Play therapy is for children what individual counseling and talk therapy is to adults. When adults decide to make positive emotional and behavioral changes, they often seek traditional talk therapy to work through their challenges. In the same way, children experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulties can benefit from therapy. However, even the most talkative children often have difficulties expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings through words. Instead, they feel most comfortable in expressing them though their native language, play. In fact, most behavioral concerns are a result of the child’s inability to express their feelings appropriately.
In Play Therapy, the playroom becomes a safe place for children to process their most difficult feelings and to practice the following skills without judgment:
- problem solving
- developing positive coping strategies
- practice decision-making and assuming self-responsibility
- social skill development
Just like adult therapy, children achieve the same manners of coping, self-discovery and optimal psychosocial development through play therapy. By honoring a child-led process, the trained play therapist is able to support the child through his or her resolution of current emotional and behavioral struggles, social skill development and so much more.
Contrary to the common-place notion that early childhood experiences are irrelevant since “(s)he’ll never remember it anyway”, our earliest years provide the basis for healthy social and emotional development.
*Please be advised that only a trained professional should provide this service for you and your child. Only “Registered Play Therapists” hold a masters level mental health degree, are licensed by the Florida Dept. of Health and have received the extensive training and supervision necessary to become certified by the Association for Play Therapy.
For more information on Play Therapy and Play Therapy Credentialing, please visit: http://www.a4pt.org
What Types of Difficulties Does Play Therapy Treat?
Play therapy is often the ideal clinical approach for most children. Play therapy has been successful in addressing a variety of common parental concerns, such as:
- Behavioral Difficulties at Home or in School
- Social and Emotional Difficulties
- Issues related to Grief, Loss, Divorce
- Attachment and Parent-Child Relationship Struggles
- Trauma, Abuse, and Neglect
How Does Play Therapy Work? How Long Will It Take?
Play Therapy provides a safe place for children to safely confront and address their struggles. Very often, problematic behavior occurs when the child struggles to understand and express their concerns. Play Therapy allows the child to confront their problem, shift any inaccuracies in their perception of the problem and thus find more effective ways to deal with their situation.
As with most forms of counseling, a precise number of sessions needed is difficult to determine. Resiliency factors unique to each child and the complexity and length of concerns related to the child will ultimately determine how much work with the child is necessary. It is the priority of Healthy Minded Kids to provide comprehensive treatment for each child in effort to make therapy as time-limited as possible.