy for kid to treat anxiety

Types of Anxiety

Anxiety is a broad term. Under the umbrella of anxiety are more specific diagnoses that could help narrow down where your child’s issues are stemming from. We will look at a few of these more in depth below. Although it may sound a bit scary, don’t worry. Kids therapy can help.

  1. Generalized anxiety disorder. This type of anxiety is exactly as it sounds. Your child worries not only about normal childhood stressors but things you wouldn’t typically expect a child to worry over. Examples range from recess, lunchtime, homework, and playing with friends to the weather, world events, and the future. Because there is constant worry, it is difficult for them to relax, sleep, or have fun. They may even miss school because of not feeling well or being scared to go.
  2. Separation anxiety disorder. As a baby, it is normal to experience bouts of crying or unhappiness when separated from mom or dad. Once they get used to being left with a grandparent or babysitter, these tendencies typically subside. If your child doesn’t outgrow these issues associated with being separated, they may try to get out of school so they can be home with you. They may opt out of playdates, sleepovers, or any other activities where mom or dad is not involved.
  3. Social anxiety disorder. When suffering with social anxiety, your child does not want to be the center of attention. They’re afraid of what others think of them or that they’ll make a mistake if they do say something around their peers. When called upon in class, they may experience shortness of breath or their heart racing.

Kids Therapy Here

Therapy for kids with anxiety is essential for their overall wellbeing and success. Our skilled therapists are available in Boaz, Huntsville, and Jacksonville. Contact us today for your consultation. Click here or call (256) 239-5662.


What is AutPlay® Therapy?

AutPlay Therapy LogoAutPlay Therapy is a unique approach that combines play therapy with psychological therapy and utilizes a partnership between parents and the therapist. The goal is to foster relationship development between the parent and child with the goal being a positive outcome of treatment.

Created by Dr. Robert Jason Grant, AutPlay Therapy incorporates several evidence-based approaches in treatment for a variety of neurological and regulatory disorders.  Specifically designed with a focus on the mental health needs of children ages 3 to 18, it also addresses challenges related to certain physical disabilities.

Who Can it Help?

AutPlay Therapy has been proven effective for many neurodevelopmental disorders as well as regulation issues. The following is a partial list of diagnoses/disorders that can benefit from this style therapy.

  • Learning disorders
  • Tourette’s
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Social disorders
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Impulse disorders
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Intellectual Development Disorder

Successes We’ve Seen

Some effective outcomes of AutPlay Therapy include reduced levels of anxiety, improving relationship between parent and child, increased focus, attention, and concentration, improvement in social skills, positive changes in the ability to emotionally regulate, and decreasing unwanted behaviors.

The methodology of play therapy targets a multitude of issues including social skills, emotional regulation, anxiety, executive functioning, self-esteem, sensory issues, trauma, and relationship struggles between parent and child. AutPlay Therapy incorporates the parent and child as a team throughout the therapy process.

We’re AutPlay Certified!

Garrett Counseling is a certified AutPlay provider. With offices conveniently located in Jacksonville, Boaz, and Huntsville, Garrett Counseling has you and your family covered. Contact us today for your free consultation and find out if AutPlay Therapy is right for your child. We offer in-home and in-office services to accommodate your family’s needs. Call us at (256) 239-5662, or fill out the contact us form here.