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Play Therapy

"Play is a medium for expressing feelings, exploring relationships and self-fulfillment" Gary Landreth, Ed.D, LPC RPT-S

What is Play Therapy for children?
Child-centered play therapy is based on a belief in the capacity and resiliency of children to be constructively self-directing.  Children are the best sources of information about themselves.  They are quite capable of directing their own growth, and they are granted the freedom in the play therapy relationship to be themselves in the process of playing out feelings and experiences.

Growing up, most children experience difficulty adjusting at one time or another. During this time, some children may need more help than others.  Children have a hard time sitting in a big chair in an office and talking about what bothers them; they just don't know the words to describe what they are thinking or feeling inside.  Most often times children act out, or show others how they feel. 

Play is essentrial to human growth, development, learning and cultivating relationships.  Play is a natural process that
  • Builds Trust and Mastery
  • Fosters learning
  • Regulates emotions
  • Reduces anxieties
  • Promotes creative thinking and problem-solving
  • Encourages open communication
  • Elevates spirit and self-esteem
Play is our first language.  Just as adults use words to communicate, children use play.  When playing, children express thoughts and feelings that might otherwise remain hidden. 

Play Therapy is a powerful tool for addressing cognitive, behavioral, and emotional challenges.  Licensed professionals therapeutically use play to help clients better process their experiences and develop more effective strategies for managing their worlds.  Research suggests Play Therapy is an effective mental health approach regardless of age, gender or the nature of the problem, and works best when a parent, family member or caretaker is actively involved in the treatment process. 

Information Adapted from www.a4pt.org and
Play Therapy, The Art of The Relationship 2nd Edition © 2002

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