Play Therapy Week
How Does It Benefit Children?
Play therapy helps children:
- Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.
- Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
- Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
- Learn to experience and express emotion.
- Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
- Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
- Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.
What Is It Effective in Treating?
- Anger management difficulties
- Grief and loss
- Divorce and family stress
- Crisis and trauma
- Anxiety and depression
- ADHD and Autism Spectrum
What Is Play Therapy?
Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002). It differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. In God’s common grace, play within therapy is a means to engage a child’s God-given imagination and desire to explore the world He created within a safe environment. Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings (Gil, 1991). In play therapy, toys are like the child’s words and play is the child’s language (Landreth, 2002).
Adapted from the Association for Play Therapy website www.a4pt.org