Play is the natural way for children to resolve problems.
Play is the natural language and form of communication for children, just like talking is for adults.
The use of play in therapy is an effective way of helping children who are experiencing a wide range of social, emotional, behavioural, and learning problems.
Play therapy makes use of the natural benefits of play.
Play Therapy allows children to express their true thoughts, feelings and perceptions at a safe psychological distance from their problems and accounts for developmental levels. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them.
Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behaviour, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others.
For children, emotions are often difficult to understand as well as express and play therapy offers a natural, comfortable way for children to express themselves. Even children who are quite talkative can express themselves more fully through play.
The use of dolls, art, puppets, games, books and other toys are used to facilitate expression. Children use these items to tell stories, express themselves and transfer the difficult emotions or situations to scenes, pictures, symbols or active play, which allows a therapist to gain insight into the child’s emotional state.
Play therapy has been extensively researched which strongly supports the effectiveness of play with children.
Play Therapy can be effective for:
|Anger, aggression, and acting out behaviours|
|Autism Spectrum Disorders & Aspergers – emotional issues|
|Anxiety, fears, and phobias|
|Separation, divorce and family changes|
|Child abuse and neglect|
- Express thoughts and feelings
- Learn to experience emotions and control feelings
- Cope with difficult emotions
- Develop successful strategies of coping skills
- Release feelings/catharsis
- Develop new and creative solutions to problems
- Improve communication skills
- Develop respect and acceptance of self and others
- Cultivate empathy and respect for the thoughts and feelings of others
- Learn new social skills and relational skills with family and others
- Express emotions symbolically
- Build self-esteem
- Helps a child develop responsibility
- Develop and improve decision-making skills
- Improve self-control