Play therapy is a technique being used more and more to connect with children with a variety of mental health conditions. Children suffering through grief and loss, divorce, trauma, low self-esteem, and other concerns such as Anxiety, Depression, Autism, and ADHD can all benefit from this therapeutic approach.
Play Therapy is taught from the theoretical approach of “getting on to the child’s level”. By using the child’s own language (i.e. playing), clinicians are able to connect deeper with their clients and provide a positive environment for the therapy to grow.
Children benefit from play therapy by learning how to express their thoughts and feeling in constructive ways. The powerful techniques of this treatment foster decision-making and acceptance of responsibility. It helps teach children problem solving and coping skills for daily stress as well as a practical place for children to explore and practice social skills for appropriate behaviors.
Children are able to learn and explore the ever changing world by having a “safe place” to explore thoughts and concerns. They can learn from their mistakes in this safe setting, which helps to increase confidence and creativity.
Play therapy helps to support emotional healing and growth. It is a non-direct approach that allows the child to have some control over the therapy session. It allows for the clinician and child to work together towards growth and achievement and balances the power dynamic between adult and child.
By utilizing a play therapy approach, it allows the child to not think of therapy as a “punishment”. It creates a safe psychological space where they can explore and grow.
–KC Putterman LMHC, HC