What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002).

Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development. Even the most troubling problems can be confronted in play therapy and lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered, and adapted into lifelong strategies. (Russ, 2004).


Can Play Therapy Help My Child?

Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including life stressors, such as:

  • Divorce
  • Death
  • Relocation
  • Hospitalization
  • Chronic illness
  • Physical and sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Natural disasters

(Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005)

    Play therapy will help your child to:

    • Develop new and creative solutions to problems
    • Learn to experience and express emotion
    • Develop respect and acceptance of self and others
    • Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
    • Learn new social skills and relational skills
    • Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.

    (Assocation for Play Therapy)


























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