Birds fly, fish swim, and children play.— Gary Landreth
“How can Play Therapy help my Child?”
Play is a natural language for children and toys are their words. Adults are comfortable with talking therapy in the sessions; however, it might be hard for children to express their thoughts and feelings in words. Play therapy provides an opportunity for children to work through their difficulties in a permissive situation. Play therapy is especially appropriate for children ages 3 through 12 years old.
In the playroom, the child has the freedom to choose what toys he/she wants to play with. The therapist may join in the play when the child invites the therapist. It is a great way for the therapist to enter and understand the child’s inner world to develop a trusting relationship with the child. Additionally, the child can act out any feelings, thoughts, and experiences through play.
Children benefit from play therapy in many ways. Research has found play therapy to be an effective therapeutic approach for different issues:
- Grief and loss
- Low self-esteem
- School bullying
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
- Parents’ divorce
Children can learn several things in play therapy:
- self-control and responsible freedom of expression
- their feelings are acceptable
- to be creative and resourceful in confronting problems
- to make choices and to be responsible for their choices
- to accept themselves and true experience.