If you have been considering therapy for your child, you may have heard about the treatment option of Play Therapy.
But what is Play Therapy and how does it help?
It’s important to know the type of treatment that you are receiving for your child, yourself, and your family. Play Therapy is a tool and therapeutic modality that mental health therapists use when working with children. Although Play Therapy can be useful and applied with all ages, it is typically used with children ages 2-12.
Just like any other modality or specialty that mental health therapists use, it’s an approach and method to help a client express themselves and reach their individual goals.
With Play Therapy, the approach is using play with children to find a comfortable and easy way for them to express themselves.
There are many benefits and goals that can be addressed with Play Therapy and how therapists may use this particular model to help your child.
Some of the goals approached with Play Therapy can include:
- Learning Problem Solving Skills
- Increasing Social Skills and Interaction
- Behavioral Modification
- Increasing Healthy Communication and Expression
Play Therapy is a helpful approach when working with children as it provides an environment that children can recognize and feel comfortable in to open up more about what brings them into treatment.
What can you expect when your child is engaging in Play Therapy?
It will look like play time but that’s not all that’s going on.
Your child’s therapist will be using various approaches within play and observation of how your child is engaging with the therapist, the toys, or scenario of play to reach or assist in your child’s goals.
Some of the techniques you may see used by your child’s therapist may include:
- Role playing
- Construction toys
- Arts and Crafts
- And many more play techniques
It’s important to remember that therapy will present differently not only from individual to individual but also from adults to children.
Even if the approach is different, the same core element that was covered in a previous article “Finding the Right Mental Health Therapist”, it’s all about the therapeutic relationship and the same goes for your child and their therapist.
Using Play Therapy allows your child to feel more comfortable and open up in their own language.
If you have questions or concerns on the approach of therapy, it’s important for you to talk with your child’s therapist to know their approach and ask about it. That way you can have a clear expectation on their approach in treatment and how they can help you, your child, and your family.