Play therapy is a method of therapy that uses play to deal with mental health needs in children. This therapy builds on the communicative and learning process of children. Play therapy can be used for children with a behavioral issue, such as anger management, grief, trauma, and more. You can also use it for behavioral disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and more.
During this therapy, the therapist us this time to observe the children and gain insight into the child’s problem and life. The therapist can help the child explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma. Through play, children can learn new coping mechanisms and how to redirect inappropriate behaviors. Play therapy sessions can vary in time, but they usually last 30-50 minutes. Parents need to know that their child will need more than one session. The child will need up to at least 20 sessions, but some children can improve faster.
Parents can also help with play therapy. Children and families heal faster when they work together. One thing they can do to help is monitoring the child after the therapist and the parent comes up with a plan. They can also help directly while a session is happening to see how the parent and child interact. Another thing they can do is have the whole family participate in play therapy. No matter the role in the family, they all can help in the child’s healing.
Anyone can benefit from play therapy, but play therapy is especially appropriate for children ages 3 through 12 years old. Anyone older than that, like teenagers and adults, has also benefited from the techniques and processes. Not that many teenagers and adults participate in play therapy, but it is increasing, and in recent years toddlers and infants are starting to use it. This means they are improving the strategies of play therapy, and they will soon have successful strategies for all ages.
Play therapy helps children in so many ways! It helps children learn to express and experience emotion and develop self-efficacy, which helps them be sure about their abilities. It can also help the children develop respect and acceptance of self and others, develop new and creative solutions, and become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies. Many children go through things, and they do not know how to tell what is going on, but this is an amazing way to help the children express that.