Play Therapy



Research has indicated that one of the most effective ways to work with children is through the use of play, as young children often do not have the ability to express themselves or their feelings using words, the way that adults do. Thus, play therapy can be very helpful for children by:

  • Providing a modality of expression that they are familiar with and accustomed to. The minds and bodies of little children are geared for using play to express themselves and their feelings, difficulties, and fears. Thus, play therapy is a non-threatening, natural mode of expression for them.
  • Creating a safe environment where they can become comfortable enough to share their issues and concerns
  • Allowing children's problems and feelings to be expressed in a symbolic format, which makes them feel more safe and at ease
  • Providing children with the opportunity to replay traumatic or difficult life events, to the point that they feel a sense of mastery and control over distressing situations
  • Giving children an opportunity to learn how to express their emotions, give them a name, and work through them at their own pace
  • Presenting children with alternate ways of thinking about events and different ways of behaving
  • Providing healthy coping strategies for difficult feelings or situations, often as an alternative for destructive ways of being, such as engaging in acting out behaviors, withdrawing, or using physical means
  • Allowing children an opportunity to build their self-esteem and become more assertive
  • Working through life stressors, such as moving, having a new sibling, having learning difficulites, being bullied, etc.
  • Addressing mood issues, such as depression, anxiety, and anger, and learning strategies to express these in a healthy way
  • Working through past trauma or other difficult life experiences, such as grief, parental divorce, etc.
  • Attending with one's siblings in order to work through their differences, learn better ways to relate to one another, learn appropriate conflict resolution strategies, and develop a more positive and close relationship