As a parent, it is heartbreaking to see your child struggle with emotional or behavioral problems. You want to help your child, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. Play therapy is a form of therapy that is used to help children who are struggling with emotional, behavioral or social problems. In this blog, we’ll look at what play therapy is, how it works, and why it can be beneficial for children.
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is used primarily with children between the ages of three and 12. It is a non-threatening, non-judgmental form of therapy that uses play as a way of communicating with the child. Play is a natural way for children to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Play therapy provides children with a safe and supportive environment where they can explore and express their emotions.
How does Play Therapy work?
The main focus of play therapy is to create a safe and supportive environment for the child. The therapist will provide toys, art materials, and other props that the child can use to express themselves. The child is free to play and explore their emotions without the pressure of having to talk about them. Through play, the therapist can observe the child’s behaviors, emotions, and communication skills. The therapist will then use this information to help the child process their emotions in a safe and healthy way.
Why is Play Therapy Beneficial for Children?
Play therapy can be beneficial for children in many ways. Here are three of the major benefits of play therapy:
Emotional Regulation- Many children struggle with regulating their emotions. Play therapy can help children learn how to express and regulate their emotions in a healthy way. Through play, children can learn how to identify and label their emotions, recognize triggers, and develop coping strategies.
Improved Communication- Play therapy provides children with a safe and non-threatening environment where they can communicate their thoughts and feelings. By playing with toys, children can express themselves more freely than they would be able to through words. This can help children who struggle with language or communication difficulties.
Positive Effects on Relationships- Play therapy can help children develop positive relationships with others. Through play, children can learn how to interact with others in a supportive and positive way. This can help children who struggle with social skills or who have difficulty making friends.
In conclusion, play therapy is a valuable form of therapy that can help children who are struggling with emotional or behavioral problems. Play therapy provides children with a safe and supportive environment where they can explore and express their emotions. Through play, children can learn how to regulate their emotions, develop positive relationships, and improve their communication skills. If you feel that your child could benefit from play therapy, consider talking to a mental health professional who specializes in working with children.
Anita Linsdey, LAC provides play therapy at our Gilbert, AZ location. Please call, text or book online with her for an appointment.