Is Play Therapy Right for My Child?
As a parent, you want what is best for your child and want to give them every opportunity to succeed in life. You want to get the best possible help, but which treatment options are best? Play therapy may be the answer.
Play therapy is a treatment specifically designed to meet the unique developmental needs of children ages two through ten. Brain science confirms what parents already know; that children think, feel, and behave differently than adults! Children do not have the verbal or thinking skills necessary to benefit from traditional “talk therapy” which relies heavily on our ability to recognize and discuss emotions, solve problems, confront negative thinking patterns, or gain insight into our problems. This type of treatment works well for adults because we naturally express themselves through words and verbal/written language.
Children, however, communicate through play. Through play therapy, children learn to identify and master feelings which were previously overwhelming. This mastery leads to improved social skills and decreased disruptive behavior. In the playroom, the therapist works with the child to develop a sense of control over his or her life, work through traumatic and painful emotions, and problem solve solutions for real life situations.
What Disorders Can Play Therapy Help?
Research shows play therapy to be an effective treatment choice for behavior problems, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. The effects of trauma, bullying, divorce, grief and loss, and military separations are also effectively treated with play. This type of treatment can be especially helpful for children who have experienced trauma such as sexual or physical abuse, hospitalizations or medical procedures, or abandonment. Using this non-verbal therapy, your child does not have to talk about the details of the traumatic event for healing to occur. And it is also one of the very best ways to communicate with and understand young children who have limited verbal skills.
Research indicates that treatment outcomes are significantly increased with parental involvement. Specialized parent training and support are included as part of the treatment process.
If you would like your child to be seen by one of our child therapists who use play therapy, click here.
For more information, visit the Association for Play Therapy website at www.a4pt.org