What you need to know about play therapy
Play therapy is a type of therapy that’s designed to help children process their emotions and articulate their problems. While the basics of play therapy can be integrated into playtime at home, the bulk of the rewards of the practice come about by getting help from a qualified, experienced, and professional play therapist.
A trained play therapist will use playtime to observe your child and gain insights into their emotional and behavioural problems. It’s a recognised method of engaging children in therapy, helping them to explore their emotions and deal with unresolved trauma. Play therapists can also impart coping mechanisms and behavioural temperance methods onto children, giving them the tools to better regulate their emotions by themselves.
Their techniques will vary but, generally, play therapists will use toys and games to help children communicate things they can’t with words. As they play, the child will likely become less guarded and get to share their feelings in a low-pressure environment. The play therapist might also pay attention to how the child reacts to being separated from their parents, how they play when they’re alone, and how they react when their parents return.
The positive effects of successful play therapy can include children being capable of taking more responsibility for their behaviour, developing problem-solving skills, building increased self-respect, and learning how to fully express their feelings. These benefits can be transformational to a child’s confidence and can make a huge difference at home.
While play therapy isn’t necessarily designed for children with specific medical or mental health conditions, it is often used by play therapists and psychologists as part of a broader care programme for children with chronic illnesses, learning disabilities, and disorders like ASD or ADHD.
If you’re looking for a play therapist to work with your child, whatever results you want them to achieve, find a suitable professional near you with My Health Assistant.