What is Play Therapy?
(Adapted from: Landreth, G. (2012) Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship).
Play is the natural language of children.
The therapeutic relationship formed through play therapy allows children to develop mastery and emotional regulation. Play therapy helps children make sense of their feelings.
Carefully selected toys are offered in play therapy. Toys are the child’s words and play is the child’s language.
Play therapists are specially trained child therapists who understand the language of children’s play. When children communicate or play out how they feel to someone who understands, they feel better.
In play therapy, children learn:
- To respect themselves
- Their feelings are acceptable
- To express their feelings responsibly
- To assume responsibility for themselves
- To be resourceful and creative in solving problems
- Self-control and self-direction
- To accept themselves
- To make choices and be responsible
- To gain mastery over difficult experiences
- To feel better
Why Play Therapy?
Play is essential to human growth, development, learning, and cultivating relationships.
Play therapy is sensitive to the developmental needs of children, as their brains have not yet developed and formed cognitive thinking skills like adults.