“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
Play therapy is the preferred treatment modality for children aged 2 to 12. For children, play is the way in which they learn, communicate, and grow.
Children do not have the advanced vocabulary or the developed brain complexities that adults do in order to reflect and vocalize accurate thoughts & feelings. Children play what their life experience has been, the problems they're faced with, and they play to find solutions to those problems in order to heal and adapt to their world.
Adapting to unhealthy environments is a survival strategy that works for a while but ultimately leads to dysfunctional behavior later in life. As caring therapists and parents, we want to prevent that from happening. Thus play therapy is a preventative measure against future issues as well as current ones.
A play therapist provides consistency, safety, encouragement, and support to a child going through difficult times. Play therapy itself provides a safe space for exploration, creativity, imagination, and self expression with a unique adult who's not their parent nor their teacher, but an ally. As an ally, a child's play is allowed without repercussion and can be addressed in such a way that lets the child feel genuinely heard and understood.
Sessions last 53 minutes with the first or last 10 minutes of the session being dedicated to meeting with the parent or caregiver. Results are best when the therapist and parent(s) work as a team, and parents do their part by implementing strategies at home if needed.
If your child is displaying any of the following behaviors, it's time for play therapy.
* Persistent Worrying & Anxiousness
* Easily Startled (hyper-vigilance)
* Night Terrors (wakes up screaming)
* Bed Wetting (enuresis)
* Pressured Speech (always in urgency)
* Obsessive Behavior (skin/hair picking)
* Spontaneous or Prolonged Crying
* Easily Frustrated
* Emotional Outbursts (Frequent, Intense, and Long-Lasting)
* Uncontrollable Anger, Yelling & Oppositionality
* Unusually Quiet, Reserved or Shut-Down
* Overly Aggressive and Disrespectful of Personal Boundaries