Parents and educators seeking effective ways to support children's emotional well-being employ play therapy. There are different types of play therapy available, including child-centered play therapy and school-based registered play therapist interventions. Play therapy sessions led by trained professionals like our licensed therapists at Elevate Rockwall, offer numerous benefits.
This blog post will examine the various forms and techniques of play therapy and how it helps children overcome psychosocial issues. Finally, we'll explore some popular play therapy techniques licensed mental health professionals use with young clients.
What is Play Therapy for Children?: Definition, Types, and Benefits
Play therapy is a powerful method many therapists use that involves various activities and games to uncover and deal with psychological issues. Play therapy may be employed singularly or with additional therapies and medications to help children express themselves through play, granting therapists a better understanding of their emotions and circumstances to give them the necessary assistance.
This method helps therapists better understand children's feelings and experiences, ultimately providing the support they need. Additionally, play therapy enables kids to comprehend and process their feelings, helping them cultivate beneficial coping mechanisms. Let's explore play therapy in greater detail.
What is Play Therapy?
Children often struggle to process emotions or articulate their problems to adults. Play therapy can help. Trained therapists observe and gain insights into a child's issues through playtime activities, and help them explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma. According to Healthline, various licensed mental health professionals practice play therapy, including psychologists, psychiatrists, behavioral therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social workers.
Play therapy helps kids comprehend and communicate emotions, and build become better problem-solvers. Moreover, it can be tailored to each child's needs. Below we will explore the types of play therapy available.
What Are the Types of Play Therapy?
In play therapy, therapists use two main approaches: Directive Play Therapy and Non-directive Play Therapy. In Directive Play Therapy, the therapist guides the child through specific activities to help them express themselves. This approach is more structured and goal-oriented. Non-directive Play Therapy allows children to engage in their preferred activities with minimal interference from the therapist. This approach fosters a more natural expression of emotions and thoughts.
Additionally, play therapy can be a potent way for kids to communicate, comprehend their feelings, and gain coping mechanisms.
What Are the Benefits of Play Therapy?
Play therapy offers numerous benefits for children, with studies reporting that up to 71% of children experience positive change. Some advantages of this type of therapy are that children become more responsible for their behaviors, develop coping strategies and problem-solving skills, build self-respect, gain empathy towards others, alleviate anxiety, enhance emotional expression, improve social skills, and strengthen family relationships.
Moreover, play therapy boosts language development and motor skills. It is important to note that play therapy should not replace necessary treatments or medications but can be used with other therapies.
The benefits of play therapy are vast, and the techniques used to implement it can be just as beneficial. By exploring various play therapy techniques, we can gain further insight into how this treatment maximizes its potential for helping children with their emotional needs.
Play Therapy Techniques
In play therapy, various techniques are employed depending on the child's needs and preferred types of play. Sessions are about 30 to 45 minutes. During this time, the therapist creates a secure atmosphere for the child to interact with toys while they observe. As comfort levels increase, more targeted activities may be introduced; common techniques include building blocks, art projects, sand play, board games, doll or puppet play, tea parties, card games like chess or checkers, hide-and-seek, and LEGO play.
Play therapy is a powerful tool for helping children understand their emotions and build healthier relationships.
Play therapy is a valuable method for addressing psychological issues in children used alongside other therapies and medications. To maximize its benefits, seek a licensed mental health professional experienced in play therapy. You can ask your pediatrician or primary care doctor for referrals or search for a credentialed registered play therapist (RPT) through the Association for Play Therapy.
There are various types of play therapy, including non-directive, directive, and group play therapy. Play therapy enhances verbal expression, creates a higher sense of self-worth, and reduces stress. Play therapists use techniques such as sand play, art therapy, and storytelling to facilitate healing in children.
If you want to learn more about Play Therapy for Children or explore options for your child's mental health needs, contact our team of licensed experts at Elevate Rockwall to schedule an appointment.